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Date: 18 April 2015. Decadence Required.


With apologies for the delay in uploading this article. This is a working river and the fishermen have been particularly busy of late. When boats are at the docks their generators are running 24/7.

Yes I am aware that at a certain point the sounds will become background clutter, but that has not happened yet. It is fun to watch them coming and going, however it is noisy at times.

I tell you, I am suffering for my shrimp addiction. And it will be totally worth it when the shrimp arrive. I cannot wait for that!

The Pardey's have written extensively promoting their "Go now, go small" philosophy. A great many things can be said about their success. Yet I know for long term happiness afloat, at least for me, there must be a certain level of creature comforts.


I have read many of Lin and Larry Pardey's books about sailing on a budget. They advocate to "Go now, go small" versus being hell-bent on buying a big beautiful boat, i.e. the Dream Boat. For your convenience I selected some of the most popular Pardey books. They are listed below.

Affiliate links ↓

Capable Cruiser 3rd Edition by Lin and Larry Pardey on Kindle

or, Paperback Edition

Cruising in Sareffyn Tribute Edition by Lin and Larry Pardey on Kindle

or, Hard Cover Edition

Self Sufficient Sailor Third Edition by Lin and Larry Pardey on Kindle

or, Hard Cover Edition

Cost Conscious Cruiser  by Lin and Larry Pardey on Kindle

or, Hard Cover Edition

Storm Tactics Handbook 3rd Edition by Lin and Larry Pardey on Kindle

or, Paperback Edition


The Pardey books are almost always found at nautical flea markets and book exchanges in marinas.


Camping is camping. It is okay and can be fun, but to live that way long term is simply not for me. I am woman and over fifty. What I would tolerate and even enjoy the challenge of experiencing a couple of decades ago will not happen today.

Simple does work at the beginning, however for longer term life a degree of creature comforts aka decadence means that *I* am likely to remain off the grid. I've been there/done that without most everything. However at this stage in my life (past the half-century mark) I am working toward More.

That said, my "more" is far less than many others find essential. A half dozen long sleeved white shirts, three skirts and two dresses... that is what I wear. And the second dress? I just bought it last week, used, on sale.

This is one of my favorite books aboard Seaweed:

Beachcruising and Coastal Camping by Ida Little and Michael Walsh is a book I peruse for sheer pleasure.

The experts are correct in saying that the minimal will work. Beachcruising and Coastal Camping details that lifestyle and its possibilities. Additionally many with tight budgets do with the least possible. Yes, when I look back over the years I remember fondly the old days. I do not want to do it again, but it was fun.

Frankly, of all the books I mention in this article, my first choice for a minimalist lifestyle is Beachcruising and Coastal Camping. I love the checklists of necessities. The couple are just so nice. I would love to have them aboard to share a cuppa tea. I find their advice practical.

It is not where you start that matters. It is where you are
at the end that counts, along with the journey of course.

Wandering along a shoreline is pleasant... especially with your boat anchored off the beach.


Indeed, when starting the nautical life it is best to go with less than you want. Your wishes will change as you learn what works for you. Because definitely, each of us differs.

You might need (want?) a television. I have not had one since 1993 so that is definitely not a priority. I need a computer and want my own wifi connection. The internet and my imaginary online friends (that's you) are a tremendously important part of life afloat as a soloist.

Alcoholism is all too prevalent among single male sailors. I am not certain why.
Speculation leads me to wonder if the lack of social interaction is an underlying cause...

This mi-fi device allows me to connect to the internet while anchored in out of the way spots.


Being able to communicate is critical to my happiness quotient, to the point where I spend a great deal of my income making it happen. Something important to you [even if *I* think you are nuts] should be your goal.

Make your dreams come true.

Too, I enjoy my DVDs. Lots and lots of DVDs to wile away the afternoons not spent reading on my Kindle.

The observant may notice my DVDs are shelved alphabetically. I don't sort by genre, preferring to line 'em up this way. Sets of movies like the
The Doris Day and Rock Hudson Comedy Collection (and The Thrill of it All! -- remember the soap movie?) are sure to bring a smile.

