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Old 02-28-2017, 12:17 AM   #1
City: San Francisco
Vessel Name: Speedy Charlotte
Vessel Model: Beneteau Swift Trawler 44
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 679
Vacuum Cleaner Recommendations

Just curious if anyone has a good recommendation for a vacuum cleaner they keep on their boat. And do you use a traditional, or wet/dry vacuum? I'm looking for something relatively compact.

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Old 02-28-2017, 01:32 AM   #2
City: Sydney
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,646
If you haven't used one you don't know what your missing. Dyson V8

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Old 02-28-2017, 05:25 AM   #3
City: Seaford Va on Poquoson River, VA
Vessel Name: Old Glory
Vessel Model: 1970 Egg Harbor 37 extended salon model
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,264
I use a small handheld canister vac with a cloth bag. Was made by Kenmore.
Like it so much I replaced bearings and a new hose.
Very compact but dont know if you buy anymore.

Other thing is an upright made by Hoover, best for rugs.
This one is super light weight. Does have attachments.
Not my picture, but looks like it.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:15 AM   #4
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Wet or dry , many uses besides a carpet cleaner.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:17 AM   #5
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City: Annapolis
Vessel Name: Ranger
Vessel Model: 58' Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,847
We are currently experimenting with a corded Shark stick-vac. (Similar in concept to Gaston's Dyson, but we don't have all that much luck with battery-operated stuff.) Compact, comes apart to become even more compact, works like an upright or a hand-held... so far, seems OK in both modes. Decent filters, but no mention of the word HEPA in the manual.

Previously, we were using a larger Bissel lift-away. Very good for carpet in upright mode; not as good for anything in lift-away mode. HEPA filter. This one was great when we had the big dog aboard; now its just the cat, we'll have to see whether the Shark is good enough or not.

Both of these augmented by a wet/dry shop-vac, mostly for industrial chores.

Chesapeake Bay, USA
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:20 AM   #6
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City: Windsor
Vessel Name: Keeper IV
Vessel Model: 44 Viking ACMY
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,346
We replaced our built in vac with a Shark corded stick vac. Becareful with any cordless vacs in general, they have very short running cycles. Something in the 15-20 Min range as a max when new. Not near enough time for a thorough cleaning on a 40+ ft boat. Mind you I also vacuum the aft deck and the bridge as they're enclosed.
Back to the Shark. We NJ have used it for a full season. I'm the cleaner. I love it, I looked at Dyson and Shark the shark won. the cord is not an issue.
It breaks down to a hand unit for raised non floor areas.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:48 AM   #7
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City: Jacksonville
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I have a one of the small 2 gallon shop vacs and Lena has a Shark Lite, bag-less with a power head. We have a long haired dog so it gets quite the work out. The Shark has worked well and the cord is long enough that she only un/re-plugs once and the unit is small enough that it fits in one of the hanging lockers.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:10 AM   #8
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City: North Charleston, SC
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I have a small boat and little room for "extra" stuff. I had an upright that I kept in the dock box but after I replaced the carpet with teak and holly, I didn't need that any more. I had a small wet dry vac from Home Depot but it had wheels and it rolled off the dock into the river. I bought a small hand held 120 volt vacuum like they sell for cleaning cars, but it was pretty ineffective on something as big as a boat.

I remember back in my computer days having a nice canister vacuum/blower but when I looked them up, they are pretty expensive.

I went to a local thrift store and low and behold, there was a Hoover handheld canister vacuum for $6.00. It had seen a lot of use, but for $6, what could I lose? It works fine and the paper bags are available on the Internet (and possibly in stores as well). My wife is even satisfied with it.

So, my vote is for a hand held canister vacuum. Probably not if you have carpeting, but it's fine for everything else.

The Dyson V8 pictured above is probably good but we're talking $600 vs. $6. We bought a Dyson upright for the house a few years ago and it was unimpressive. No better than something from Walmart for $100.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:37 AM   #9
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City: Brookline, NH
Vessel Name: Shalloway
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I have a small Oreck for normal cleaning. It works pretty well and has a nice long cord.

I also have a small shop vac for dirty or messy clean ups. I don't use it as often as the regular vac, but I think if I had to pick one it would be the small shop vac because it can do wet or dry, a regular vac can't.

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Old 02-28-2017, 08:48 AM   #10
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City: Cape May, NJ
Vessel Name: Irish Lady
Vessel Model: Monk 36
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Posts: 4,832
Bucket head from HD. $20. WE also have an 80's era 12V corded dust buster lookalike which does a decent job.
Irish Lady
1984 Monk 36 Hull #46
Currently in Cape May, NJ
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:51 AM   #11
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City: Stuart FL
Vessel Name: Lucky Lucky
Vessel Model: Pacific Mariner 65
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Best we have ever used is a Dyson. Second the Home Depot bucket head for shopvac work.
Lucky Lucky
Stuart, FL
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:55 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by gaston View Post
If you haven't used one you don't know what your missing. Dyson V8


Although, we have the v6.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:02 AM   #13
Join Date: Jun 2014
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We've only ever had wood floors in our sailboats and thus vacuums were relegated to project status only. 19 years ago I purchased a Fein vacuum (Turbo?) when yet another Shop Vac failed in short order. It has provided amazing service over the years and is just now beginning to make some strange noises. I should note that my wife hates the Fein.
Maybe it is the size or the color but she refuses to use it! I think at the time I paid $200 for it...
When camping we bring along a little Dyson dc vac. It serves the purpose just fine.
Not sure if we will bring it along on the Tug.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:18 AM   #14
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City: Charleston, SC
Vessel Name: Drift Away
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 545
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 10
We bought a corded Shark and it works very well. Needs no bags so nothing to run out of. Home Depot 3 gal shop vac that has sucked more salt water, oil and crap over three years and still runs fine. Happy with them both. I thought the shop vac would die quickly with salt water
Drift Away
Charleston, SC
Ocean Alexander 546 Yachtfisher
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:19 AM   #15
City: LI or Fla
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We have carpet and a dog, so hoover canister which you can wash out and has a special filter for trapping fine particles, we found the smaller more portable ones just don't pull up the dog hair easily and we vacuum daily. So all depends size of boat and application.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:28 AM   #16
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City: Fort Lauderdale. Florida, USA
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Pro-Team Backpack Vacuums. Oreck and Hoover also make good backpack models. Most commercial house cleaners use backpack vacuums. They cost a bit more, although not more than Dyson, but the ability to handle steps, blinds, furniture, ceiling fans and the advantage of wearing them is why we like them. Most have very long cords too,

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Old 02-28-2017, 10:40 AM   #17
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City: La Paz, BCS
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I have used one of these Hoover cordless vacs at home for several years and love it. I recently brought one to the boat and I am very happy with it. Can buy them for less than $80 at Costco, Walmart, etc.

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Old 02-28-2017, 08:57 PM   #18
City: San Francisco
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Thanks for all the great ideas everyone!
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:05 PM   #19
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City: North Port, FL
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Vessel Model: Mirage / Great Harbour 47
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Bucket wet/dry for the engine room and a Dyson for the rest of the boat. My wife shopped a lot before she settled on the Dyson and she is very happy with it.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:18 PM   #20
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City: Kenai, Alaska
Vessel Name: Melanie Rose
Vessel Model: 1999 Willard PH
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,216
Makita cordless, uses the same batteries as my portable drill. Pretty much like a "dust buster" but ok for general cleanup. No inverter on board and I don't want to get out my generator to run AC so it makes do.
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