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The Frugal Mariner
Saltwater Suzi and Cap'n Larry's "Boating on a Budget"
How to's, Information, Education & Fun Stuff about Boats, Sailboats, and Cruising
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There's a lot to learn about boating - but it's all worth it when you pull your dinghy ashore on a tropical island!
If you are interested in boating, The Frugal Mariner has something for you. Whether you are a new boater, an experienced boater, a weekend boater or a full-time cruiser, there is information here you can use.
How to find what you're looking for ? The menu portholes at the top of each page might be the easiest way. Or you could go to our Quick Index.
Or if you have a little time, you could peruse the photos below and read the captions next to them and click on whatever interests you.
Saltwater Suzi and Captain Larry, the authors of the Frugal Mariner have lived aboard for 15 years and cruised many thousands of miles. No, we haven't gone around the world, we never had that much ambition, but we've traveled all over the Chesapeake, up and down the east coast of the U.S., all the way to the Florida Keys, and twice to the Bahamas.
We have learned much along the way. We have both worked in the boating industry and learned quite a bit there, too.
And we are here to tell you about some of the things that we have learned.
If you've never been on a boat before, it is probably best to start either on someone else's boat, or a little boat. On someone else's boat, you have the benefit of his experience. On a little boat, you find out your mistakes quickly - because they respond quickly.
Here's a good place to start:
Your First Time on a Boat or maybe you just bought your first boat and don't even know what you don't know. Don't feel embarrassed, we were all there once: Your First Boat. And once you get your first boat, you'll need to Name her, or change her name, and then you'll need to perform a de-naming and re-naming ceremony - to avoid the wrath of the gods.
Traveling by boat, whether in the islands, or
on the little lake that's just a few miles from
your home you will see so many beautiful
scenes that you'll never see traveling at 65
miles per hour on the freeway.
It's worth doing, but like anything worth
doing, there's a learning curve associated
Here's where to get started: Boater
When you're out traveling on your boat, don't forget to take your camera with you. You never know when scenes like this will jump up in front of you.This is a replica of the Famous Schooner Amistad.
If you're interested in the old ships, take a look here: Boat and Ship Rigs
One of our biggest pleasures while out cruising, or just dropping anchor near our slip is that we get to see sights like these which landlubbers never get to see. Several things you need to learn before you get to do this though:
How to Anchor your Boat
Anchoring to avoid that Rock and Roll
Like I said, always remember to take your camera with you. When you wake up after a pleasant night at anchor and are greeted with morning light like this on a beautiful scene, you'll want to remember it. We've put a few photos that we have taken on Calendars. You may want to take a look at some of our Nautical Photography, too.
If you live near the water, you may have encountered opening bridges and been part of the lines of cars all on their way to work who have to wait what seems like forever while a line of boats travels ever so slowly beneath you. You may not realize it, but the boats often have to wait, too.
This is one instance where you need to know how to operate your
Sooner or later, all of us who are boaters
stopped gazing out at the ocean, bought a
boat and cast off. We, at one time, all had the
maybe you are dreaming about it, too.
Maybe, while you're dreaming, you'd like to
read a little
Weather is always something to be concerned about on a boat. And that, of course gets you to worrying about Lightning. Bad weather always brings with it wind and waves so you'll want to know, too about the Beaufort Scale.
There is a lot more to Cruising on your boat than just going out for a weekend, or even a week. When you take the docklines with you, you are making a commitment and you have many decisions to make. Do you take your pet with you? A couple of our friends answered that and contributed these two articles:
Cruising with a Cat
Cruising with a Dog
Last, but not least, if you are looking for a good cruising boat at a real good price, a friend of ours has his
1981 Young Sun 35 for sale - $19,900 - Check it out.
These next two photos were taken in the Bahamas. There are few things more enjoyable than dolphins playing in your bow wave on a sunny day in crystal clear water. But you have to get there, and do it on your own boat. You won't see this from a cruise ship. Getting there isn't difficult, it just takes a little time. Here's how to save a little of that time while
Crossing the Gulf Stream.
When you start your serious offshore cruising, don't forget to file a
The guy on this little home built knew how to sail on a limited budget.
You'll probably have budget considerations, too. You won't be working, so you'll have no income. Unless you are wealthy you'll have to learn about
Cruising on A Budget.
The real ICW - the Intra Coastal Waterway -starts in Norfolk - Mile One. You will see many intimidating views like this as you start down the ICW. You may have heard bad things about the ICW; bridges, locks, currents, running aground in shallows.
Unless you're a Type A personality whose only goal is to get to the other end as fast as possible, the ICW doesn't have to be intimidating - it can be very scenic and enjoyable. Here are some tips on
Traveling on the ICW
Dinghies or Tenders, as some call them, can do more than just get you from your boat to the shore. We learned the hard way how to tow our boat with our dinghy when the engine overheated on a windless day. Here's
How to Tow your Boat with your Dinghy.
This is one of the Famous Chesapeake Log Canoes. They're mostly 30 to 40 feet long, and about five feet on the beam. And they have notoriously too much sail. As you can see from this photo, the crew climbs out on lee boards to keep the boat upright while racing. Coming about, they have to time it to scramble down inside the boat, move the boards from one side to the other, and scramble back out. Sometimes they make it. Meanwhile, the helmsman cannot really see because of all of this activity and because the sail is so close to the deck. So to compensate for this, there is an additional crew member on a swivel seat off the stern of the boat who is the eyes for the helmsman. It is insane. And crazy fun to watch. If you are in Maryland, and the Log Canoe races are going on, it's worth the trip to St. Michaels to see them.
That reminds me - here's a page on
Insuring Your Boat
We at Frugal Mariner like Lighthouses. We never miss a chance to visit one. And we take pictures of them. And you can see some of them on our Lighthouse Page.
That may be too much fun for you to have all at once so maybe you should also visit a more serious page:
Here's a page on How to Care for Boat Canvas.
If you are unlucky enough to have to live on your boat in the winter, here's a page on
How to Insulate your Boat.
And in the winter, if you're in a tidal area you'll need to know
How to Tie your Boat in a Slip.
Here we are on Kanau, our Morgan Out Island 41 on the Bahama banks headed from West End on Grand Bahama Island to Sale Cay. This was in 1997, and we were learning then. Now, fifteen years later, we have learned much and would like to share what we have learned with you.
And if these photos have given you an itch to get out there on the water, but you can't think of a good excuse to tell the boss, we've got
366 Excuses Reasons to go Sailing - one for each day of the year.
Something new: for a couple of years we've had a comment section at the bottom of many pages. It was kind of lame, because the reply to the comment was above the comment being replied to. We've recently replaced that with something I'm sure you'll find to be better.
So if you have questions or comments, or can help someone who has asked a question, please jump right in to the conversation.