Yeah, we’ve all complained about those pesky combo washer/dryers that started showing up in all type of vessels in the mid 1980s. These machines are supposed to do everything except fluff and fold. But the truth is you leave Pine Island, cruise to Key West, spend a couple of days then head to Ft. Lauderdale, cross over to West End, spend three days and return to Stuart, Florida and those damn Levis and that long sleeve cotton “T” you picked up at Ragged Ass Saloon are still damp!
I am very much a creature of habit. I frequent the same pub, drink a different beer every visit to keep my bartender on her toes. When I have the option, I travel the unbeaten path and when I am home, I drink wine from a mason jar! I have worn two style and brands of shoes every day for the past 10 years. When I buy clothes—about every two years—I purchase a pair of shorts and wear them for several days, if I like them, I will purchase 10 to 12 pair. To some this may sound a bit weird, but all will agree it is simple. And I believe marine washers/dryers and clothes do go hand in hand. If you don’t like the way your thousand-dollar combo unit dries your clothes, simply change your clothes!
Aftco, Columbia, Old Harbor Outfitters, Pelagic and even West Marine have gotten on the band wagon with high tech boating apparel. There are many others, these are just the five I have had extensive experience with. Being a born southerner, I may need to go into hiding in fear that ghosts from old cotton plantations will unleash their wrath upon me for what I am about to say; “Polyester and nylon have found their way into my boating wardrobe!” When I am cruising or working on a boat, about 340 days a year, I find myself wet quite often. The nylon and polyester clothing by the aforementioned manufacturers will dry on my body in approximately 20 minutes, they do not absorb water and they shield UV. The tangible qualities also include space saving, I can pack 5 shirts and shorts in the same space of a bath and hand towel! Washing out by hand and letting air dry is always an option with these fabrics.
The next time you are on a marathon drying cycle remember what the label says, “tumble dry low when necessary.” I may even hit a thrift store or two; maybe I can find an old polyester leisure suit in case I need to get dressed up!