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Date: 16 June 2016. Safety Nets.


In case you wondered life is truly wonderful afloat. Now that my Betsy (the Kubota diesel)  runs I have been taking Seaweed out for lots of day trips. Mostly this is just for a short couple of hours at a time. I am working out the kinks in both me and the boat. Some things that were fine on the east coast simply will not work here in this area. Not for me anyway.

For instance I have nets in the pilothouse doorways to keep me safely inside the boat.

In other areas there are not quite so many boaters out and about as I have found here. I am one of those that waves hello. My handy-dandy nets get in the way of greeting others.

When folks are with me as is often the case of late leaving the nets off is fine. Honest to goodness, it is even better to have someone aboard. It gets lonesome otherwise. I love being able to say "see that dolphin" and having an extra set of eyes is always helpful.

One reason I am able to take others with me is the Fifteen Minute Rule. Wherever I am I can always take Seaweed out for a spin within fifteen minutes provided mechanically she is all a-okay. Spontaneous adventures are the most fun.

I keep her backed in or spin her around with lines. That way I can immediately take off in forward gear.

Note: I am just not good at backing Seaweed into slips. That is why I pull straight in then take a couple of lines a turn her around. That is easy. Having a small light boat makes this a breeze in all but the windiest of times.

When the wind is kicking, I will anchor until it abates.

I am aware that Experts can back their boats into the trickiest of spots. That is not yet me. With more practice I will improve. In the meantime I am out here having fun.

I wave at the boats as they pass by. Some are very close.

I am glad Seaweed handles a wake well. That's because she has a lot of weight low in her bilges. (Batteries!)

Safety of course is my number one priority. As a soloist there is no one who can put the boat into neutral or return for me if I fall overboard. I MUST stay aboard. That said, the net does not have to go all the way to the top of the doorway.

I do have a sewing machine so fixing a better safety net is on the agenda. The netting covers the entire doorways (port and starboard) so I am secure inside Seaweed. When I wave at boats going by with the netting up no one can see. Argh.|

One thing you will find as you boat more is that some of your Good Ideas are not quite so perfect in practice. This is one such case. Being able to adapt is the key for success.

Listing a variety of solutions will often find a workable one that is both cost effective and relatively easy to accomplish. A friend advocates a minimum of five fixes for each problem. He lists on paper the ideas, then implements the one that is most viable.


Solutions to the Safety Net versus Waving Problem:

  1. Remove the netting.

  2. Stop waving.

  3. Cut the net in half so I can reach above the net to wave.

  4. Replace netting with a "half door" using wood.

  5. Make a bar (wooden) at the half-way point of the door to keep me inbound. Add a hole in it to put my cup when underway

  6. Build a box that takes up the bottom third of the doorway. Said box could be a place for Skipper to watch the dolphin. Add a bit of netting above her spot to keep us both in the boat.


I will not stop waving. I am having fun and enjoy waving at folks. It is a way to make friends.

Cutting the net will not work either. This is safety netting from Defender's and it is not inexpensive. Eventually I would like to buy more and completely encircle the bow of Seaweed. This is not a High Priority item however it is on The List.


There is always a list.

No boat is ever finished. That is a part of the fun. There is always something to do. Small projects give a sense of accomplishment as they are completed. The problem is that each new job spawns more ideas.

Good ideas evolve into Projects!

Seaweed is my Last Boat. I know that changes made today will increase the decadence level for the rest of my life. I am installing infrastructure, updating and improving the basics.

Seaweed is a great boat. She will get better in the future. I look forward to the process of making her my own.


I am also using the boat. Too often folks get so involved in fixing and upgrading that they forget to enjoy the boat. Do not let that happen to you! Go Boating. Often.

The wooden bar across the door opening solution mentioned above is interesting. I like the idea of having a place to put my beverage while underway. I am considering this one seriously. One problem with this idea is that wood is hard. If a wake threw me into the bar I could break something.

Netting allows a soft landing. Staying aboard is crucial. Not being
hurt in the process is paramount. This idea is on the back burner.

Still, a flap down drink holder that also kept me inboard might be a Good Idea at some point...

A platform for Skipper has a definite appeal. She likes sticking her nose out the doorway and watching the water, fish, dogs ashore, etc. Skipper is my boat dog.

Skipper is secured to the doorway with a leash. She cannot fall in or out of Seaweed.

In the meantime I will have the nets up partially when
underway without guests aboard. This is not the best solution.

I like being inside, safe and secure in my home. The next time I pull out the sewing machine I'll make a padded border to go at the top of the netting. It will give me an "edge" and be a bit tidier. In the meantime it will be Good Enough.

This is my Singer 221, circa 1937. She is a gem.

That is it from the Gulf coast of Florida. I am out and about a lot nowadays. Do not forget to say hello on Channel 16 if you see my Seaweed. I am always listening.

Boating is fun and tiring too. For me, for now, it's nap time. Plus there is this thing called a Kindle...

Happy cruising to you and yours.

How do you ensure you stay aboard your boat when underway?
Are there any doorway ideas you could offer that I might adapt for Seaweed?

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