I do have Serenity tucked after the Firefly collection. For the Browncoats (aka Firefly fans):

For some boaters it's tunes, be it a guitar or a xylophone. Really, it matters not. What counts most is getting out here and trying various options. Starting with a minimal outfit will go a long ways toward not wasting assets.

My friend Lori plays guitar aboard her boat.

Once you have determined something is desirable, then hunt down the item. It might be available used from a thrift store, at online outlet or even in a retail shop. Where you find it makes no difference if it allows you to make your boat life happier.

Books Aboard


Prior to departure while you have good access to the internet and a place to have things shipped, make a list of the cruising grounds you wish to explore. Then start shopping for the guides featuring those areas.


You can save a ton of cash and build a library over time if you start early. Later you can resell them if you change your mind about a particular destination. Guides do become dated however I find even old ones informative enough to have earned a place aboard Seaweed.

And here is my suggestion for folks who have the boat, or want to know how to make what you have even better. Buy this one:

Gosh this is fun. Spending your perfectly good money is awesome. While I'm at it, break open the wallet and also purchase:


The Why Didn't I Think of That? : 1,198 Tips has helped me solidify ideas (tweaked of course) for my Seaweed. And Tricks? I'm still trying to internalize the weather portion. It is complicated. Tricks of the Trades does mirror our experiences on the 40'er and is worth paying retail. I do not say that often.


I've been living aboard a 23' boat seven years. The level I started at would not work for me now. I would not go back. In the meantime I'm closing in on near total decadence. I have a goal and am working toward adding the goodies to make this life superior.

This is a gradual process. I'm not made of money.


Still, the list grows. I am hoping to upgrade my refrigeration later this summer. That is going to require moving the built in bookcase, dismantling the canned goods locker and selling the totally inadequate (but paid for and being used) cube reefer I have now, plus, well, more.

Side note on refrigerators: Do not do as I did. My reefer, a small cube, will not fit a head of lettuce nor a whole uncut cantaloupe. I know it is crazy to go to this much work in order to have a melon in my *reefer without having to chop it up, but there you have it.

*Reefer: Boat Talk for a refrigerator.

No job ever turns out as easy as originally thought to be. There are always glitches but how we "roll with the punches" determines our ultimate success. And I intend to succeed.

Yes, I could "make do" with far less. But I would not be as
happy. And if Mama is not joyful, nobody else is either.

Jeff Allen, a comedian I enjoy says "Happy Wife, Happy Life" and there is a great deal of truth to the saying. Gents should make sure the boat is not outfitted solely to please him. Additionally everyone needs to understand that boats require spare parts storage, in addition to the creature comforts needed for harmony afloat. Affiliate link: Happy Wife, Happy Life Revisited.

I get a great deal of pleasure out of the "little things" aboard Seaweed. The lace curtain over my galley window both prevents mosquitoes and looks pretty.

That "curtain" was a tablecloth. I sewed a hem at each end (top and bottom) and voila: one curtain that will not blow in the wind.


Plus, what is not to like about a view of the Thames River and London Bridge? This is a favorite and though the sun is doing damage I would rather use and enjoy the lace than stick it in a locker for someday. In the meantime, I am looking for another one just like it.


And the new heat exchanger is going to also provide heat for the boat in the wintertime. The mechanics thought that part up and I am grateful. Being cold is not much fun.

My mattress (4" memory foam topper from Walmart) is sitting atop a 5" foam piece gifted by S/V Gorilla. It's totally wonderfully comfy. At night with my hatch open looking at the stars, well, life doesn't get much better.

Little things, but for me, decadence is the key to continued enjoyment of this life.

What one thing makes your life more comfortable?
And, what is next to do on your creature comfort enhancement list?

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2015, 2023

Categories: Boats, Boat Talk, Books, Characters, Comfort, DVDs and CDs, Galley, Money, Organizing, Relationships

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