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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: 20 November 2022. Dawn Detergent.


Recently I have been watching YouTube videos on my nifty tablet. The ads are annoying. Various Dawn products are being promoted heavily, power-wash and foaming cleanser to name two. I have been using Dawn dish detergent in many ways. Today I will show you how to easily create my most utilized cleaner. Best of all, this is both cheap and simple.

Please purchase Dawn Platinum dishwashing liquid. Platinum
is a highly concentrated version of the everyday Dawn dish soap.

When living aboard a boat, storage space is limited and thus valuable. One thing I do to solve this issue is purchase condensed products. Dawn Platinum is the most concentrated Dawn currently available. It is four times as powerful as the regular Dawn. I willingly spend my perfectly good money on Dawn Platinum 4x and urge you do the same.

Both Dawn and Joy dish detergents will suds-up in salt water. That is why they are so popular among boaters. Our family swore by Dawn. Bruce Van Sant (author of The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South and Tricks of the Trades) was an advocate of Joy.

Dawn at anchor in remote areas is lovely. In out of the way places fresh
water is usually in short supply. Wasting fresh water simply is not done.

When fresh water is in limited supply old timers used to wash dishes in salt water. We used either Joy or Dawn dish detergent. After the dishes were clean, a quick rinse with fresh water was done.

Go to the Dollar Tree store. That place carries several types of spray
containers. THIS ↓ 16 ounce spray bottle is the one you should buy:

These bottles are available in blue, clear, pale pink and soft grey.

At Dollar Tree I have seen four different sprayers for sale. You want the specific one shown above. It is 8" (20cm) tall and holds one pint of fluid.

Why I am particular about the sprayer: A larger one found over by the mops in Dollar Tree holds a quart of liquid. That one has a trigger that snaps off. The shorter fat sprayer has a black nozzle that leaks. There is also an aluminum one however I like seeing what is inside my bottle. Thus, I recommend these particular sprayers shown above.

Any bottle with a Spray setting will work at least until it breaks!

Like all sprayers, the bottles have four settings: Off, Spray, Off and Stream. Please set yours to Spray. These setting marks are difficult to see. They are in raised text on the end of the nozzle where the fluid comes out.

ADD 1/2" (15mm) ↓ of Dawn Platinum to the spray bottle. Because
this is a concentrated detergent, you do not need much. TRUST ME!

One half inch (15mm) of Dawn Platinum really is
enough. I PROMISE! In this case, more is not better.


Now FILL ↓ SLOWLY the sprayer to the top with water. Adding water too
quickly will result in bubbles everywhere. Do not ask me how I know that.

Voila. You are almost done. Get out a permanent marker and write DAWN along of the top edge of the nozzle so you won't forget what potion you have made. Also be sure to shake your bottle a few times so that the detergent mixes in with the water.

Now you might be wondering what you will do with
your handy-dandy Dawn sprayer. Here are some
of the ways I have found to utilize my spray bottles.

I rinse then spray my pans and plates after eating. This spray begins the
process of loosening food particles. Washing up later becomes a breeze.

This is my favorite Christmas plate. The yellow is supposed to be there. Made in Bavaria, the plate is old and in my opinion beautiful. Dawn helps keep this plate clean.

I am fortunate enough to have a watermaker thanks to a reader. Thank you again Cap'n. You made a huge difference in my life aboard Seaweed.

The brine from my watermaker discharges into the sink down below in my head. After making water I like to wash out that sink. A quick Dawn spray followed by a thorough rinse keeps the sink clean.

The brine from the watermaker exits via the white PVC apparatus.
Most folks use a thru-hull fitting above the waterline.
I prefer this set-up because it is simple and serves the purpose.

Out back, the night herons necessitate the need for a spray to clean up
after then do unspeakable things in my cockpit. I keep one spray bottle
inside my starboard side locker in the cockpit for bird poop removal.

This is my Buddy. He is the reason a Dawn sprayer is in the cockpit.

When the solar panels get dirty or dusty, a spray of Dawn helps loosen
the the grime. Then a quick rinse with fresh water and all is well again.

I have the hardest time eating spaghetti neatly. Most of the time I get a drip on my shirt. When I later take off the shirt I will spray the sauce stain with my Dawn concoction. Dawn lifts oils so this pre-wash treatment helps prevent permanent stains.

Most of us have seen videos of ducklings covered in oil being cleaned using Dawn. The same principal is involved here. Dawn is an amazing grease cutter!

My galley sink seems to be a magnet for grease. When washing dishes
 the Dawn spray uses less soap. It also spreads the soapy goodness further.

I give a couple of squirts to my sponge when I am washing dishes.
In the galley I use the sprayer instead of bar soap for washing my hands.

When working in the bilge I use a combination of the Dawn spray and hand sanitizer to remove icky stuff from my hands and body. A rag will wipe off the grime that Dawn and hand sanitizer has loosened.

Old shirts are cut into pieces to create disposable work rags.

Using what I have on hand like old shirts as work rags means
I am not spending perfectly good money to buy paper towels.

Summary: Purchase Dawn  Platinum and a spray bottle. Then add a VERY small bit of the concentrated dish detergent to the container. Fill to top with water. Set the nozzle to Spray, not stream. Now when you need to cut grease, remove a stain from clothes, clean grime, presoak dishes, scrub your sink, wash your hands, and loosen oil during those unfortunate bilge projects, a refillable spray container is available.

I initially had just one sprayer and kept down in my head with
the other cleaners. Now I have three scattered about Seaweed.


This project may seem silly. I promise that if you try using Dawn in a spray bottle you will be pleased. At this point I have one bottle in my head, another out back in a cockpit locker, and a third in the galley. For me, having tools where I need them translates to projects being done.

When I had only one sprayer and had to go down into the head I would not always do so. I usually regretted this choice. Items would be harder to clean because I had waited. I would like to believe I am a lot smarter (or more efficient) now with extra spray bottles right where I need them.

Thank you for being a part of my world. Thanks too for reading.  

Comments welcome and encouraged on the Dawn Detergent page.

Categories: Books, Characters, Galley, Gear, Money, Unmentionables, Wild Things,


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: Murphy
on M/V AndyMac

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!

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