Trippin' Turpins

Chores - Washing the clothes

09 June 2015
Kelly Turpin
It’s not all palm trees, lazing on the beach and snorkelling. There is another side to a live aboard life… chores. My chores include washing the clothes... I am also head cook, baker, photographer, cleaner, doctor, nurse and decky. Plus when Dwayne feels like it I become navigator, trades assistant and like the other day, whilst it was raining, helms person…. "only one of us needs to get wet", he says!

Since I am blessed with a wonderful husband who delights in surprising me on birthdays and Christmas with excitingly romantic gifts such as washing machines, washing our clothes is no trouble for me. Yes ladies I know, as our friend Alan tells me, I am the ‘worlds luckiest woman’! Gifts over the last decade have included a hunting knife (for Valentines Day), vacuum cleaner, wet weather jacket that was too big (he got me a large so he kept it), binoculars (two pairs of these), a compass, fishing rod and reel (I love my reel) dehydrator and of course the washing machine.

Companion Single Tub Washer

Dwayne bought the washing machine from a camping store for me. We have also seen them since in boating and caravanning stores. Mine is a “Companion” Easywash single tub but I have since discovered that Companion sell a twin tub washing machine which will also spin the clothes.


The Easywash tub is 240 volt so if I am not in a marina when I use the washing machine, I use it with the generator on although I can run it on a 600amp inverter. We make water using our water maker at the same time, therefore getting the most out of the generator and at the end of the wash we still have full tanks of fresh water.

My washer is very easy to use albeit it only washes the clothes. I sit the tub in the cockpit when I am using it and wash all the clothes first. It has a timer that can be set for 3,6,9 or 15 minutes so I can set it to wash and go on with other chores. Once I have washed everything, I refill the tub with fresh water and rinse the clothes before I wring it all out by hand. I hang the washing on a clothes line that I rig up between the stays on the front of the boat.


Dwayne uses the rinse water to wash the boat down when I am finished with it. It usually takes me a couple hours to get it done because I like to wash each load for 15 minutes, but I only do it once a week or less. For live-aboard life my washing machine is a must-have I would not be without.

Vessel Name: Thorfinn
Vessel Make/Model: Adams 45
Hailing Port: Adelaide, South Australia
Crew: Dwayne & Kelly Turpin
About: After seven years of planning we sold the house and moved aboard Thorfinn in October 2013. Our journey started in May 2014 in Australia and, if all goes well, it will continue for many years with many seas to sail and places to visit.
Extra: Intrepid sailors, perpetual travellers, enthusiastic fisher people and lovers of food. Visit our other blogs at Like our Facebook page - Trippin' Turpins - A Sailing Adventure.
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