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4LeggedGrasshopper

Fit a washing machine or not..??

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Hi there, 

Me and my husband Dan have finally realised a dream and brought our first boat!! Were in the process of fixing it up and hope to be living aboard from March 2018.

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about washing machines, specifically whether it’s realistic on a boat. We already have one (previously lived in a house) that is very energy efficient 0.96 kWh per wash, but it’s water consumption is 47L per wash!!  Seems a lot as our water tank is only 250L. Also, water pressure is apparently a consideration??

My overall question, is it worth it? I dread the thought of lugging my washing to the laundrette, but i don’t want to go to the trouble of fitting a washing machine only to find it doesn’t work properly. I don’t know what to do, so any advice you experienced boaties have will be gratefully received

Msny thanks,

Becky  

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Without knowing more about your boats electrical system and your planned usage it is impossible to comment.

How many batteries and what size are they ?

Do you have an inverter, what type (PSW or MSW) and what size is it (watts) ?

Generator on board?

Mains ’land-line’ (hookup)

How many alternators, and what size, do you have ?

How do you plan to charge your batteries  ? 

Which washing machine are you looking at?

Are you CCing, holiday use, liveaboard, in a marina ?

 

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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We survived without one for the first year before Mrs Rusty demanded one be installed, or I was to go live in the car. 

Launderette washing is a pita for all the obvious reasons and will eat a 1/4 of a weekend. 

I fitted a standard machine in the centre of the boat. Things to consider 

1. How to get the thing onboard and off when it needs replacing 

2. Water and electricity. You can plan your washing around water fill ups and electricity when engine running.. 

3. You obviously need quite a large electric supply, so what equipment /inverter /batteries /charger have you got? 

4. Save electricity by hot filling, or running a cold wash. 

Finally you could consider one of those draining board twin tub things until you have figured out the installation. 

But eventually you are likely to want a washing machine, especially if you intend to full time liveaboard 

Just now, Alan de Enfield said:

Without knowing more about your boats electrical system and your planned usage it is impossible to comment.

 

Damn, ive just commented 

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Those £100 twin tubs on Amazon are great.  Wash takes about 15 minutes, spin 5 mins.  They don't use a lot of water.

Edited by mross
  • Greenie 1

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1 minute ago, mross said:

Those £100 twin tubs on Amazon are great.  Wash takes about 15 minutes, spin 5 mins.  They don't use a lot of water.

That what we have (but £80 from a camper van shop).

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Launderettes aren't so bad.  Once you know the quiet and busy periods it doesn't take long to drop stuff off, get the the shopping and other missions done and pick it up again.  Loads are often bigger than domestic stuff and service washes marginally more expensive than DIY.

Or buy a washing machine, fit a generator/suitable shoreline connection and bigger water tank. Domestic washing machines are one of those items you have to design the boat's electrical/water system around.  Not plug and play alas!

Edited by AjW

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If you have the space, fit one, connect water feed to the hot water supply so the heater element does not kick in, saving power, use quick wash to save water on daily was stuff.

You dont live in a tent!

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1 hour ago, Dave Payne said:

If you have the space, fit one, connect water feed to the hot water supply so the heater element does not kick in, saving power, use quick wash to save water on daily was stuff.

Preferably via a thermostatic mixing valve so you do not try to wash your woollens & silks at close to 100C

  • Greenie 1

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There was one on Kelpie when we bought her and I wouldn't like to do without it now.  It is a Candy, looks full size from the front but is not as deep, takes its feed from hot water and takes no time at all to do a wash. Sorry, I don't have the model number but I think it is 7kg. If you have space, go for it!

haggis

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Some years back, a friend of mine disconnected the heating element in a washing machine and managed to run it off a low voltage inverter. Not sure if you could still do this with a more modern machine?

  • Greenie 1

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1 minute ago, BWM said:

Some years back, a friend of mine disconnected the heating element in a washing machine and managed to run it off a low voltage inverter. Not sure if you could still do this with a more modern machine?

Watts one of them please? 

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Hi

Our boat had a washing machine fitted when we bought it and I wasn't sure if we needed  it but am SO glad now. We don't liveaboard but even when we cruise I can do 2 or 3 loads mostly undies and shirts but it is so useful.

Ours is a compact size and runs from the inverter. We tend to use it on days without too many locks so that gives the batteries a chance to recharge and means we are using hot water to fill it via a thermostatic blending valve set to 40c.OH says this is a good thing as the biggest use of power is the heater.We also try and plan it so we can refill the water the same day, It does take a bit of planning but beats lugging things to a launderette ! 

 

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15 minutes ago, rusty69 said:

Watts one of them please? 

You can tell i'm not an electrician! 

