Ever had the pleasure of pulling up an anchor that was resting on a muddy bottom? Somehow all that mud, grungy water and little particles of stinking sea life manage to reach every nook and cranny of your deck from bow to stern. What doesnít stay on your deck will eventually ooze out your scuppers and leave its muddy remains all along your hull.
To reduce this onslaught of mud, some sailors rely upon the bucket-on-a-rope method to retrieve water for rinsing off the anchor rode. Others swab tirelessly with a long-handled brush as the rode is slowly retrieved. The end result is that usually quite a bit of mud or muck still finds its way on board.
Itís not just an issue of keeping the boat clean. Walking around on deck with abrasive grit underfoot will shorten the life of your gelcoat or paint finish. To keep that shine and protection in tact, removing the dirt is imperative. Eliminating the mud before a bunch of it makes its way down into your anchor locker also provides several benefits. On many boats, the anchor locker drains directly into the bilge. By cleaning your anchor rode before storing, the smell of stinky mud wafting through your main salon will be a thing of the past. Mud thatís allowed to enter your anchor locker can also become a safety issue. Mud and debris in your bilge can quickly clog your bilge pump strainer and render your pump useless. Even with an overboard draining anchor locker, mud can present a problem when a build-up clogs the drain and the locker fills with water.
It didnít take much cruising on our part to realize that there is
a better way. The addition of a pressurized deck washdown system can be the answer to your muddy deck woes. With a deck washdown, you can quickly eliminate that muddy, stinky, bilge pump-clogging mess before it ever comes onboard. Although a useful addition to any boat, a deck washdown system is especially valuable to the cruiser that rarely sees a dock and doesnít have the chance to hose off with unlimited freshwater after each sail. And cleaning up after landing a messy fish even becomes an easy task.
Most deck washdown systems obtain their water supply directly from the water in which the boat is sailing, be it saltwater or freshwater. Here, the amount of water you can use is unlimited.