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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.

Thanks to those who chose to make purchases through my Amazon links found at the upper left corner of each page. This costs you nothing and does help fund my decadence. Plus, I appreciate it loads!!!

My mailing address is: Post Office Box 8284, Madeira Beach, FL 33738
15019 Madeira Way, Box 8284, Madeira Beach, FL  33708

Date: 12 April 2022. WD-40 versus Starting Fluid.

© janice142

One thing successful boaters seem to have in abundance an ability to adapt. Old timers such as myself realized long ago that change is inevitable. For instance, when I was a sweet young thing (that might have been decades ago) and diesel engines were being problematic the solution was to spray the air intake with WD-40. Back then it was deemed safer than ether. Both would turn over the engine and often the motor would start right up. Today however there are better alternatives.


I recently learned this from a dock neighbor, after he had seen me work the magic using WD-40. He investigated further and discovered the error of my ways.


According to Calder: Many older boaters still believe WD-40 spray lubricant is a safe and effective starting fluid for diesel engines. In reality, this has not been the case since the 1990s when the manufacturer quit using propane as the propellant. WD-40 doesn’t work anymore. Nowadays, modern diesel shops are using silicon spray lubricant instead. Silicone spray still uses propane as a propellant, like the old WD-40, but it also coats the upper cylinder for lubrication and and seals piston rings, improving compression. And it doesn’t explode.

Nigel Calder is renown for his knowledge of boats and their systems. He has written the definitive book on the subject, Calder's Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual 4th Edition.

This information about WD-40 was news to me. Thus, on a recent trip to Walmart I purchased a proper can of starting fluid for my diesel. The cost was $3.50.


Almost all photographs on my website can be enlarged by clicking on them. You have to back up (usually an arrow) to return to the original page after viewing the picture.



Although I have not yet utilized this particular brand of starting fluid, I did replace my WD-40 can with  a silicone based spray (Super Tech) due to the updated information *Calder provided..

*Calder: Nigel Calder has written books that are without question the best a boater can own. I have yet to be aboard a boat that did not have on hand a Calder book. My own copy of  Calder's Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual 4th Edition has been essential in  assisting me with a myriad of issues over the years.

Yes, I do have the newest 4th edition of Calder's.
 I keep forgetting to take a picture of it.

Should a 5th edition be published I will buy that "hot off the presses" because technology does change. I might not have the newest (thinking lithium batteries) however I am watching that field. Perhaps when my lead acid batts begin to age out, I will be able to upgrade.

Calder's is for folks that do not know everything, need guidance in troubleshooting systems, and more. His book shows how to dismantle and fix stuff that only experts understand. Plus, he explains boat gear in a way that a neophyte can understand.

I am not a shill for Calder as he absolutely does not require that. IF you choose to buy Calder's Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual 4th Edition though my Amazon affiliate links I am compensated by Amazon but still, you're a boater: pick the least expensive one.

Side Note: Is it just me who gets absolutely irate when I read or see on YouTube a "review" where the recipient gets it for free, then raves about how wonderful said free item is. Oh, and a link is provided so they can earn money too. UGH! I abhor tawdry stuff like that.

The reason I am able to wander around YouTube is because I was gifted a tablet by an exceptionally kind gent. That has made a huge different in my life. I had no idea how much easily obtainable information is available, and the larger format of a tablet makes a world of difference. Thank you again Cap'n.

I am beyond fortunate to be able to live this life. I know many fear inflation. Having a boat that can support me off-grid is essential to my happiness level. Knowing that I will continue to set my own destiny is important to me. Seaweed is more than just a boat... she is home.

John's Pass is in nearby Madeira Beach.
This was taken on a weekday. You can tell
 that by the dearth of boats on the water.

Saturdays, Sundays and holidays the
waterways are filled with weekend warriors.

I prefer to be tucked  in some place
 peaceful when the boat traffic is high.

As an update I still have not resolved my watermaker issue described in the
Watermaker Woes article however that is a next week item. It has to be fixed!!!

Life is good aboard Seaweed. Progress is being made incrementally on a multitude of items on The List. Lots of little things have been crossed off, while larger ones are added. The List can be a ruthless dictator!

