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Old 29-11-2011, 15:09   #1
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Doing Laundry

Dear esteemed forum members,
I live aboard my FP Cat (40ft) for over 2,5 years and things are great. I would like to save money on my laundry bill. Right now i am using laundromat where ever i can find them, but in the region where i am, it is actualy quiet expensive (aprox 25 Us$ per load/box (washing and drying).
The other day i visited a neighbouring monohull (an Amel 54 ! wow) and the owner (also live aboard) had the luxury of a dryer and a washing machine... I thought.. i need to get a washing machine (dont care for the dryer..). Does any of you have any experience with an onboard washing machine? Brand name? Power and water consumption? Must be a small size thing i guess... Anyway, any info and experiences are welcome.
Thanks and best rgds
Pieter Kommerij
SV Onda Boa
Brazil
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Old 29-11-2011, 15:53   #2
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Re: Doing Laundry

We had one when we lived aboard in NY on our 51'. It is truly luxury. Forget the brand. I suspect they are all made by the same company regardless of branding.

It took about 20 gallons for the cycle. During the winter (when water was turned off) we would do two loads while we filled the tanks. We also cruised through much of the Carib. with it and again, it was a luxury to not need to dinghy laundry ashore. We did have a sizable watermaker however.

They are big heavy beasts and I can't imagine how I would have gotten it in or out of the boat. They are Ac powered. Blower motors for the dryer are notorious for failing.

If you have room, a strong back, money and lots of water enjoy the good life.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 29-11-2011, 16:51   #3
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Re: Doing Laundry

We have one on the boat and are not liveabords but so far where we have been it is easier to wash clothes at a laudromat. Mexico was really inexpensive and Canada wasn't too bad. If they don't get used they cause problems because the sensors gett clogged and don't work. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 29-11-2011, 17:38   #4
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Re: Doing Laundry

Thanks John,

I guess i will have to think this over again... it is obvious that this luxury comes at the cost of water and energy (and weight).. i mean, no idea where to fit it.. Anwyay, thanks for yr comments.
Best rgds
Pieter
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Old 29-11-2011, 17:46   #5
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Re: Doing Laundry

Thanks Charlie for yr comments.
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Old 29-11-2011, 17:46   #6
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Re: Doing Laundry

I haven't gotten "out there" like you'all have, but I've wondered about this:

Portable Washing Machine

Has anyone tried this, and does it work?
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Old 29-11-2011, 18:04   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggray
I haven't gotten "out there" like you'all have, but I've wondered about this:

Portable Washing Machine

Has anyone tried this, and does it work?
I doubt it.

The text says - put hot water in. Seal the lid. The heat from the water will expand the remaining air. The pressure will increase. The increased pressure will force the soapy water through the fibers of the cloth and take out the dirt.

The problem here is to make the water/soap flow there needs to be a pressure differential. The way it is described the pressure would be equal throughout the tub and the concept won't work. About as good as soaking in a bucket -IMO

In regards to laundry. I wear two or three sets of "dry fit" or "dry tech" type clothes. I wash one set in a bucket of sea water and rinse in a bucket of fresh. They dry on the rail in about 10 minutes.

Of course this is warm climate strategy. To heck with cold weather...

A washing machine is pure luxury and of course it would be nice to have one. Naturally it comes after a pretty serious water maker...
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Old 30-11-2011, 05:27   #8
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Re: Doing Laundry

We have, and used, the portable washing machine, and a small, old fashioned roller squeezer. 1) The "machine" works pretty much as well as the manufacturer claims, and better than a bucket. 2) It doesn't use much water. 3) It washes so few clothes at a time that a laundromat almost always makes more sense. Pro: Although tedious, you can get all your laundry done "under way" and have more time for other activities at port. Con: You miss the experience, the information, and the local color you can only get at a laundromat.
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Old 30-11-2011, 07:47   #9
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Re: Doing Laundry

Get one of those rectangular buckets,sold everywhere (size 12 foot fits easily)add clothes , soap, and water,agitate with bare foot in up and down motion.I was taught this trick by out island women where no electricity available. I always wondered how the school kids in 3rd. world countries could look so sharp in way to their school . Do not use much soap ,or better may be ammonia since it will evaporate and thus cut down on rinsing cycles and water. Some advocate adding fabric softener at end. As low tech as you can get ;no moving parts , stows easily ,and you already have all you need on board now.
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Old 30-11-2011, 08:16   #10
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Re: Doing Laundry

Judging from the boat shows, most boat builders put regular household washer/dryers, but with or slim or thin profile. I've seen Bosch, Smeg, Electrolux, Samsung, and nnumerous others (forgot which ones).

