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23' mini-trawler
by Schucker

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

Trawler cruising on $14 per day is possible.
I'm doing it and you can too.

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

Here, I share my views on living aboard a small boat with very limited resources. Hopefully my successes will help others achieve the life. And yes, I'll share the things I did wrong too -- though not everything 'cause a girl's got to have her secrets!


Date: 30 September 2016. Cup-holder Repair.


One of my first purchases for Seaweed in the line of decadence enhancement was a cup-holder. It was one of those fancy ones that remains level when the boat rocks. My caffeine would be safe while underway. After years of use however it broke. This is how I fixed it.

It all started back in 2008 when I bought my home. I knew the importance of staying well hydrated while  on the water. Drinking is important. When running Seaweed I wanted to make sure that my cup did not go flying when the boat rocked.

In Jacksonville there is a store called Pier 17. I'd been in that same business many times fifty-plus years ago. Visiting Pier 17 was a given each time we came through Jacksonville on our 40'er. Daddy and I would go and I'd wander around. The owner and Daddy would smoke their pipes and solve all the world's problems.

When I rediscovered Pier 17 after so many decades I had to buy something. In addition to my first anchor (a 16 pound Hydro-bubble) I bought a fancy cup-holder. Life was good.

The cup holder was great. For a few years it was inside Seaweed and hung by the steps into my forward cabin while underway. Later I moved it into the dinghy Algae.

The cup holder is behind me and just forward of my left elbow.

Having a cup holder in the dink was handy. I loved the convenience of having a place to put my glass where it would not spill. Skipper gets enthusiastic when we are riding in Algae. With my cup in the holder I didn't worry about spills.

One day we spotted a blue crab
hanging on an old rope by a piling.

Going slow I have the opportunity to
really see the world. It's a beautiful place.

There is nothing better than hopping into Algae and turning on the trolling motor for a spin about an anchorage. Electric trolling motors are quiet. Skirting the shore we spot lots of wildlife that would have been scared off by a noisy outboard. It is one of my favorite things to do with Skipper.


The cup-holder is not designed
for long term use outside.


Eventually the metal basket part failed. The cup-holder lasted three or four years in Algae. That is a salty environment. I should have removed it from the dinghy when not in use. On the other hand I did get my $10's worth from the product.

I went from this

to this

When the basket finally gave up the ghost I was of course disappointed. I should have taken better care of it. I threw away the broken basket and decided to figure out a way to fix it.

In the meantime I always follow the *SSCA mantra of "Leave a clean wake". That means I keep whatever is in my vicinity pristine. Trash does not float by Seaweed! I retrieve it for disposal ashore.

*SSCA: The Seven Seas Cruising Association [http://ssca.org] From their website, "Founded in 1952, SSCA is one of the oldest and largest organizations of cruisers in the world. The goals of the original six founders are still the goals of SSCA today: to share cruising information and camaraderie with fellow cruisers, and to leave a clean wake for those who follow."


Milk jug in weeds

When I spotted a blue cup floating by the transom of Seaweed I got it out of the water. After cleaning the plastic cup I noted the size looked just about perfect for the cup-holder in Algae.

I attached the blue cup to the frame of my cup-holder with nuts and bolts. For those interested, I used short 8x32's. A brief lesson in bolts can be found in the Bolt Sizing Primer vignette.

I drilled holes in the sides and back of the cup. Later I realized the one I drilled in the back was unnecessary.

It always pleases me to save money. Though I probably would not have spent another $10 to put a cup holder in Algae I admit I missed it. Skipper and I like going for boat rides and having a place to put my drink is convenient.



Things to know before you start.


#1) The screws cannot protrude too far into the cup or your glass won't fit. Check the size of the screw heads before you start.

#2) Be sure to flip the cup upside down when not in use or it will fill with water when it rains.

Side Note: I chose not to drill holes in the bottom of the cup. In an emergency I could use the cup for a bailer. Also it would work as a drinking cup for my Skipper or me if needed.

#3) Here in the south figure on replacing the cup every four months. The sun will dry out the plastic. The plastic will crack. A better quality cup should last longer. For me Good Enough is quite sufficient. Plus the cup was free which is the perfect price.


There are wooden supports around the *gunnels of Algae. The wood is a perfect place to screw stuff. One screw and voila, instant happiness for me. My pint ice tea glass fits perfectly.

*Gunnels are the top edge of the hull. "Over the gunnels" is a bad thing as you're getting water in your boat. 

Now I know the sun will deteriorate the plastic and this will be an ongoing repair process. Fortunately it is a simple one. From start to finish the job was completed in about a half hour. That works for me.

Best of all, the next cup replacement shouldn't take more than about ten minutes as I've already got the hardware and plan in place.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the Cup-holder Repair page.

Categories: Boat Talk, Gear, Locations, Pets, Wild Things,


Announcement: I did start a few months ago emailing notices to readers when new articles go up. 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.

My Cruising Kitty earns money each time you buy on Amazon through my links. It costs you nothing and helps supplement my cruising funds. I appreciate it so much when you click through my site's Amazon links. It really does help keep me afloat.

Thank you.


Pet of the Week: Sid
aboard M/V Lefty

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 4 pounds 3 ounces.

Coming soon ...

VHF aboard Seaweed

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:

  • Parrot or a macaw

  • Electric food dehydrator

  • Any picture of boats underway or at anchor

Size: a minimum of 1000 pixels across please. If that doesn't make sense think bigger versus resized for emailing -- I'd 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!

My email address is janice@janice142.com

23' Schucker mini-trawler, circa 1983.

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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