I suspect nearly every live-aboard narrow boater has a washing machine. It seems an essential item for all but the hardy. The issue I have mulled over is what functions will we require in the chosen machine. There isn’t much room on the boat so size is important. However the smaller the size the less the washing capacity. Moreover I’m not all that keen on living with wet laundry hanging around my ears. I suspect it would be hard to dry in winter and significantly increase the condensation within the boat.
So a washer/drier seems to be our preferred option. Drying is going to increase both water and electrical consumption. Therefore the more water that can be extracted in the spin cycle the less energy will be used in the drying cycle. We need to look for a machine with high rpm on the spin cycle.
Then there is the cost.
Most of these machines appear to only have a cold inlet and the water is then heated in the machine. This too will place demands on our ability to produce electricity. One option is to consider somehow plumbing the washer/drier so it can take surplus hot water from the calorifier. For many years in Australia Jan has done cold washing. We may be able to continue with this practice.
So the essential criteria for the machine is:
- Spin speed
- Ability to accept hot water
- Energy rating
- Water usage
After a considerable amount of trolling using Google and reading various reviews I created a small matrix of potential appliances and then colour coded the strengths and weaknesses of each machine. In the end I selected a Candy GO4W464 Washer Dryer as our preferred machine. It never rated any particular strengths but then neither did it rate any weaknesses. It was “middle of the road”!
Now all I have to do is find a supplier at the right price!