Thank you for keeping me company as I plug away at life aboard a beautiful boat. Thank you for reading.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the WD-40 versus Starting Fluid page.

Categories: Books, Characters, Gear,


Announcement: Folks who want to be notified when I post are welcome to become subscribers. I email readers every time a new article goes up. That's usually once or twice per week. If you'd like to be included via BCC* simply drop me a line to janice@janice142.com and I'll add you. It's free.

*BCC - Blind Carbon Copy. Basically no one but me will have your email address and the list of subscribers is not available.

Now this is not fancy. Basically I copy off the top three items in my Archive file. That way you can catch up if life gets in the way of your reading fun.

Secret: If you want to know what's what, start in the Archive. It offers you the title, first paragraph and topics (Categories) covered in each article published on my website.

Something a new reader might not realize: Almost every picture on this website can be clicked. The photo will get larger when clicked. Do that a second time and the picture should be full size. Enjoy...

My Cruising Kitty earns money each time you buy on Amazon through my links found in the upper left corner of every page. This is a tangible way to support me and is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your support, and heck, just for being here. I appreciate that more than you can imagine.

Paypal Tablet link:  *CRUISING KITTY
*for those who wish to donate direct to me via paypal.

Pet of the Week: Julie
on M/V Hero

Submit your pet's photo.
Please email pictures of your crew!

More canine, feline and feathered crew members can be found on the The First Mate Gallery page.


The Archive holds a chronological list of every item published on my website. It includes a brief synopsis (not just the title) along with the topics covered in each article.

Click on the title and voila: you're there. Enjoy!

Skipper, First Mate extraordinaire

Of course every boat needs a Deck Swabbie. Mine, born in 2008, is a papillon mix. She weighs in at five pounds.

Coming soon ...


Topics of Interest:
You can achieve a simple satisfying life

Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak enough food for a week.
But I'm darned if I know how the helican.
(Poem by Dixon Lanier Merritt, 1879-1972.)


For years I've been collecting short pithy statements otherwise known as aphorisms. If you're like me and enjoy the weird, go ahead and CLICK!

These are previously posted at the bottom of each article -- for new, you'll have to come visit again.

Seaweed is in St. Pete right now.

The above chart (#411) can be a wish book of sorts as you look over your domain and wonder where to go next. And yes, I do have the originals (sans red arrow) as jpeg's for download should you desire your own for closer perusal. Enjoy!

The Writer's Block

It's my belief that other folks who boat are some of the most interesting in the world. Inside every boater is a story. Let yours out! I'd love to post short stories, vignettes, or even longer articles that focus on some aspect of our life on or near the water. Suggested topics include:

1. I Remember When...
2. My First Boat
3. Who inspired you to be a boater?
4. Fishing Trips or Tricks
5. Or another subject of your choosing

For the novice, here's how to write: Simply pretend you're sending a letter to a friend. Tell about an event or a memory from years ago that you still recall.

Life has changed so much on the water since I was born aboard. Personally I'd love to hear your memories of life when you were younger. Boats were smaller, narrower, and much slower. Kids were kids and our families often shaped the adult we have become. Here are my two aboard the tow boat my dad ran for a time:

Your pictures would be wonderful too. I posted one of Boot Key Harbor taken in 2001 that has gotten quite a few downloads and really, that's not so terribly long ago... Do you have any photos to share? Email me.

Do you want to help out?

Often an article for the website will be completely written yet lack photographs. I like pictures and am looking for some for up-coming pieces:

  • Pets afloat (include pet and boat name please)

  • Any picture of boats underway or at anchor

  • Photos of people enjoying life in or on the water

Size: a minimum of 1000 pixels across please. If that doesn't make sense think bigger versus resized for emailing. I prefer the full-size version. Also, the name you'd like me to use when I add the copyright stuff to your picture. And thanks bunches!

My email address is janice@janice142.com

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

click picture to enlarge

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

Aphorism Alert: Begin doing what you want to now. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake. Marie Beyon Ray.

Contributions to my Cruising Kitty
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.


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