In response to an inquiry concerning washer/dryer combos in PS Advisor, April 15, 1999, we have been living aboard a 45' trimaran with a unit made in Italy and marketed by Equator Corp. of Houston, Texas.
For the last two years my wife and I and our two daughters have used it to clean two loads of wash a day. Each load uses about 18 gallons of water. Each complete wash/dry cycle takes 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Use of sea water is not recommended, so in our opinion it would be impractical to use anywhere except at the dock. Use of a low sudsing detergent is necessary if one plans to discharge overboard.
Because our vessel has comparatively narrow hulls, I elected to mount the 175-lb. unit on a bulkhead to maintain access to the bilge. This compact unit spins at 900 rpm to wring the clothes prior to drying. Just one pair of wet jeans out of balance will set us to vibrating so badly that we don’t cook while the washer is running. It is small, noisy, hot, and can vibrate our vessel like a 30-year-old pickup truck doing 50 mph down a gravel washboard road.
Even though the unit is mounted to the bulkhead with shock absorbing material, we initially had problems with vibration burning out the electronic control unit. I must say that the technical service department was genuinely interested in solving our problems and working with them was a pleasure.
If we were live-aboards in a marina with a Laundromat handy we wouldn’t have one aboard. However, we choose to live aboard in a southern bayou. We are plumbed to a water well and connected to shore power. We are unwilling to invest in a watermaker and generator large enough to run this marvelously handy monster and it will come out when we leave for our trip south. Washing clothes will become a bit more of a chore, but we also expect to have far less to wash in the tropical climates.
In response to your article on aerial flares in your March issue, may I make the following comments?
The SOLAS pyrotechnics we distribute in the USA are manufactured in Sweden by Hansson-Pyroctech, not Datrex.
The SOLAS trademark is owned by Simpson-Lawrence, Inc, and all the labels have been approved by The US Coast Guard, who found no fault with the size of the printing whatsoever. A vital and life saving point.
Anyone who thinks that Japanese- made products are cheap and inferior in quality must have been sleeping for the last 20 years.
Mary J. Braine
Simpson Lawrence USA
When we bought our Cal 31 in 1995 everything was in good condition except the holding tank system. A 15-gal. square polyethylene tank took up most of a sail storage space below the V-berth while approximately 40' of white PVC head hose snaked its way through various spaces including a hanging locker where a Whale Gusher 10 pump was installed to allow pumping the tank overboard. Numerous valves allowed direct overboard discharge from the head. After a couple of uses we learned why the previous owners had left behind such a large assortment of cleaners, disinfectants and deodorizers. The hose and the rubber diaphragm of the Whale Gusher seemed to absorb and pass on the odor.
After trying several cleaners and operating regimens I gave up and replaced everything but the head, through-hull and pump-out fitting.
We kept the overboard pump-out capability with an electric SeaLand pump. The tank is stainless steel and holds 18 gals. The piping is all 1" PVC schedule 40. Running the pipe in the enclosed spaces was a lot of work. I was able to use standard 90° and 45° elbows most places. Connections between the pump, valves, etc. and the PVC pipe were a bit of a problem. Standard PVC hose barbs are threaded, requiring a threaded adapter to be glued to the pipe. In the confined space below the front end of the V-berth there wasn’t room for the extra fittings. The problem was solved by making special adapters from schedule 80 (heavy wall) PVC pipe. With the heavy wall pipe it was possible to reduce the original 1.660" OD to 1.500" to fit the hose, while retaining a wall thickness nearly equal to the standard pipe. The fittings were 5" long with one end the original diameter and a 3" section reduced to take the hose. Short sections (6"-7") of black Shields 101 hose were used to connect the components. The manufactured adapters don’t provide the barbed surface normally used but with double hose clamps everything is secure.
After three year’s operation we can still open the non-ventilated space and not smell a trace of anything bad.
I was surprised and delighted to learn of Nick Nicholson’s troubles with the plumbing for his head. It’s startling that someone whose basic approach to cruising is to throw as much money at it as possible would cheap out and plumb his head with the white stuff (PVC). Even a dummy like me knows better.
The black hosing, Shields 101 or similar, is good but expensive—$7.49/ft. or more. Here’s something that’s worked well on my first boat, a Pearson 33, and now my Bayfield 36. Find an industrial supplier of hosing in your Yellow Pages, go to it, and ask for 1-1/2" ID diesel fill hose. It’s used in truck applications, costs between $3-4./ft., and works great. No odors!
Force 10 Stoves
I am writing in regards to the article, “After 20,000 Miles,” actually a field report, in your May 15th issue. I am specifically concerned with the section of the article discussing stoves. The writer states that the Force 10 stove in question does not have a thermostatically controlled oven and for that reason, he/she would not use a Force 10 stove again. I would like to point out that for the past three years, Force 10 has offered thermostatic control as an option on all models. At present, almost 40% of Force 10 customer still would rather have the manual control.
Sales Manager, Force 10 Marine
Richmond, British Columbia
In our March 15, 1996 evaluation of stoves, we thought well of the Force 10, but lamented the lack of a thermostat. Glad to know you’ve come around!
In the April 1, 1999 issue, you printed a very damaging and unwarranted article, titled “A Friday Kind of Boat.”
Even though it was April Fool’s Day, we believe the practical joke was unnecessary. We checked with our East Coast distributor, Action Marine, to see if they had received any warranty claims on said boat, and they answered that they had not.
We regret that some of the components of your AB dinghy failed. However, please note that we stand behind our product, and had you placed a warranty claim, it would have been taken care of in an expedient manner. There was no need to turn to such an ultimatum.
We feel it is important to let your readers know that Practical Sailor did not inform us of the defective workmanship. Therefore, we were not given the opportunity to amend our wrong doing.
It’s good to know that you are anxious to correct the problems with Nick Nicholson’s AB inflatable. If you had read the article carefully, you might have surmised why he did not file a warranty claim. He bought the inflatable while passing through Venezuela (Offshore Log,. March, 1999), but did not discover all of its defects until he had left the country, headed for and through the Panama Canal and into the South Pacific.
For a cruiser on the go, stopping for warranty work sometimes isn’t possible.
Where Credit Is Due...
To Tasco: “When we bought our boat 10 years ago, we bought binoculars from Tasco. The eye pieces became corroded and I sent them back for repairs six weeks ago. Yesterday we received a package and note from Tasco. The note said that they were unable to repair them to their satisfaction, and so sent us a replacement—a new pair of Offshore 54’s—free of charge!”
To ProFurl: “I bought a used boat which had a ProFurl furler attached to the stemhead with excess gap due to an incorrectly sized double jaw toggle and clevis pin. After describing the problem to ProFurl they sent me the parts to correct the problem. The unit was considerably out of warranty, nor was I the original customer, but ProFurl provided the parts no charge, and even expedited the delivery to me, also no charge. That’s the type of above-and-beyond service that leaves no doubt from whom I will purchase my next furler.”
Eureka Springs, Arkansas