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Date: 31 March 2018. Scorpion Vacuum and Kindle Fire Questions.


I realize hearing a woman extol the virtues of a vacuum sounds rather odd on a boating website. That said, my Seaweed gets dirty. A vacuum helps me keep her clean. Over the past ten years I have tried several models. Power sources varied too. Most sucked, and not in a good way. Here is what I have learned.

The Scorpion Handheld Vacuum by Dirt Devil retails for $50 however I found mine on sale for $30 or so. It is worth the price!

The rest of the story...

  • My first foray into the vacuum world afloat was with a 12-volt version sold for cars. Mine was an obsolete Oreck car vac. I rather liked it. Alas, the unit finally gave up the ghost. Back then I was not in the Fix-It mode so it was replaced.

  • Number Two was bought on eBay. The seller said it "worked great." The seller lied. Like the original, it was a 12-volt model. It was not an Oreck and used 10Ah when running. The worst part was that it could not pick up threads from my stitching. Argh.

There were a lot off loose threads while I made this quilt.
Each button represents one dose of chemo on my road to recovery.

I got rid of Number Two. That was an appropriately named vacuum. The last thing I need aboard a 23' long boat is something that will not work properly, excluding myself of course. Clutter could quickly overwhelm a vessel this size. Getting rid of items quickly is a mantra of mine.

I did keep the power cord with a cigarette lighter end. Thus the purchase of Number Two was not a total loss. I reused that long power supply cord for another project.

It is that things change over time. What worked once, no longer is best today.

(Above, me and the Grand at Disney last year)

In the olden days and currently at Disneyworld movies were seen at the drive-in.
But times have changed. Nowadays Netflix and DVDs supply our film fix...

What was once Best Practice, all too soon becomes obsolete.

When I first bought Seaweed I was on a 12-volt kick. Everything needed to be twelve volts. I chose my drill because it could be adapted to run right off my batteries when the 12-volt rechargeable battery died. The drill did not last long. That is another story. Details about one repair can be found in the DeWalt Drill Fix article.

After my 12-volt fiascos, I found a rechargeable Black and Decker vacuum at a thrift store. $2 was a good price. The unit seemed to work too. Alas, every time I tried to use it the battery would be dead. I would have to spend time recharging the vacuum via my inverter. It simply did not hold a charge.

Seaweed with the wind generator and just one solar panel over the cockpit.

Back then I was not as power flush as I am now. An Air-Breeze wind generator plus a single 75 watt solar panel provided all my needs. The inverter was not turned on very often. Mostly my incoming power was used by my netbook via a car adaptor and the anchor light. Refrigeration was not an option back then so I did without.

Of course I wished to Have it All. The budget would not allow that. I knew that a life of decadence was possible. It would take time to save for the accoutrements. That is precisely what I did. Ten years in and with the help of some wonderful boaters I truly have a blessed life aboard my Seaweed. I am incredibly fortunate.

In the evenings I would read via candle light. Later I bought an oil lamp.

I read a lot of books at night using this ↑ small lamp. I still read using lantern light. It feels natural.

Kindle has made a huge difference in my reading. Free eBooks found online have changed my life. Having the ability to re-read old favorites is a true joy. There is no way I could store so many books on Seaweed were it not for the Kindle.

Being able to increase font size on my Paperwhite is a real boon. I have found that books are printed with text much too small nowadays!


Of course if money were no object I probably would buy one of those spiffy new 10" Kindle Fire's... Gosh they sure are tempting. If any of my readers have one, I'd love to hear your opinion. Is it just one more thing?!? Or is it worth the $$$ when compared with a Kindle Paperwhite?

Affiliate Links: 10" Fire with 32GB memory ~ 10" Fire with 64GB memory


As a side note, mostly I read books. I have been reading more than 300 books per year for decades. I wear out Kindles. The "average" Kindle user according to Amazon reads for 30 minutes per day. It's amazes me that anyone could quit reading after so brief a time as that.

Thank goodness for Gutenberg. Details on how to get more than 55,000 books for free is found in the Gutenberg Books (for free) article. The books are primarily in English however other languages are represented too.

As my eyes age I suspect a larger screen would be more convenient. That is why I am most interested in the 10" Fire. Plus it's cool as all get out. "My name is Janice. I'm a gizmo-holic..."

Not that I need one! I have a Paperwhite. The charging slot is getting finicky on my Paperwhite though.

