No, the R/R isn’t for Red Rover this time… Remove and Replace! This past winter, the dryer started squeaking pretty good and got louder over time. I had a repairman come by to look at it and provide a bid for repair. “Just” one boat unit ($1000). The Bosch set had been in the boat since new back in 2005 and we didn’t want to spend 2/3rds the cost of a new set just to repair a 12 year old dryer. Although I probably could have waited a while, our 6 week trip to Alaska was approaching and I didn’t want to have a “service opportunity” out in the middle of nowhere! I researched washer and dryers to see what would fit. We landed on the GE vented dryer set as the online specs led us to believe they would fit in both the locations as well as make it down the engine room and thru the engine room door frame. The biggest thing that needed to have done was to change the wiring up on the washer to 120v from 240v. I had our marine electrician come in and perform this change in the middle of the R/R.
First things first, remove the salon table, pull up the salon floor and cross supports, remove the port side engine grab rail plus air filter and take off the engine room door – this is the route for the old machine to come out. Both machines were relatively easy to remove from their homes and bring thru the engine room and up in to the salon by two people. Another hop, skip and jump, they were out on the finger pier. Wow! This will be easier than I imagined!
Yup, never say it is going easier than imagined… The actual width of the new machines were larger than the online specs. When do you ever get more than you ask for?!? This made the skinniest dimension 1/8″ wider than the door frame opening. UGH! As I did not want to disassemble the machines, my only option was to remove the door frame. After removing a few screws, I learned that we were fortunate enough in the build process the factory used approximately 7 tubes of 3M 5200 to adhere the frame to the wall… About 4 hours were spent running a blade between the wall and the door frame and carefully applying pressure with a “unique” jack setup while using pry bars on the other side. As the frame was so close to the ceiling and the cabinetry, I was not able to fully cut the adhesive in those areas. I ended up using power tools to carefully cut the plastic laminate that the 5200 was stuck to and the PLam then released from the plywood wall, attached to flange of the frame.
Once the frame was removed, the new washer and dry had “plenty” of room to go in! Although we didn’t have any performance issues with the Bosch machines, the new GE washer and dryer is working better than the old ones. One thing I found on the dryer replacement, when the dryer was pushed back in to place, the vent hose was squished and reduced flow by 50%. With the washer, I was able to crawl in to the area where the starboard stabilizer is to access the back of the machine. This allowed both the electrical and water connections to be a breeze.
After the two were hooked up and made to be operational, we reassembled the boat. With the engine room door frame, I used silicone on the flange to keep it air tight vs the 5200. My hope is to never remove the frame again, but if needed, it should come off easier next time!
One last note, I have seen other N55s have cabinet doors that enclose the W/D. Red Rover did not come to us with them, a previous owner removed them at some point. The laundry area is not overly roomy so I could see where not having them installed is a bonus. It does work well with the new GE machines as they are touch deeper – those doors would not close in our new scenario.