We have been interested in purchasing a new Lagoon for a while now, so we have looked at the details of all the new models that have come out that are within the price range that we are budgeting for. There are of course some major differences between Impi, a Lagoon 440, purchased new in 2009 and the L46 and L50. One thing though has remained the same or still looks very similar: the cupboard in the cockpit area.
This outside cupboard on the Lagoon 50 still has the same bar fridge and lay out with a sink on the left under which their is a shelving area. It is very much a missed opportunity to have an outdoor washing machine or washer dryer and to use the existing water outlet of the sink also to expel the washing machine water.
Upon Impi’s arrival in Cape Town in October 2009, we thought straight away, oh dear we are going to have to modify this outdoor cupboard to be able to fit a washing machine in it. So we bravely took a sledge hammer to it and switched the fridge and sink to the left and purchased a washer dryer in the UK as South Africa did not have any slimline machines. It costed about GBP350. The courier and import duty were about GBP 150. This was still half the cost of most full size washer dryers which were around ZAR10000. The brand was a Hoover WDYN9646P. it is a 6kg washer and 4kg dryer.
We then asked a cabinet maker to make a new cupboard and below are some of the photos of the process.
We are now on our third washing machine. We bought another Hoover machine in 2013 and flew it into the BVI from London. It had actually become cheaper by then. Last year this machine’s drum rusted through and unfortunately here in Australia we could not find a slimline washer dryer combo so we just have a 5kg washing machine.
It is a Euromaid which retails at around AU$400.
So there we are! We use our machine daily so it is not surprising that after a few years of heavy use in an unforgiving environment the machines give up the ghost. Similar to what happened when we lived in a house actually. The benefits of having the machine outside are reduced humidity in the boat and better use of space, one less through hull fitting, having a sink nearby. The draw backs? Maybe the environment is a bit harsher than inside. Still we like it as the space liberated is important to us as full time cruisers.
We really like the outdoor cupboard/sink/fridge/washing machine rolled all in one, really practical for a range of tasks ranging from cleaning fish to doing repairs to entertaining.