Laundry on a Boat – Wringers and Water-Saving Tips

While cruising and living aboard, we avoid laundromats as much as possible, due to cost, effort and energy.

Here’s how we get clothes clean, save water and reduce drying time while doing laundry by hand on the boat. Wringers can be expensive and tricky to find, but we highly recommend them for serious cruisers who want to save money and reduce their reliance on shore amenities. Note: with our aluminum dinghy, we can also collect rainwater for laundry, which adds up to even more savings.

Here is a video about how we do laundry:

Here is the wringer we have aboard, which costs about $150.

First Month of Liveaboard Expenses – January

We’ve been living aboard SV Temptress for one month now, and today we totaled up our expenses. Many people are curious about how much it costs to live this kind of life, so we thought we would share.

Our Budget

We estimated that we would spend less than $1,000 per month* over the course of our trip, and it looks like we are very close to that, at $1,156 for January. We knew January would be a bit more expensive month for a few reasons:

  • First, we stopped in Marco Island and in Key West and stocked up on American groceries (a total of $471). Because of bad weather, we also stayed at these anchorages for longer than expected and had more grocery trips. In February, we’re likely to have minimal grocery expense. We also bought beer ($60), which is meant to last a few months.
  • Secondly, the first month shakedown of the boat revealed some repairs and physical goods and furnishings (total $398) that needed to be taken care of in order to get the boat ready for the next year or more of sailing. We purchased a new tankless propane water heater ($125 out of the total) to replace the 10-year-old one that failed in 2017, some various hardware and plumbing to install a new wash-down pump, repair some cupboards, and furnish the boat.
  • We spent $125 in fuel ($109 of diesel and $16 in gasoline). The gasoline expense is probably about average for any month, but we needed more diesel this month for the heating stove, which we likely won’t use for 2018, and the remaining diesel should last many months.

Expense Breakdown

Here’s the detailed breakdown for the month:

Sailing expenses January

*we, of course, loaded up the boat with a ton or more of preserved food and had our share of expenses in 2017 before the trip began. These are not included in our monthly living expense numbers.

3 Lionfish Recipes We Tried at Home

We experimented with lionfish recipes tonight. Here’s what we came up with:

None of these were very challenging recipes, although they required a few ingredients we had to buy special, such as canned mangos and capers. The Lemon Butter Lionfish was nothing special, but the others are definitely going on our “keepers” list!

Here’s the post and reactions on facebook. 

Home-Canning Beef and Pork


Why We Can Meat

Before sailing, we preserve a lot of meat. Meat is often expensive out of the country, plus we have limited freezer space, and we often go a month or more without a grocery store. Canning beef and pork makes for easy meals, and it’s SO EASY with a pressure cooker.

How we can it

Check out these meat canning instructions from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

How we eat it


We can a lot of beef. It’s great with instant mashed potatoes, or mixed with cream of mushroom soup and poured over noodles like stroganoff. Check out meals we’ve made with canned beef. 


We almost always shred this, heat it with barbeque sauce, and then eat it on a bun or bread (if we have them). Otherwise, it’s great to eat with a fork. This year we also tried a carnitas recipe, which we think will be good inside tortillas, which keep quite a while without refrigeration. Check out meals we’ve made with canned pork. 

Chicken (store-bought), and here’s why:

Clark has canned chicken in the past but has since discovered that canned chicken is inexpensive at Costco, and tastes just as good as home-canned chicken. You can also find fairly decent quality chicken everywhere in the Bahamas and Central America. Beef and pork are harder to find, which is why we can them at home. Check out meals we’ve made with canned chicken.

Other Canned Items

We also can dehydrated vegetables by using a vacuum food sealer attachment to suck all the air out of the containers and keep them dry. This trip, we will bring dehydrated broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms (luckily, we live down the road from a mushroom factory and can get them VERY cheaply). Check out food we’ve made with dehydrated broccoli, and food we’ve made with dehydrated mushrooms