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Old 02-10-2007, 04:32 AM   #1
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Default Laundry

How do you do your laundry at sea, while cruising?

Sailors in the buff, and baring butts, don't have laundry!

Well I suppose it depends how long you are out there, your life style, conditions, craft, and what is acceptable to you and those on board.

Dragging a bag or basket in the sea water full of laundry, certainly would remove body odors, dander, hair, etc. The trade off is the laundry aquires sea residue and salt, likley not desireable either. Take the salted laundry and rinse it in fresh water to remove the sea accumulation?

Unless I change my thoughts from a 50 footer mono to something longer, or a cat, I can't see a place or space for a clothes washer, much less a dryer. The water and fuel to operate those must put it into "would even not consider it" class. Yet one must maintain some degeree of personal hygiene.

Do you take it ashore to a laundra-mat?

Have the navtives do it?

Use a washboard on the boat?

Pre-rinse in sea-water, final wash in fresh water?

Sail in the buff?

Smell Really Really Bad?

Dry your thingies in the wind?
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:49 AM   #2
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We have a 50' monohull and a washer/dryer combo. It fits in the upper salon. I did the handwashing thing in between trips to the laundromat in Mexico and decided that I was too old to mess with that--esp when hauling the laundry in the dinghy (keeping it dry on the way back), hauling it a 1/2 mile or more in some places.... Now, I know most cruisers enjoy the laundry day and all the tales of interraction with the locals, but as I approach the far (far) side of fifty, I've decided I wanted more comfort.

We also have a 45gph watermaker and genset to do it all at once.

Spoiled, I know. But I did camp all around Europe when young and cruise without comforts in earlier days!
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Old 02-10-2007, 08:00 AM   #3
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I know some hippies that use the wonderwash in their homes... it would be pretty handy on a boat too.

http://www.laundry-alternative.com/washing.htm
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:27 AM   #4
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I had one of those Wonder Wash things. I gave it away. It was just cumbersome to stow, was more complicated to use than I wanted (it did do a great job of cleaning, but then rinsing, etc. wasn't so great.)

I used a 5-gallon bucket most of the time, and got very good at conserving water. Nowadays, in the States, I can find a laundromat somewhere.

I heard that washing with sudsy ammonia and water was very good - cleaned the clothes and didn't need rinsing.

There used to be a formula to make Australian product Wool Wash. Soap flakes, methylated spirits, and ???. (one of our Aussie members know the correct proportions and ingredients?) Again, washed well, didn't need rinsing.

Since we always looked like homeless bag lady and derelict, I was most concerned that our clothes didn't smell.

In the tropics we never worried about using a dryer - hang the clothes on the lifelines in the sun early in the morning and they dried very quickly.

With a 50' boat, there are some nice washing machines that are water miserly and probably a very good idea. we just don't have a boat with enough room.
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:45 AM   #5
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We have a small electric washer that looks like that Wonder Washer. I think it's still in storage if anyone wants it!
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:48 AM   #6
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**Flashback to the Mid 1980s**

Dropping into engine room lower level to releave the watch and finding the watch (Sean Patrick Barrileaux from Lake Charles) wearing his TLD on a string around his neck, boondockers (boots) and 2 chemwipes (one front one back) hanging from duct tape around his waist. doing his laundry in buckets in the condensate bay.

laundry had been secured on the boat for a while for operational reasons.

Sorry, as soon as I opened the thread I had the visual.
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