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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.

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!

Please remember to use my links provided at the top left corner of every page. Those purchases cost you nothing and do help me.

Date: 28 February 2020. Microgreens Shelves Installed (part 4)



This became a multi-part series about growing microgreens aboard Seaweed. Now that my Victory Garden is growing nicely, I needed a way to store said plants. Today I explain the installation, issues I had, and how I solved them.

For those that prefer everything on
one page, this is the link you want:
Microgreens Aboard Seaweed (series)

An overview/printable is located here: 
Microgreens Summary for Success
(cheat sheet/outline)

or, with no photographs, here:
Microgreens Summary for Success
(without pictures)


I have had so much fun creating my Victory Garden aboard Seaweed. Knowing I will no longer have to forego fresh salads while tucked away in a remote anchorage gives me a feeling of relief. A permanent place to store them out of the way yet easily accessible was needed. I opted for a $40 solution. Here is how I built my nifty new shelves.

Deciding where I wanted to store the soap dishes took more time than the actual staining, varnishing and construction. This is normal for most boat projects. The planning stage is generally longer than actual implementation.

I opted for two shelves, above the aft window by my dinette.

Because this is a permanent improvement I chose first-rate top quality parts. My soap dishes are 3" by 5", thus I selected a piece of oak three inches wide. I did not want the shelves to protrude too far. I purchased two 3" x 36" by 3/8" thick planks of oak, an 8' length of wood that looks like 3-strand rope, plus 4 L-brackets to hold up the shelves.

Fortunately I had both stain
and varnish to finish the wood.

I stained the "rope" mahogany and varnished both
the oak and the rope for a shiny waterproof finish.

One of my L-brackets was DAMAGED
so I decided to exchange them for larger ones.


The exchange necessitated another trip to Home Depot. I did not check the package before leaving the store. Plus, I should have initially bought longer L-brackets. These originals did not extend far enough to fully support the new shelves.

The new L-brackets were secured to
the teak frame of my back window.

I needed a short screw driver in order
to screw into the shelving from below.

Thankfully a while back I had spent $10 at
Walmart on a ratchet kit with a stubby driver.


Having the correct tool is a matter of time. Eventually most boaters end up with an extensive tool armory. I have far more than I owned originally and am glad for it. As I am able I buy more, mostly used if at all possible.

Because the wooden shelves would go atop the
stainless steel L-brackets, I wanted a cushion.

Vibration is a real issue on a boat.
I don't particularly care for rattles.

Eons ago I took apart one of those seat cushions that used to be legal as a floatation device in Algae. Rules changed and mine was no longer usable. Like our standard life preservers, once the cover is torn it no longer counts as a safety device.

I cut apart the cushion to see what was inside. Two squares of 1/8" thick rubbery stuff was in there. Since then I've used that rubber time and again.

One use is detailed in the Red Fish, Green Fish (visual clues) article.

This is a piece of the flexible
rubber I used in the shelf project:

With scissors I cut pieces of the rubber to sit atop the stainless steel shelf support. Using my lantern and a *pokey stick I made holes in the rubber where the screws would secure the L-bracket to the wooden shelf. In retrospect, I probably should have also added some rubber to where the bracket attaches to the window frame...

*Pokey Stick is what my family called a sharp object that can be make a hole through or into wood. We would sharpen the remnants of used welding rods. Nowadays folks buy awls, however we made our own.


The bottom of top shelf is slightly above the top
of the window. Outbound the overhead curves.

Because of the curvature, that top shelf has the
 smallest microgreen plants. That's my starter area.

Before installation, I tested/checked that the shelves would fit properly. I verified that a person sitting at the dinette would not bang their head. I also had to relocate my Hella fan down a few inches. Every project has complications. Fortunately this time none were too onerous.

The second shelf L-brackets were installed 4" down from the top.

Because the window slides I had to nudge out
that bottom shelf just a smidge so it could open easily.

The stubby ratchet from Walmart was utilized
to secure the shelving in place permanently.

The rubber layer between the stainless steel
L-bracket and the wooden shelf will prevent rattles.

The rope trim is slightly above the top of each shelf. That is to prevent the soap dishes from sliding off easily. Of course in a rough sea, or if waked badly my plants will fall down. This is only good at a dock.

I secured the wood rope trim to the edges of the shelves
 with an adhesive. I've forgotten which one I used.

My Hella fan was relocated to just below the bottom
 shelf support. The rope trim is only on the two sides that show.


Thus far I have not worked out what sort of fiddle system to use as a more permanent solution to the microgreen containers sliding. I suspect I will be utilizing the old valance/curtain rod and a net of some sort.

Testing the first row of microgreens on my new shelves:


I admit to being inordinately
pleased with my gardening efforts.

Fully utilized, these shelves allow me to have a
small scale microgreens garden aboard Seaweed.


Truly this whole experience has been eye-opening. I have worked out the kinks and believe that anyone can have success if you do as I say. For those interested in pursuing this endeavor further, I've created a couple of pages that you may find useful.

An overview/printable is located here:  Microgreens
Summary for Success (cheat sheet)

or, without photographs, here:
Summary for Success (no pictures)


If you have any questions, just ask.
My email address is janice@janice142.com

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your indulgence as I shared my joy and celebrated the success of my own Victory Garden this month

Comments welcome and encouraged on the
Microgreens Shelves Installed (part 4) page.

Categories: Galley, Gear, In the Bilges, Money, Organizing,


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: Sid
on M/V Impulse

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 next ...


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

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!

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