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A washing machine is a 'must have' for us. We spent 3 years on a lumpy water boat between here and the med with no washing machine. That was a real pain. We have one now on our nb. Heaven says SWMBO.

Ours runs nicely on a 2KW invertor on cold washes and we just put hot water into it first (with a bit of tea tree oi)l to get a hotter wash. I have been meaning to set up a hot/cold supply but cant be bothered. Every now and again, we will do a 60°C wash when on shore power.

I thought drying clothes was going to be an issue but it has been easy with the solid fuel stove and the cratch.

Your 250L tank seems to be a bit small. Our machine takes 50L for a wash and we have 500L. As said above, do your washing when near a water point - although watch out in the winter if they are all frozen up!!!!!

Water pressure not a problem with our jabsco 2.9 Parmax. I dont think this should be an issue as the machine just fills to a level then moves on in the programme.

SWMBO rates the washing machine as the 2nd most important thing on the boat after the solid fuel stove  - (where do I come into those ratings?).

19 minutes ago, rusty69 said:

Watts one of them please? 

I dont know

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Ah yes the drying.......................... well we do ours either by the stove or in the cratch or with the the rack in the bath with the doors closed and the radiator on !

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If full time liveaboards then there are just a few items that are a total necessity unless you fancy living like a caveman. These are as follows

Hot running water

SOLID fuel stove for heat

Cooker

Washing machine

Many other things can be nice such as a fridge for Beer and ice for the Gin and Tonic but living aboard without a washing machine is a right pain been there done that got the T shirt.

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48 minutes ago, BWM said:

Some years back, a friend of mine disconnected the heating element in a washing machine and managed to run it off a low voltage power inverter. Not sure if you could still do this with a more modern machine?

Disregarding the mix-up of units, I’m amazed it worked even on an old machine. The heater operates until the water reaches the set temp and then the program progresses. I guess this old machine may have simply had a timer for the heater?

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34 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

SWMBO rates the washing machine as the 2nd most important thing on the boat after the solid fuel stove  - (where do I come into those ratings?).

Permit me to offer a piece of advice...

Never be tempted to ask her this question. ;)

  • Greenie 1

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Oh dear Becky - you've managed to open a can of worms here!

Moving onto a boat is not as simple as umm - just moving in. All those services that you take for granted while living in bricks and mortar have to be provided by yourselves. Some boaters on this forum wear their hair shirts with pride and most others - not. If you're in this latter category then:-

  • You need a lot of electrical power just to provide  the minimum of comforts
  • If you are sensible you'll cook by gas and getting replacement gas bottles is relatively straightforward
  • Again if you are sensible you'll have a coal fired stove for heating and / or a diesel fired one
  • and some more items to consider

You can run a caravan twin tub from a small inverter and neither are expensive. The inverter could / would also run a small tv and HiFi. However if you must have a full size washing machine and (logically) a dryer, then you are into a lot of money for an inverter, alternator, batteries. Rough guess £2-£3,000.

If you'll be in a marina, you may find that their power supply may not be big enough....

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3 hours ago, AjW said:

Launderettes aren't so bad.  Once you know the quiet and busy periods it doesn't take long to drop stuff off, get the the shopping and other missions done and pick it up again.  Loads are often bigger than domestic stuff and service washes marginally more expensive than DIY.

Or buy a washing machine, fit a generator/suitable shoreline connection and bigger water tank. Domestic washing machines are one of those items you have to design the boat's electrical/water system around.  Not plug and play alas!

That's if you can find one, Launderette's across the country are closing down, The local one in March is closing for good, as is the one in Wisbech. 

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12 minutes ago, nbfiresprite said:

That's if you can find one, Launderette's across the country are closing down, The local one in March is closing for good, as is the one in Wisbech. 

Yeah, but that's the fens init, not the real world.

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Obviously depends upon your lifestyle but as an elderly male single hander I wouldn't be without one -but !!!!!

If decide to go down the modern automatic line you need to consider very carefully how it will be powered. They are very selective as to how clean the supply is. I had a Hoover washer / dryer sometimes washed and always dried powered from my Paguro 4000 generator. It always washed when powered by my Mastervolt 2000 inverter (obviously not used to dry). When I replaced the inverter with a Mastervolt 100/2000 Combi it washed maybe 20% of the time. (cold wash cycle used in all instances with a saucepan or two of hot water in drum). When I replaced the Paguro generator with an identical model it bcame even more erratic. Pot luck as to what would happen.

Replaced w/m with a small Candy automatic, This works perfectly although it's only 3kg and isn't a dryer.

Should add that the Hoover worked perfectly throughout on shore power.

 

Frank       

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If you have a reasonable spin speed then shirts can be ironed immediately.  Crease removal is a doddle and the shirts can be worn right away.  This saves space for drying yer smalls.

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