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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!


Yes, we are still trying to get Comments to work properly. In the meantime I welcome email comments. Email me at comments@janice142.com and I will add them manually. Thanks too. I appreciate your patience while *we tweak things. J.

That's the royal "we" meaning KEN on Sparrow!

Sparrow, a 40'
Rhodes Bounty2

Date: 9 January 2017. Dish Towels.


Boating often seems to be a series of getting wonderful things, then hunting for a perfect place to put them. This is an ongoing issue aboard Seaweed for certain. Clutter and chaos interfere with my sense of calm. The latest storage problem was regarding towels. The newest two are great, but where to put them?!?

Cramming stuff into a locker is not for me. I need my home to be organized. She should be neat and tidy. And most important of all, I MUST be able to get underway for an impromptu cruise within minutes of making the decision.

My friend Cheryl gave me some pretty dish towels for the galley. I love them. Before the refrigerator and microwave installation, I had a stove in the corner. It had a rail so I could display pretty towels.

I decorated for each season and holiday via $1 dish towels. The problem was that after the demise of my stove I had no place to hang dish towels.

Side Note on the stove: There was nothing wrong with it. The new refrigerator fit best where the stove was. Thus I gave the stove to my friend Ken. He'll pass it along to someone in the boatyard. I opted for single burners such as campers use when hiking.

This is not ideal. It does work and that's what counts. At some point I'll figure out how to have a removable stove that is easy to mount on my locker front by the sink. Ken has something similar on Sparrow for his spare burner. I rather like his set up.

This is Ken's Sparrow. From bow to stern
we are: BOB, HIPPY PAUL, KEN and ME.


The thing about boating you'll notice is that none of us "know it all" ... instead we borrow regularly from our friends. I see something spiffy that I like on another boat. Next I either duplicate it aboard Seaweed or tweak it to fit my boat/my circumstances.

There is a sharing out here that does wonders for the heart. I love the camaraderie found in the boating world. Making friends is one of the best parts of life afloat.


The stove was replaced by my
refrigerator and a microwave oven.


Now I have no place to display/hang for drying dish towels. Worse yet, the towels I use to tidy up the galley no longer have a home. I needed to find a solution for that problem.


As each holiday came 'round I found joy in decorating via a new dish towel. I'd buy something festive for a dollar or two. Then Kidlet gave me this towel:

I created a spiffy hanger for the Livin' the Dream towel. That project is described in the
Making a Towel Rack article.

One problem I constantly battle is clutter. I want my home to be interesting visually and not too cluttered. Aesthetics mean a lot to me. My Seaweed isn't the biggest boat. By having a minimal of stuff displayed she seems more spacious than she really is.

But I digress. That's a habit my good friends will confirm.

You see Island Time's Cheryl gave me a two small towels with embroidered nautical motifs. They are nifty. The white one has a lobster and the peach towel has a seahorse on it. Seahorses have a special meaning to me. I mentioned that briefly in the
Personalizing Your Home article.

The size for these two is perfect. I need to have small towels easy to access. Additionally I want to be able to put them out of sight. Without the towel bar that is a necessity. With a small home keeping the boat from looking cluttered is important.


Though I have many items that are visually interesting, displaying fewer is better.


That was brought home to me when Kidlet got married. Have you ever asked someone if they want to see pictures of a wedding?!?  People do a crab walk to escape the anticipated trauma. Then pull out five or six photos and hand them to the individual. Boom.

Suddenly folks look. They really see the pictures because they are not overwhelmed by the quantity presented to them.


It is the same aboard Seaweed.
A little goes a long way.


Displaying too many towels would add to the visual distraction. I wanted to hang them though so if damp the towels would dry. That's when I remembered the loops I had added to my sunshade fabric. That article is titled
Hoops and Loops. The same process would work for the Cheryl towels.

I got out my needle and thread. Sewing on a loop at one corner of each towel was easy. They were done in a jiffy. Next I added a hook to hang them from. Voila: done.

Of course I could have dug around and found matching thread. I went with Easy this time. Blue was in the needle and so I used it. Frankly with my eyes such as they are it is far easier to use contrasting thread colors. This does not have to be showroom spectacular.

Not every job has to be perfectly executed. One ring is on each towel at the corner. The loops have survived multiple trips through the washing machine. I'm satisfied.

Good Enough and done is far
better that waiting for perfection.

This is Cheryl in Marathon. You never
quite know where a cruiser will be next week.


Some day I might have too much time on my hands and opt to fancy up the rings. For now though I'm simply happy to have a pair of pretty little towels just the right size for cleanups in the galley. Thanks Cheryl!

Comments welcome and encouraged on the Dish Towels page.

Categories: Boats, Characters, Galley, Locations, Vignettes,


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: Shy Anne
aboard M/V Bucket List

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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