As usual I've wandered off topic. I have been obsessing over the Fire's since I spotted it in my Amazon Recommendations. With apologies...

So what happened was this: After starting out on Seaweed with 12-volt vacuums I evolved to using a rechargeable Black & Decker. That was not a good choice. Every time I wanted to use the dang thing I would have to charge the battery. That unit might work well for someone that can leave the base plugged into an outlet. For those like me who live off the grid, the Black & Decker was a pain in the transom.

Now I use Dirt Devil's Scorpion model. It's a hand held vacuum. (affiliate link)

After the fiascos with car vacuums and the rechargeable unit, I knew there had to be a better solution. That is when I started thinking. I realized that what I needed most was a vacuum that could pick up dirt, dust and hair quickly.

Then I went to Amazon and looked for the most powerful hand-held vacuum I could find. I wanted enough suction to pull the fillings out of my teeth. That is exactly what I found!

Another requirement was a reusable filter bag. I did not want to have to continually buy dust bags.

This one seems quite stout. The paper can be rinsed. It is thick and seems sturdy.

Aboard Seaweed each purchase is not evaluated merely by usefulness. It also has to have a place to live. I cannot continually bring new items aboard if there is no storage spot for same. With the vacuum, I tied a double loop of 1/8" braided line around the ring by the handle.

A screw and washer tightened within 3/8" of the board gives me a place to hang the Scorpion down in my bilge.

When Seaweed is underway the washer keeps the braided line in place. The vacuum is secure.

You may note the black power cord is tied by a small piece of rope. The coil is shoved into the handle, away from the front of the engine. That cord is really long too.



Storage in the Bilge


One of the reasons I enjoy visiting other boats is because I learn so much. How people store their stuff interests me. Aboard a 23'er, finding a place to keep items is of vitally important. Seaweed is not just my home, she is my chariot to adventures.

I like being able to be underway in less than 15 minutes after the mood strikes me. That is another reason why I strive to keep my home tidy. After I get this posted I am going to get her back organized. Of late I have been under the weather. Seaweed is not shipshape at present. Argh.


What you are seeing: This photo was taken from inside my forward cabin looking aft. I have a large 24" square panel that opens to the engine room.

Ample access to the engine, generator, and batteries is CRITICAL when you are boat shopping. If it is not easy for you to reach things now, I can practically guarantee previous owners have not done routine maintenance as often as recommended.

Also secured on that board is the manual oil pump. That black hose to the right of my vacuum is attached to the orange pump when changing the oil. It is an easy job.




My Scorpion has a yellow pointer at the front. Push the grey button by the Dirt Devil logo and it folds out/extends.

The yellow nozzle was too big to fit into the slots of my air conditioner vent.
That is when I got out a straw and some blue tape. I made my own smaller extension.

It worked. The straw easily fit into narrow crevices. The straw extends the suction of my vacuum.

After use I wind up and tie the power cord, tuck the cord into the handle then hang the whole thing in my bilge.

This vacuum comes with extension tubes so you could use it to vacuum the floor. I do not have enough floor to use those. Were I in need of a vacuum for carpets and such I would go with a more expensive full-size model. My daughter used a Dyson though now she has a pair of the robot vacuums.

The world had changed. Miracles happen. Elon Musk proved that we can do anything.

Elon Musk sent his Tesla Roadster into space. How cool is that?!?

As for me, I'm a simple woman. Having a good vacuum aboard Seaweed is a mighty fine thing. This one uses 7Ah when working. If you are going to spend your perfectly good money for a vacuum, I recommend the Dirt Devil's Scorpion. I suggested this for my friend Irene. She bought one and likes it.

This is Irene:

Though the Scorpion normally retails for $50, I believe I paid $30 (give or take) for mine.

Note: Buying through my Amazon link costs you nothing and does help my Cruising Kitty. Thanks for considering same!

Do you have a favorite vacuum?
And, please tell me about your Kindle experiences... do you have the new
10" Kindle Fire?

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2018. 2023

Categories: Books, Characters, Entertainment, Gear, In the Bilges, Recommendations, Unmentionables,

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The Archive holds a running list with synopsis of published articles, and links to same.

A favorite aphorism:  Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give their vacuum one more chance?

Contributions to my Cruising Kitty via
are always appreciated.

Every gift helps.

The Cruising Kitty is what boaters refer to as spending money. There's never enough aboard Seaweed!

I am also an Amazon Affiliate.

My Buddy, and his girlfriend...

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