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Date: 7 May 2017. Sheet Trick.


Life afloat is wonderful. I know I am fortunate to live aboard my own boat. Plus I am on the gulf coast of Florida which translates to beautiful green waters. It is the stuff of dreams, until summertime. As the temperatures soar tempers shorten. We then have the annual installment of the generator "have" versus "have not" contingents.

The Haves are fortunate. They have generators and are not afraid to use them.

I admire those who create a comfortable off-grid home. Owning a generator makes a world of difference when it comes to the accoutrements of modern life. Roughing it may work in the short-term. For a long happy life afloat, I advocate a bit of decadence.

Suffering is for the birds. Decadence is delightful!

Summertime forecasts here call for three to four months of 90 degree weather.

You can well imagine how thankful I am to finally have enough solar panels to run my refrigerator 24/7 while at anchor. That made a huge difference in my comfort level, all thanks to Larry and his wife Eva. Having cold beverages is a tremendous improvement in my life style for certain.

Larry and Eva made it possible for me to have a refrigerator on 24/7. They are so nice... thank you again!

Of course going to shore for ice is an option. It is not a great one though.

Getting into a dinghy and rowing or motoring to shore for ice when it is miserably hot is something I did not do until desperation hit. It was easier to stay aboard in front of the fan than to get out in the hot sun and journey to shore. Ugh.

Having a parasol helped make the trips to civilization for ice less onerous.

In Florida long days of hot weather come along to remind cruising folks why birds migrate. This time of the year is when some boaters budget for marina stays. Air-conditioners can be run without worries when docked at a marina. Other cruisers buy generators that power an a/c unit.

Summertime in Florida is also when boat crews with and without generators get into tiffs about noise. I have heard rude comments about ladies who nest inside their vessels. A gal I know on a Hunter sailboat becomes a hermit during the hottest months, and who can blame her? Would you want to climb into a dinghy and ride to shore in oppressive heat when you could stay aboard your air-conditioned home and focus on a hobby?!?


Boaters have a variety of hobbies.


Cheryl on Island Time is a beader.

Edwin on Concord paints.

I made the quilt on my bunk while at anchor one year. I have met several quilting women living aboard boats.


Cheryl is Talented!

My friend Cheryl takes beads and creates beautiful items. One of my favorites is a Spirit Shower she made for me. It says "Seaweed" along the starboard edge in yellow beads.

I admire creative people.

Cheryl puts a lot of thought and care into her gifts. This is a Spirit Shower she made for Seaweed. It is "me" through and through.

More details can be found in the Personalizing Your Home article.


But I digress.
There are always grumpy individuals who mutter about wind generators, clanging halyards, loud music, and most especially this time of the year, gasoline generators. Where people exist there will be conflict. The mature understand that we all have our preferences.

My own sins are far less annoying than yours!

I would prefer that all people, myself included, could afford a very quiet generator. Since I am not in charge however there will be Harbor Freight or Northern Tools generators on nearby vessels. I know how loud those can be. If you think it is loud across the anchorage, imagine yourself aboard that boat. Ugh.


In this heat having a way to cool off the boat is important. A $100 generator is a good stop-gap until a more expensive, quieter one can be afforded. My Yamaha1000 was $800. That is a lot of money for anyone on a tight budget. As for those years when I could only afford a $100 unit, well, life is much better now.


Update, June 2023: My Yamaha 1000 is not available at present. I did find both a Yamaha 2200 and a Honda 1000. What you should know is this: Yamaha's come with a fuel shut off valve. That means that I can cut off the gasoline and in four minutes the motor stops. Thus my carburetor is empty, and this should prevent gumming. Yes, I do purchase only ethanol free gasoline.

That said, you can easily install a fuel shut off valve in the Hondas.


Yamaha EF2200iS Inverter Generator

Honda EU1000i Inverter Generator

affiliate links

Regarding these pull-start generators: I am unable to pull start a Honda2k unless it has been running and is warm. Otherwise, from cold, I cannot manage. The smaller Yahama has a lower compression requirement (parroting what others have told me!) and therefore I can pull it fast enough for the engine to start.

From cold start with zero fuel takes three or four pulls. If I did leave fuel in the line I could start on the first or second pull. That would create carburetor issues so I have to pull a couple times to get fuel up into the engine.



Being on a budget means making compromises while saving for the future. Having fortitude and an end goal in place is critical for success. Enduring is not fun if the future looks to be more of the same.

Having a mapped out goal is important. I wanted a quiet generator so I could run my 5k BTU Haier air-conditioner at anchor. The solar panels now power everything except the a/c aboard Seaweed. On days when it is 90-plus degrees in the shade without a speck of breeze, I wanted an option.

Now I have it. Though $800 is a lot of money, the Yamaha1000 generator will help me avoid having to pay dockage for a few months each year. Thus it pays for itself the first season. And it is A LOT quieter than the $100 version I had for a few years. That one gave up the ghost back in 2014.

As I grow older I find personal comfort more important
than ever. Staying cool and hydrated is a top priority.


There are few other things that make sleeping better at night. Seaweed has a forward hatch which scoops wind into my cabin. That's a true blessing. I also have a fan that is "too noisy" until it gets hot. Then suddenly the sound is not so bad at all!

Details on the hatch project can be found in the Screening My Hatch (eBay advice) article.

The most important item I have though is the sheet. What I snuggle under actually is not a sheet. It is a soft holey tablecloth. The cut-out spaces allow air to flow through. I prefer to be covered and also want a breeze to cool me. This tablecloth/sheet serves both purposes.

For those with access to a thrift store, you might wish to put on your list a holey tablecloth like mine and keep an eye out for something similar. Lace ones are too scratchy for me though I am quite sensitive to textures. Find something soft and add it to your summer arsenal.

Side Note: When I was a kidlet, we would dampen our sheets at night just before going to our bunks. The wind blowing over the sheets would evaporate and cool us.

To you and yours I wish cool breezes and happy days. Thanks for reading. J.

I'd love to hear what you do to stay cool in the summertime.
And, do you chose to dock for the summer to take advantage of unlimited power at a marina?

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2017, 2023

Categories: Boats, Characters, Comfort, Gear,

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

A favorite aphorism:  You eventually realize you don't own a boat... you are the mayor of a city with several power stations, fresh and salt water supplies, lighting, generators, main power station, and a sewage system. Bruce, Mayor of M/V Mary Shaw.

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!


My Buddy, and his girlfriend...

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