Most newer washing machines consume much less energy and water, especially "eco" ones with smaller loads. It might be worth it going to a shop or two and checking several...
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Old 30-11-2011, 09:00   #11
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Re: Doing Laundry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
. Right now i am using laundromat where ever i can find them, but in the region where i am, it is actualy quiet expensive (aprox 25 Us$ per load/box (washing and drying).
We found that taking the laundry to a "flap and fold" place where they do it for you we were not spending significantly more than we would have spent doing our own wash at a laundromat. Take everything in on Monday, pick it up on Tuesday, and you're set!
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Old 30-11-2011, 09:19   #12
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Re: Doing Laundry

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggray View Post
I haven't gotten "out there" like you'all have, but I've wondered about this:

Portable Washing Machine

Has anyone tried this, and does it work?
While I was in NY I purchased one of these because I was tired of paying $5 a load to wash and dry my clothes. I was a bit skeptical, but figured for $40 it was worth a try. I used it for about a year and have to say that I was impressed. I washed most of my clothes in warm/hot water. When you connect the draining hose after about 1-2 minutes of spinning there was enough pressure in the case to shoot the soapy water out with a surprising amount of high pressure. Even when I washed my fiances delicate with cold water their was enough pressure inside to be noticeable. We don't uses the Wonder Wash too much anymore, because we have a new W/D. I am saving it for when we go off cruising. I will also add that when I first bought it I was stunned and partially disgusted when the Wonder Wash removed a lot of stains that my apartment and my school's w/d left behind.

Pros:
Cheap
Uses little soap and water
Laundry is more of an adventure
Works better than the washers I had available
Easy to stow

Cons:
No spin cycle= long time to dry
Laundry is more of an adventure
It would take me 1-2 hours to wash a week worth of cloths for 2
Sheets and towels have to be done one at a time
No comforters
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Old 30-11-2011, 09:24   #13
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Re: Doing Laundry

I have a combination washer/dryer on board - a Eumenia/Eudoria Sparmeister something.

It is a Godsend. The boat was designed with a place for it and it was installed in the original build. It lives under a pilot berth in the passageway between the main salon and the aft sleeping cabin. It transforms life on board to have a washing machine -- on longish cruises on previous boats dealing somehow with dirty clothes was always one of the main hassles distracting from the joy of cruising, and the less civilized the place the worse the hassle.

However, our setup has several big disadvantages:

1. The dryer is not vented to the outside. It vents directly into the interior of the boat. There is a porthole in that passageway, but all that moisture and resulting condensation is a PITA. The heat would be a PITA if we were in a warmer climate.

So you should be sure to vent any dryer you install.

2. The load is too small -- I think 4kg to wash and theoretically even less to dry. To do all the linens on board after guests takes endless, endless cycles (and generator time if I'm not on shore power), especially since the same device is used to wash AND dry.

3. The cycles are incredibly long. It can take a good three hours or even more to wash and dry a single small load.

4. It seems to use a vast amount of water, noticeable even with my 1000 liter water tankage.


So -- I would mind those points if you buy one yourself. I reckon the more modern washer/dryers probably use less water and take less time -- and maybe possible to find one with a bigger wash load.


P.S. Don't be tempted to buy a washer without drying function. The dryer is incredible useful - and not just for drying just-washed clothes.
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Old 30-11-2011, 09:41   #14
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Re: Doing Laundry

I'm going to second mrohr. If you haven't tried it you may be surprised how well a plain old plastic bucket/container works. Time can be substituted for agitation. Just let the clothes soak for the day, then rinse. If you're at anchor or underway you've got plenty of agitation automatically. Simple, cheap, and it works.
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Old 30-11-2011, 10:09   #15
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Re: Doing Laundry

We plan to purchase a washer only (Haier HLP21N top loading) as we would rather save the energy of having a dryer and not have the extra humidity in the boat. Of course, if we were back in the northern climates a dryer would be nice to dry laundry. Yes, laundry is reasonable (in some places), but usually not available when you want/need something washed. And, most importantly, I have to keep the Admiral/Laundry Goddess happy.

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