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Old 23-07-2014, 15:39   #1
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Washing Machine Onboard?

We're looking for a liveaboard and are considering whether we want a washer/dryer combo. It seems to me that often a thing sounds good on the surface, but real-life is different. I'm set on having a generator, so that's not an issue. Plus, we're older and we don't want to make this into primitive camping.

What's been your experience? If you have one, do you still use it? Are they delicate and break down easily?

Thanks!
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Old 23-07-2014, 16:16   #2
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

We originally had a Splendide washer/Dryer combo. I was not a fan, it ran forever for each load and the clothes still come out damp so you have to hang them up. Over time we quit using it all together. It was a ventless, vented is better but the run time is still way to long imho.
I kept reading great reviews for this
1.0 Cu. Ft. Portable Washer | HLP21N
So we bought one, it has a setting 23 minutes for a load so you can get a lot done pretty quick. It works great and it's held up fine washing clothes for 3 people going on 3-4 years. We occasionally still go to the laundry mat if we have several large loads to do.
Our splendide timer went out and they wanted $300 for it telling me it was probably the problem.
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Old 23-07-2014, 16:37   #3
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

We had been liveaboards for 10 years before I decided wringing out clothes by hand was such a chore. We investigated front loaders and installed a higher power inverter to run one. The weight issue got me re-thinking and now I have a washing machine designed for the RV market plumbed in to our machine space. (Our starboard aft cabin). Our boat is a Naut 40.

It is a a Lemair. The unit is all plastic so no rust issues, it weighs 17 kilos and takes 25 litres per load. It is cold wash only and if I want hot, I add water from the kettle. The machine spins really well and the clothes are almost dry when taken from the machine. Of course I have to hang them out or put them in our drying room if raining. (The head becomes a drying room with the heater on, vent open and hatch open. This is how we dried clothes in Alaska).

I could replace this machine 3 times for the cost of a front loader but it is still going strong after 8 years aboard.

Cheers Sapient Sue
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Old 23-07-2014, 17:57   #4
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

We put in a Maytag under counter 24" wide front loading machine. It does a load in about 40 minutes and uses 11 gallons of water per load. We hang the clothes in the salon overnight or outside if possible. We got it at a scratch and dent appliance store for more than I wanted to spend (about $550) but it has more than paid for itself in laundry mat fees and chiropractor visits.
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Old 23-07-2014, 18:31   #5
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

I have a Splendie non vented washer dryer combo and love it!

In my opinion you just have to learn how to use it and I wont say properly, but use it within its limitations.

It is small. Much smaller than my home unit. I have found that if you fill it up 1/2 to 3/4 of the way, and set the dryer timer to 80 minutes it works great.

What I do is be careful not to let the dryer stop on its own. I pull the clothes out and shake them out and lay them flat on the bed. The clothes come oout of the dryer very warm and a little damp.

About an hour later they are perfectly dry and I can fold them and put them in the drawers.

Hanging clothes go directly from the dryer to the hanger. No need to iron because the wrinkles come out on the hanger.

Having a washer dryer is one of the things that makes our boat more like a real home, as opposed to a oversized camper.
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Old 23-07-2014, 18:36   #6
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

As full time live aboards, I think my wife would rather get rid of me than her washer/dryer. We cruised for 2yrs without one and then bought our current boat that had one. At first we were actually thinking about taking it out but OMG does it make living aboard less like Camping and more like "normal living". The dryer part of it...well SUCKS so we wash and lifeline dry which works great for us.



The Washing Machine | SV THIRD DAY
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Old 24-07-2014, 10:06   #7
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

It seems the typical washer has a 1 cubic foot to 1.5 cf capacity. Is that just a couple of towels?
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Old 24-07-2014, 17:07   #8
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlylelk View Post
It seems the typical washer has a 1 cubic foot to 1.5 cf capacity. Is that just a couple of towels?
My machine takes a set of double sheets and pillowcases but will not do a king size set all in one wash, I have to split the load. However, towels are another matter - it depends on your towles. We use the extra large back packing towels from Mountain Design stores and gave our fluffy towels away - they were too much trouble to dry. So I can wash 2 extra large, 2 large and 2 hand towles in one wash.

Cheers Sapient Sue
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Old 24-07-2014, 18:39   #9
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

And what do you do with the "used" water?

Chuck it right into the marina or into the anchorage?

Illegal in most countries.

Most marinas do not have pump out facilities. Most boats do not have enough gray water volume either.

Ideas?

b.
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Old 24-07-2014, 18:48   #10
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

Lived aboard for many years and never found a washer dryer combo that dried the clothes adequately. I think it was a Splendide combo we had and it washed everything well, even really dirty bilge-rat stuff but we just had a dryer stand on the aft deck and clothes dried overnight. Never had a problem with pumping over a small amount of grey water in Mexico or San Diego but might have been breaking a greenie law somewhere. Phil
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Old 24-07-2014, 19:20   #11
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
And what do you do with the "used" water?

Chuck it right into the marina or into the anchorage?

Illegal in most countries.

Most marinas do not have pump out facilities. Most boats do not have enough gray water volume either.

Ideas?

b.
Most folks just plumb the washing machine overboard like their galley sink, shower sump, and bilge pump.
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Old 24-07-2014, 20:07   #12
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

LG front loader washer from Best Buy. Water is pumped over board. Works great on inverter.
We put the laundry lines under our solar panels on the cat.
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Old 24-07-2014, 20:46   #13
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
And what do you do with the "used" water?
Where is dumping gray water illegal? What boat has a holding tank for gray water??
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Old 24-07-2014, 22:45   #14
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roetter View Post
LG front loader washer from Best Buy. Water is pumped over board. Works great on inverter.
We put the laundry lines under our solar panels on the cat.
Attachment 85518
I love seeing photos like that!

Here we were after a big passage!

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Old 25-07-2014, 11:00   #15
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Re: Washing Machine Onboard?

I want to thank everybody for contributing! It helps to know your experiences.

Duane
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