In the Galley


There are laundrettes to be found in most large towns, and some Capitaineries have a washing machine, but these usually cost and I like to be self sufficient and save the pennies.

A wonderful idea to save labour is to use the Black Plastic Bag method of washing. Take a strong black plastic bag into the cockpit or on deck and fill it with warm water and soap powder and of course your washing. (I usually sit it in a bucket to make it easier to handle at this stage.) Then sit down and ‘paddle’ the outside of the bag with your bare feet for five or ten minutes. This forces the washing powder through your clothes and it is surprising how clean they come. I treat any bad stains with Vanish wash bar beforehand. Rinsing can be done in cold water, in the bag or in a bucket. It’s also a lovely excuse to sit on deck on a sunny day and yet accomplish something.

A year or two ago I treated myself to a tiny electric washing machine which is compact enough to sit on my draining board, being about 16” high and 13” wide. It uses 240v electricity and 130 watts of power. It washes 2.5 kg of dry weight which is a week’s ‘smalls’. It will even wash one sheet of single-berth size. There is now a twin-tub version of the machine available. The machine is called Purpleline. The twin tub version can be bought from the UK Stockists, Towsure telephone 0870 609 0070 at £79.50. The single tub seems to have been discontinued but Towsure have another similar single tub, Portawash, at £44.95.


When we bought this boat it had no oven (Dutch Boats don't have ovens)and I thought I could manage without, but found that I did miss it, especially for the ability to cook part-baked bread when out of reach of a boulangerie, or even bake bread from scratch. I have tried several alternatives, and review them here for you.

Small microwave Fine for reheating cooked products but I have an aversion to cooking from scratch in a microwave from a health point of view, and hate the fact that you can’t brown anything. I tried a microwave with grill but by the time food was toasted it was generally inedible.

Small oven-grill bought in Holland Will cook part-cooked rolls, but was too small to take any receptacle other than the shallow tray provided. Great for Croque Monsieur and reheating croissants. Limited use, but larger, more versatile versions are available.

Remoska electric cooker A very useful one-pot cooker, rather like an electric frying pan but with the element in the lid. This will bake, roast, etc. as replaces an oven quite nicely. It is available in two sizes and is easy to keep clean. It can be obtained from Lakeland Ltd.The medium version which I have is 8.25” x 3.5”, 2 litre capacity and when I bought it it cost £79.99. Highly recommended.

Halogen Oven This year I have replaced my Remoska with a halogen oven which I bought for about £30. This is a glass bowl with an element in the lid. It does everything a conventional oven will do and also grills beautifully so John can have his favourite pizzas and it makes toast so it is good for Croque Monsieurs. The only downside is that the recipe book is useless and I have had to experiment a bit. It also has a timer and a temperature regulator which my Remoska does not have. I reckon it was a good buy.

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