Date: 18 July 2017. Small Powerboat
My website has opened me up to new friendships near and far. I
post and folks read. Over 3 million so far! That total is beyond
amazing to me. I
truly am blessed to lead this life. What is even better is when I
discover someone mentioning me in an online forum. A fellow boater named Sea Dreaming on
Cruiser's Forum said this: CF member janice142 has a blog
about life aboard a trawler. Very charming! I admit I
puffed up a notch at that.
That someone I never met reads my
site is beyond cool. This is a sort of legacy few of my
generation are privileged to enjoy. Often there is the feeling of
being invisible once past the half century mark. I seem have escaped
that via my website. I am so grateful folks read my stuff. Gosh
though, I wish I was as smart as my Daddy was...
Just last year I met Janice and
Marty ↓ at the
St. Pete Boat
Show. They recognized me and said hello.
It was wonderful to meet them. They are nice folks!
I'm not sure what was scarier: #1) That the photos
are current so I really do look like that
or, #2) That it is only going to get worse from here on out. The
calendar is not my friend!
I don't now about you, but when I
look in the mirror I see a much younger and thinner redhead.
Correction: It was in 2015 I met
Janice and Marty.
Time surely slips by quickly doesn't it?!?
But I digress...
A woman named Keri was
seeking advice regarding a life in paradise aboard a sailboat. That is something I
can well understand. I wanted that too. We all want our nirvana.
Mine's aboard Seaweed. This is my advice to those wondering if
boating would work in your circumstances.
Having a boatload of money is not required.
It's helpful no doubt to have a larger pot of gold.
More money equals more choices.
For those considering a sailboat, I shall be so bold as to suggest a power
boat (small!) might be an alternative worth considering. You'll be afloat and the view
The same sights are seen from the
aft deck of my 23'er as from the mega-million dollar yacht nearby.
Frankly my view is probably better because I can anchor closer to
A dolphin is swimming just off the transom of
As for learning about this life on a limited
budget, I do believe you'll find value perusing the rest of my website. I'm doing it
and enjoying life so much more than any could imagine. It's been 9 years on this boat.
She's almost perfect except for the stuff that is broken, needs
upgrading or tweaking.
There is always something that
draws my attention. More time is spent diagnosing and figuring out
what is wrong than in the actual fix. I like the mental challenge,
most of the time.
Also, it is wonderful to have a
cadre of friends to call for advice when things are going belly up.
Cheryl and I went to lunch when we were
with our boats. That was fun.
other boaters offers perspective. My problem of the moment is not
the only occurrence of its kind. Another boater has had a similar
event. They know how it was solved. Sharing our triumphs is good. I
know I appreciate the guidance when I'm going off course. I tend to look for the complicated solution when there is
something easy I could and should try first.
Staying in touch is critical. How I do that is described in the
Lonely No More
article. If you only telephone when you want something folks will
duck (avoid) your calls.
A simple "I was just thinking
about you and wondered how you are doing" phone call can reestablish
relationships that have faded. I recommend it.
Contact is important too for sanity's sake. I remember one Christmas
where I saw not a living soul. No signs of life, no cars driving in
the distance, no boats moving. It was spooky.
Were it not for the cell phone I
have wondered if I had fallen into one of those *TEOTWAWKI scenarios
described in the dystopian novels and by YouTube preppers and
survivalists! That last Christmas in Carrabelle was a pivotal point
in my life. I am grateful I have a boat that will take me out for an
afternoon or weeks at a time. Life is good afloat.
*TEOTWAWKI: The End Of The World
As We Know It, i.e. doomsday or Apocalypse causing societal collapse
Mother used to say:
The ideal boat sleeps two,
feeds four and drinks six.
I believe that to be true. Mine however sleeps
one, feeds two and I don't drink. Finding the right boat is not
easy. Deciding what best suits your intended IMMEDIATE use is
Don't buy a world cruiser until you have spent time living aboard a coastal
boat. Once you know what fits you, selecting your Last Boat will not be
overwhelming. You won't be a novice. That boating experience will save you money
in the long term. Knowing what you can live with along with what
will never work are two items that can make or break this life afloat.
As a woman alone I had a few
items on my checklist that were important to me:
Diesel engine. I bought a boat
with a gasser.
I wanted a place to entertain
where the fellow would not be staring at my bunk. Didn't want anyone
to get any "ideas" you know?
See out. No caves. I wanted to be
able to sit down and look over the anchorage. Watching nature is an
important part of my happiness quotient.
This is my dinette area. I do most of my daytime
Continuing with my list of Must Have's:
No boat will meet all your requirements. You'll be
choosing what will work and making adaptations. I chose an
inadequate boat that did not have all I needed. She had enough, and
in the intervening nine years (I bought her on Pi Day 2008) she's
Chartering a boat similar (ideally identical) to your Dream Boat can
help solidify your opinions about life aboard that model. Boat
layout is important to me. I wanted a galley up. Many wish more
space for entertaining with the galley down below.
Ron of Doodle Bug, formerly Aces &
Kings, enjoys his
go-fast fishing boat. He steers from the fly bridge.
Ron ↑ on the
fly-bridge of his Viking40.
Ron likes running his boat from the fly-bridge. Lots of folks do
like being up where they can watch the waters. That is especially
convenient in areas with coral reefs like the Bahamas. I'm not keen
on being in the sun so prefer a pilothouse for inside steering.
Read more, learn more, ask questions, fine-tune your
plan and then ask for help implementing it. In the meantime visit
YachtWorld for eye
candy. See what appeals to you and what you don't like.
This is the view from my galley sink. I love that
lacy Thames River tablecloth turned into a curtain.
As a trawler owner I wanted my
galley up so I could see out while cooking and washing dishes. This
is also a benefit because of my age. I drink more because it is
convenient to get out a beverage from my reefer aka refrigerator. If
the reefer were down below I don't know that I would "feel like"
going up and down steps just to get something to wet my whistle.
My friend, looking for his Last Boat, wants a
covered cockpit. He calls it his back porch and imagines himself
sitting back there reading his Kindle. Yep, you guessed it: he's
been in my cockpit reading and found it very relaxing.
I've rattled on a bit. This life is possible
however you need to absolutely have the correct boat. I believe for
me (and possibly you too) that a power boat, houseboat or even
shanty-boat might be an option to consider. I love love love my
I can well imagine living out my days aboard
her. She's not fancy. Seaweed is my home, my shelter, my safety and
my happiness. I would not want to live anyplace else.
Good luck to all those seeking their Dream Boat. I hope you find
your happiness and bliss. I have!
"THANK YOU KEN for making
comments work again."
I'll be updating/changing all the rest of the pages
over the next week or three to the new link. He did it. I am
so happy. Thanks Sparrow! You're the best.
Comments welcome and encouraged on
Small Powerboat Option
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
email@example.com and I'll add you. It's free.
*BCC - Blind Carbon Copy. Basically no one but me will have
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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
offers you the title, first paragraph and topics (Categories) covered in
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appreciate it so much when you click through my site's Amazon links. It
really does help keep me afloat.
Pets of the Week: Erin
aka Princess and Thunderfoot
aboard S/V Sparrow
Submit your pet's photo.
Please email pictures of your
More canine, feline and feathered
crew members can be found on the
The First Mate Gallery
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
Click on the title and voila: you're
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.
Making a pattern for an Alternator Bracket
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
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
Do you want to help
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:
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
My email address is