We have a very convenient option on the boat, a deck wash hose at the front of the boat by the anchor windlass, which can spray either fresh water or salt water by adjusting a valve. The fresh water line is pressurized all the time by the main fresh water pump that runs most of the time when we use an inside tap. For salt water, we turn on a switch/breaker on the main panel to energize the pump that shares a through-hull fitting with the port-forward toilet.
This morning I learned an important lesson about the valve and how the system works. If it gets left in the fresh water position and we develop a leak, it’s possible for the fresh water tank to empty and then burn out the water pump – yikes! We were fortunate that this didn’t happen but I had left it in the wrong position after spraying off the anchor recently. Needless to say, it should always be left in the salt water position when not in use.
The challenge for me is that the handle appears “backwards” when pointing towards the salt water hose…so now I know what it should look like for each position.
A deck wash hose comes in really handy for spraying down the anchor when it comes up full of mud, clay or weeds. We also use it to wash off the decks when they get covered with salt spray, or black grime, like when we were at the boatyard marina for 3 weeks getting some improvements done. It was amazing how much particulate gets carried in the air at a boatyard.
The next step for me is to really learn the rest of the deck wash system…once the boat stops rolling around. Since most of the pumping systems are in the bilges, it requires kneeling over and sticking your head under the floor boards to explore what’s underneath…a difficult thing to do while underway if you want to keep your breakfast in your tummy. We’re looking forward to getting settled in a quiet anchorage for a few days so we can take care of a few chores like this.
And maybe stop to enjoy the scenery between chores…