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23' mini-trawler
by Schucker

Janice aboard Seaweed,
living the good life afloat...

Trawler life on a nickel budget is possible.
I'm doing it and you can too.

Janice Marois, nautical journalist.
Accredited member of Boat Writers International.



Seaweed is my Schucker mini-trawler home.


click picture to enlarge (all photos on the site work the same way)

23' Schucker mini-trawler, circa 1983. Algae, the dinghy is a 1972 vintage fiberglass skiff.


Originally the dream was to buy a sailboat (NorSea27 or ColvicWatson24) and voyage off across the horizon to the south Pacific. Alas, time, age, a couple bouts of cancer, and that dream shifted. Physically I'm unable to hoist sails, yet the thought of spending the rest of my life ashore was untenable; thus I began looking for a small (the smallest possible) powerboat I considered adequate for long-term life afloat.

I'm of a mind that you buy once, something with good bones, and then proceed to make her yours and that's exactly what I've done. Seaweed was fine when purchased but every alteration since then (even minor ones on the scale of life) are making the boat better and more comfortable for my life aboard her.

Schematic from builder showing basic layout

So, as I was saying, when it came down to boat shopping time, there were just a few brands that interested me -- and the Schucker mini-trawler was at the top of the list. Just six were built and as I understand it only three are still around. She's a mere 23' overall, but because of her beam she's got lots of room for a life afloat versus a camping existence. After a half century on this planet, I'm too old for that camp-out nonsense and prefer my comforts. Seaweed provides such.

My cabin, looking forward: (you can see the wooden box my windlass solenoid resides in, plus the wired remote I use when on the bow) Of course I could/can/do occasionally use the power button by my controls at the helm for the anchor, but, well, old habits die hard. I like being forward watching things, and also that gives me an opportunity to wash mud off the chain as it comes in.

Skipper playing on the bunk; note the skinny shelves for books along the bulkhead.

When I first saw the boat I was excited to have bookshelves all around the bunk - until I bought the boat I thought they were a few inches deep so I could line my books up with spines showing. Alas, they are tapered (1" deep at the aft and almost 3" forward) so there's a lot less space for books. Maybe one day I'll afford a Kindle...

Update: In the Autumn of 2013 I was indeed gifted with a Kindle and it's marvelous. Thanks to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (not Voldemort, although I do have on Kindle the Harry Potter series along with the extra three J.K. Rowling created (Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, along with The Tales of Beedle the Bard)

There's an area between the bunk and the two steps up into the pilothouse. To port is my head, then a shower area in the middle, with steps to starboard.

The pilothouse surveys my domain -- I like that there's a big flat surface for charts -- the boat was designed for actual use by a yachtsman. Far too many seemed to be designed by decorators, not actual boaters who understand the needs of a captain, such as to spread out a chart for instance.

All decks in the boat come up so access to the engine is excellent, and that's a very good thing because very soon I'll be having the monster gasoline engine and transmission removed and replace them with a sweet little diesel Volvo. I can't wait!!! The engine (and in a 23' boat someone must have been heavily into pharmaceuticals if they thought a 350 Chevy short block was an appropriate choice for powering a displacement hull trawler) ... anyway, said Beast resides under the centerline hatch of the pilothouse, at least for the short term.

One step down and you're in my galley/dinette area.

On the port side, looking aft over my dinette. 

Ladies will probably note the lace curtains. Those aren't just for looks, and serve multiple purposes:

  1. I like them (pretty things make me happy) and they do have a nautical motif

  2. When pinned to the window frame they act as screens to keep out mosquitoes yet let thru breeze

  3. And, they do subtly shade the interior (soften so to speak) though I use fabric over them to shield from direct sunlight when it's really bright

  4. They offer a degree of privacy yet I can see out much like the sun shades do for cars.

Then, step out into the cockpit. On the starboard side I've a seat in the corner which doubles as a propane locker. Eventually I'd like to build another seat to port for the Stop anchor and chain, but that's another project.

There are always projects. Still, I could not be happier with my choice and can foresee many more years aboard Seaweed, puttering along slowing, down and around the coast, thru the islands and, well, there really are no limits except fuel and water capacity. Hmm... maybe a water-maker would be nice too. (smile)

Happy Voyaging and thanks for stopping by.

Don't forget to sign my Guestbook.

Thanks for visiting. If you happen to see my boat along the waterways, give a call on Channel 16. I'm always listening.

My home is not fancy by any means, however you cannot imagine how wonderful it is to come back to her after an expedition on shore.

If I can live this life, why not you too?

Skipper, First Mate extraordinaire

A favorite aphorism:   Good enough and done is better than waiting/planning for perfection later. Janice Marois.

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!

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My Buddy, and his girlfriend...

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