Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Off for a Spin

Yesterday we, more or less, finished preparing the boat for its summer spin out. We have stashed the boat with provisions and tried to finish the little jobs we have been struggling to find the time to do. You know - the fripperies that don't really add much in terms of function but make a boat a home.

We eagerly anticipate our first decent length cruise since buying the boat and our summer holiday plan this year will be to get to Birmingham City Centre, with a couple of nostalgic visits along the way from the time when First Mate worked at The University of Birmingham. Her first office being in the glorious Arts and Crafts building called Winterbourne, a house and gardens so beautiful that they are now open to the public. On the other end of the spectrum, we will also take the real Princess Lucy to Cadbury World to discover how something that really doesn't qualify as chocolate has got away with calling itself chocolate since 1824.

First Mate, always the diligent housewife, expressed concerns about washing laundry whilst on a fairly long trip. With only ten pairs of Sloggis to her name, she clearly is going to have to do some washing. Captain will retain  the practice of wearing undercrackers for a full five days - so not a problem for him. He only changes them when they become too stiff to manipulate. You may remember this being a sticking point when when we owned Princess Lucy and cruised for five weeks. On that occasion we managed to squeeze in a small Candy automatic washing machine and it was left for her new owners.

Fitting an automatic washing machine would be more difficult on the new boat, taking up far too much storage space. So we turned to my personal copy of the 'Aylesbury Canal Society Launderette list.' (£4.50 including postage see here) We concluded that (a) spending a day in a launderette is not much fun and (b) launderettes are now about as common as shops where you pay for fish to nibble at your feet. Some of them seemed to involve a trek to the Andes.

So, a quick and dirty solution was found... Enter the £99 compact Twin Tub.

Is that Audrey Hepburn?  Who knew she was
 such a role model, anorexia excepted. 
It is cheap, plastic, and basic. It has no heating element or even a drain pump, but we have gallons of hot water and it can drain into the shower tray. Also it is small and we can hide it in the corner void of the kitchen top (you know that space that is reserved only for finding loaves of green bread that were left 6 months previous).

She tested it at home and it washed and spun very efficiently (3.5kg load is its capacity). Yesterday we took it to the boat and tested it on the 'Modified Sine Wave Inverter' and it worked fine. Captain then, after some nifty work with a saw, stashed it under the sink.

The picture here shows the pure joy that can be experienced (and I'm sure First Mate will have that same experience) in owning and operating a twin tub.

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