Home   |   The Boat   |   First Mate   |   Admiral   |   Guestbook

Thanks for visiting my site. I have had 5,728,935 hits since 29 August 2013. Wow, and thank you!!!ack

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: 22 June 2022. Seaweed is too Hot (Mistakes were Made, Part 1)


This became a series detailing the nightmare upgrade to a plug-and-play air-conditioning system aboard Seaweed. I would love to be able to tell you how well it went, explaining how smart I was, and the debacles I avoided. Alas, that's not what happened. Details follow.

 This is Part 1 of the Mistakes were Made series.

For folks that prefer to have all details
on one page, this is the link you want:
AC Install from Hades (Mistakes
 were Made, complete series)

Last summer I had saved enough money to upgrade my air-conditioning system from a 5000 btu wall-banger to a much larger RV unit. Then I came into the difficulties of finding the one I wanted due to supply side interruptions. Finally on 17 September 2021 I was able purchase the Penguin II with heat pump made by Dometic.

As noted in the comments of the Adding Renogy and Upgrading Solar Regulator (#4 in series) article, on 16 Oct '21 The newest ac arrived (Dometic Penguin II 15k btu with heat pump for an rv) deep breath!!! This will work off a Honda2200eu (soft start to be installed in ac unit) however now I am looking into starters for the Honda. As you know, any addition to a boat brings complications.

Covering a generator is always a good idea.

Side Note re using a Honda2k to start my Air Conditioner when at anchor: I do not own one, yet. The problem is, unless the Honda has been running and is warm, I am unable to start the 2000 model. If the generator has been running, I can restart it like an expert. Let the unit be cold and nothing I do works. This is the main reason why I opted for a Yamaha1000 portable generator.

Smaller engine equals lower
 compression which translates
to something I can start.


If you are like me and not quite as physically strong as you once were, consider a smaller generator IF it will provide enough power for your needs OR get a generator with a built-in starter. I opted for a Yamaha because this brand of generators has a fuel shut off valve. I turn off the (ethanol free) gas feed and four minutes later the unit sputters to a stop with the carburetor empty of fuel.


But I digress...
The original 5000btu wall-banger worked. In the dead of summer with 90-plus degree temperatures (32 Celsius) the heat was too much for my small air-conditioner. Seaweed has a lot of windows and those provide a perfect greenhouse effect, heating the interior. Additionally, as I get older heat bothers me more.

Seaweed has a lot of windows.
This photo is from 10-plus years ago.

The pilothouse and galley are surrounded by windows that let in sun. This is a perfect recipe for a sweltering boat interior.


The solution for that greenhouse effect combined with an inadequate ac unit was a simple shower curtain. A fabric curtain closed off my pilothouse. This allowed my 5000btu Haier air conditioner to cool just the galley on the hottest days of summer.


Small 3/8" #4 screws hold the shower curtain when needed.

Side Note: Years ago I purchased 100 small 3/8" long size #4 screws. It is amazing how often I have pulled out that jar of stainless screws.

Further details on ways to cool your home can be found in the Tips for Cooling the Boat article.


Eventually I came to accept that while at a dock I wanted a bigger/better air conditioner. That is when I turned to my readers and friends for advice. The 13.5k BTU Dometic Penguin II unit with a heat pump was recommended. The specs looked more than adequate for my Seaweed.

Thus began my quest for a new spiffy rooftop air conditioner for Seaweed. More details follow in the next article. Thank you for reading.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the Seaweed is too Hot (Mistakes were Made, Part 1) page.

Categories:  Comfort, 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: James
on M/V Bottom Feeder

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.


Copyright Janice Marois  |  Home  |  Archive  |  Topics  |  Boat List  |  Site Map  |  Email Me  |