August 26, 2016

August 16, 2016

Washer/dryer for clothes

When looking for our current boat, the Admiral wasn't convinced a washer/ dryer was anything more than a luxury, therefore one wasn't on our must-have list. 

Having had one on a previous boat BA [Before Admiral] I had my own opinion. [And secret list...]

Now that she has experienced it we will never have a boat without one... Period...

I think this decision is influenced a lot by lifestyle choices and where one intends to cruise. We plan to live on our boat full time for as long as we can, and intend to continue our decades of exploring Alaska for the near future. [Laundry facilities are often weeks, if not months apart given our cruising itineraries and penchant for remote areas.]

And we have nothing to prove after spending years touring remote areas by kayak; camping all along the way for weeks, sometimes months at a time... [Luxuries take on a whole new meaning...] 

We understand doing laundry by hand... And we can paint with a tooth brush too...

We also prefer to stay remote and independent for as long as possible, and a washer/ dryer helps promote that lifestyle. [Is this enough rationalization yet?...]

Our boat came with a vented [vs. ventless] Splendide brand combination clothes washer/dryer.  [There are many brands and models to explore...] It has now been in routine use [for 2 adults] for over 10 years. In that time, the drier heating element was replaced, and everything else has performed flawlessly.

Mid Cabin/Workshop/Storage with Laundry Washer/Dryer (port side)

In order to install it on our boat, the previous owners had to dismantle the brand new unit, cut the chassis in half and re-assemble/reinforce the chassis in place. [Thank you Jack and Susan- AKA Fred! Brave souls...] 

Reassembled with the new braces and plates to make it whole again...

We typically hang laundry to finish drying after the very fast spin cycle; outside when the weather cooperates, and inside the boat the rest of the time. [One can only withstand so many natural rinse cycles from the rain, and freeze drying laundry in winter is undesirable (and reminiscent of pranks from my college days...) But freeze drying works!] 

Our very efficient, small, quiet compressor-less dehumidifier also has a clothes dry setting that works great. A half hour is about all it takes for a full load to dry- without adding moisture inside the boat. [It only consumes 630 watts @ 110VAC on that setting, so easily runs on our inverter as well...]

Keep in mind we wear no cotton, only wool and synthetics, so they typically dry quickly... [For more on this, see our clothing recommendations about half-way down our Guests page...]

Our Splendide runs just fine on our sine wave inverter or generator. [We don't run the dry cycle on the inverter to save the batteries. And take note: it didn't work with the modified sine wave (i.e., square wave) inverter the boat came with...] 

Our 12 GPH water maker easily keeps up with our our needs running once a week. We often plan washing that requires drying when running the 10kw generator just to add some load to the genny...

The washing cycles are very efficient. The vented dryer works, but is somewhat less efficient than a typical household unit I think partially due to the small drum size and relatively large loads we run. [It is quite a wad of wet clothes in the drum, so warm air cannot circulate through them all... And a word about ventless models: from my previous experience, ventless models are even less efficient- if you can get them to dry at all...] 

If you have the room and can justify the convenience, the decision is as easy as it is when you are living in a house... 

Of course, laundry can always be done by hand [at home or one a boat...] and if one usually has access to laundry facilities and/or services then it might not be as easy to justify having one onboard... [...or in your house for that matter...]

August 12, 2016

Friday Funny 08/12

A favorite from "The Far Side"
Sorry I'm a little late on this today. I'm at the local library using their wifi, and I have 3 ipads, 1 Macbook, and my iphone to update while I am here.  It's quite a bit of coordination to keep up with them, but a necessary job when we only use cell data at home and on the boat.

August 11, 2016

Preparing to go south... [Or: South is relative...]

We have enjoyed a summer in central interior Alaska, but that entails being away from the boat. [However, the 24 hr daylight makes it a bit easier to be away...]

We had to prepare our modest Fairbanks home for sale, and have now found the new owner. 

Now to get back on the boat and get back to our chosen lifestyle... [and build a cabin on Wrangell Island on our awesome tent site...]

Our crew heard we are preparing to move further south again, and while they hate the commute, they enjoy the results...

Perhaps out of misinformation or misunderstanding, Gus, our junior crew member, thought it best to start working on his tan since everyone knows it is typically sunnier the further south you go...
 [And we are loosing almost 10 degrees of latitude after all...]

Gus in the morning sun under his birdie bait station... which he says he will miss...
But we refuse to feed any birds near the boat... something he doesn't understand...

Elsie, on the other hand, is her usual nonplussed self about it... [in a North-American feline sense...]  

Elsie claiming she doesn't require a tan... 

As for the rest of the crew, we just go with the flow, which is south, and soon we hope, as this is what it looked like in Fairbanks the end of September last year:


We hope to see you on the water soon...