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Date: 1 January 2018. Advice for the Vintage Boater.


Prequel: I took off the month of December. A lot was accomplished. Still more items were added to The List. At times it seemed like my prop was spinning while Seaweed remained in neutral.

On the other hand I did get many things tidied away to my satisfaction. All in all, progress was made. I got some time at anchor which always cheers my spirit.

The St. Pete boat show was AMAZING. I will write about that later.

Last month I received the nicest note from a gent who can be considered vintage. Grover asked "Do you know where there is a trawler like yours for sale?" Alas I do not. That however is not necessarily a bad thing. I believe there are alternatives that should be considered if limited mobility is an issue. These options are often less costly than my own Seaweed. Details follow.

The problem is that there are not a lot of Schucker mini-trawlers in existence. As far as I know just six of my model were built. I believe only three still exist. One was in Canada and another here in the Tampa area. Plus mine of course. They are rare and priced accordingly.

For many folks of a certain age (and that includes me!) I have come to believe a houseboat is an option to consider. This is why:

None of us is getting any younger. If I had known I was going to
live so long I would have taken better care of myself. But I did not.

My knees are not-so-good.

Now I am not like the mallard, hobbling around on one leg... not yet!

I have had three knee surgeries, two on the left knee and one on my right. Climbing over the transom is not easy. It is painful. That is exactly why I am determined to get a tuna door cut into the transom of Seaweed as soon as possible.

At this point I have yet to acquire the hardware required for the tuna door job. I need two heavy-duty hinges plus a latching system of some sort. Those items are on my List. Once they are in my hands, then I can get the work done. I am looking forward to that happening.

A tuna door in the transom of Manatee allows easy access to the boat's
 interior. Some openings fold down (see above) while most open like a door.

Because we are not getting any younger I suggest folks who have had medical issues look for a houseboat. A small (under 30') houseboat would be on one level. That means no steps. For someone as physically phfitt as myself, that sounds just about perfect.

And frankly I would not be concerned what sort of power plant is aboard the houseboat. Any motor is fine. At that size you do not need a massive go-fast engine. Rip whatever is there out and replace it with a brand new 25hp outboard. One-and-done so to speak.

Bottom Feeder has an outboard propulsion system. She cruised
all the way from Minnesota to Florida then up the east coast of America.

Slap an outboard (25hp) on the transom of a
houseboat and call her Good Enough. Do not wait!

On lousy days when the weather is kicking, you will stay in port. Just like my Seaweed, houseboats are not designed for crossing oceans or rough waters. They are coastal vessels. I am happiest at anchor in protected coves. Decadence works for me.

Though years ago I did dream of sailing beyond the horizon I am quite happy with my life.

Me on S/V Gypsy which belongs to Joanne and Glenn. They sail on a MacGregor 26.

Many of us wake up one day only to realize the years have slipped by far too quickly. We wake up one morning and rue lost opportunities. Do not let that be you.

Say the three little words I long to hear: Let's go cruising.

I'd love to learn what your dream boat would be.
And, are you living aboard your Last Boat at present?

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