Laundry Day

Most marinas offer laundry facilities. You usually have to pay for each load of wash, and then pay again for each load of drying. Some marinas have had very inexpensive facilities so doing laundry is easy and affordable! Other places are outstandingly overpriced!

In the states, we found that laundry varied from Free, to $2.00 per load of wash, and usually the same price for the dryer.

Bermuda was more expensive, at closer to $5 per load, but then again, everything was much more expensive.

The Azores have been very inexpensive to live and moor in, with everything costing about 10% of the price in the United States. This holds true for almost everything, except for laundry! In the marina, laundry was €5 per load of wash, and again €5 per load of dryer.

The problem was, the dryer didn’t really work well and we thought that the unit must not be functioning properly.

Then we made our way to mainland Portugal and found that the wash is €3.50 per load, and the dryer is again, €3.50 per load. Once again, the dryer just doesn’t do its job! We aren’t sure yet, but we feel that this might be due to two factors.

  1. Dryers consume a lot of energy and in Portugal, people are really concerned about energy usage. To make dryers consume less energy, they also seem to just work less well.

  2. No one uses dryers because hanging clothes on a line dries they with no energy usage at all!


We decided to get with the program and setup our laundry lines on the deck. I tie the clothes lines to the rigging and we clip everything in place. Laundry done in the morning will be dry by the early afternoon and ready to be put away well before that evening. Best of all, hanging the laundry out to dry cuts the laundry bill in half!

Doing Laundry

When cruising, laundry can start to pile up on you. Going to shore and exploring towns and islands is fun, as well as going swimming in crystal clear waters! The problem is that your clothes will start to pile up and smell as laundry duty begins to beccon.  

Cities have laundromats, as well as various types of laundry services. The problem with them is they tend to be located in "less than the ideal" parts of town. You risk your clothes being stolen out of the machines as well as risking you being robbed while you are there.  

We usually go with only enough money to do the laundry, and dress in very plain clothes, as to not attract too much attention, and we have not personally had any problems. We simply sit in the laundry room and wait for the machines to launder our clothing while we edit videos or work on writing blog posts. 


In the US, we were always able to find a laundromat close to shore, making it easy to transport the laundry from boat to laundromat, and back to the boat. In the Bahamas, that has been a different situation. 

We have found that small towns have no public laundry facilities. Every time we ask, cruisers mention going to Nassau, to the main city, and doing laundry there. Nassau is infamous for high crime against boats and boaters. The crime there is so notorious that in a cruising book, it warned that being on your vessel will not be a deterrent towards boat theft while anchored or tied un in Nassau Harbor.  

Since people kept telling us that Nassau was the only place to get it done, and since we wanted to avoid taking the boat there due to the risk of crime; we began looking at alternatives. 

One glaring alternative to going to a big city is to go to where rich people expect to be treated like they are in a big city: marinas! 

We have found that if you go to a marina and pay to tie up, you can then use all of their facilities. This means that you can buy fuel, provisions, and do laundry, all in the confines of the marina. Now, marinas here are wicked expensive, so we have found yet another trick to stretching out your cruising dollar. 

When you go to the marina, don't go in your boat, go in your dinghy! We tied up in Lyford Cay Marina, on the same island as Nassau, where they charge $5 per foot per day. Being how our dinghy is only 7 feet long, it costs us $35 to come to shore and do all our errands. This is far cheaper than trying to get to shore, get a taxi to the laundromat, and pay the machines to wash your clothes. 

We have also found that the marinas laundry machines are much cheaper than other public washing facilities. The machines at Lyford Cay Marina are only $1.75 per load. When we were in Florida, the machines were $2.50 per load. (This is the price for the washer, you have to pay again for the dryer). Being how everything in the Bahamas is significantly more expensive when compared to the states, the fact that it is cheaper for laundry means a lot to us.

Rain and Laundry

While anchored in Great Harbor Cay, Bahamas, we noticed something a bit unusual being done on a catamaran. Usually, cruisers will do their laundry and then hang them up to dry on the lifelines. This cruiser put their laundry up during a rain storm and let them get thoroughly soaked in the rain!

At first, my mind interpreted this as "they forgot to take their laundry in before the rains came" but they intentionally put them out as the rains were coming and even into the rain itself! They wanted their clothes to get soaked! 

It took me a moment to capture what was really going on here: they were rinsing their clothes with fresh water. 

On a cruising boat, clothes will get salty, no matter how hard you try to keep them salt free. Either a rogue wave, spray, or simply handling a wet line; salt will find its way into your clothes. Rinsing the salt out can consume a lot of water, and rain will provide you with such a resource. 

After a long rain, all the salt will be rinsed from your clothes and you will have clean laundry. Once the rain finishes, simply let it hang out a bit longer to dry and you will have clean and dry laundry! 

Next time you see rain coming, consider doing your wash cycles and then hang the laundry out for the rinse and dry cycles. It will save you a lot of water and time!