The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Install A Wash-down Pump—And Save Money!


Want to save a bunch of money?…I mean really big money?

Buy and install a really good deck washdown pump.

“Huh? OK, now John really has lost his marbles”, I can hear you say. But read on, this piece of gear could save you thousands of dollars, pounds, or euros every year.

The reason is that in cruising grounds where muddy bottoms predominate (most?), one of the worst chores is cleaning the anchor rode off with a bucket, particularly if said rode is chain.

So picture this: It’s the end of a long day. There’s a good anchorage but there is also a marina not far away. What are you going to do?

We have to be up early and gone in the morning and cleaning the chain means half an hour earlier out of bed.

But that marina is $3.00 a foot so it’s going to cost us $135 plus tax!

I know, but my back hurts and bucketing kills it.

Oh, OK, just this once.

Wait, it gets worse:

And since we are at the marina anyway…well, we might as well have a drink at the bar.

And later…

I’m pooped and don’t feel like cooking, let’s have dinner at the restaurant.

By the time you get going in the morning, your credit card has taken a $400 hit.

And pretty soon, despite the best intentions to always anchor out that you had when you started cruising, checking into a marina, or picking up a mooring, becomes a habit. A habit that can easily cost you five to as much as ten thousand of your preferred currency a year!

But, if you had had a good deck washdown, none of this would have happened.

There’s More

Of course, having a decent deck wash is only part of making anchoring easy. You need to put a whole system together that includes:

  • An anchor that sets easily and that you can rely on not to drag.
  • An anchor locker that stows all your rode without the need to hand flake it.
  • A powerful windlass that works.
  • A bow roller that lets you safely stow your anchor for sea by simply tensioning the rode and locking off the brake.

You can find out about all of that in our Online Book, Anchoring Made Easy.

The goal here is to get to the point that anchoring is little more trouble and aggravation than parking a car, as it is for Phyllis and me.

I know all of this sounds like a lot of work and expense, but when compared to marina charges—over 10 years, say 50,000 to 100,000 of your preferred currency—building and learning to use a good anchoring system becomes the deal of the century.

Tips For Washdown Pumps

Here are some tips for buying and installing a good deck washdown pump:

More Articles From Online Book: Anchoring Made Easy:

  1. Introduction
  2. 4 Vital Anchor Selection Criteria and a Review of SPADE
  3. SARCA Excel Anchor—A Real World Test
  4. SPADE, SARCA Excel, or Some Other Anchor?
  5. Rocna Resetting Failures and Evaluation of Vulcan and Mantus
  6. Some Thoughts On The Ultra Anchor, Roll Bars and Swivels
  7. Specifying Primary Anchor Size
  8. Kedge (Secondary Anchor)—Recommended Type and Size
  9. Third Anchors, Storm Anchors and Spare Anchors
  10. Anchor Tests—The Good, The Bad, and The Downright Silly
  11. Making Anchor Tests More Meaningful
  12. We Love The Way Our Anchor Drags 
  13. Things to Know About Anchor Chain
  14. Selecting a Chain Grade
  15. Anchor Chain Catenary, When it Matters and When it Doesn’t
  16. Anchoring—Snubbers
  17. Anchor Rode Questions and Answers
  18. Q&A: Hybrid Rope And Chain Anchor Rodes
  19. Anchor Swivels, Just Say No
  20. A Windlass That Makes The Grade
  21. The Perfect Anchor Roller
  22. Install A Wash-down Pump—And Save Money!
  23. Anchoring—Kellets
  24. Anchoring—Chain: Stoppers, Termination and Marking
  25. 20 Tips To Get Anchored and Stay Anchored
  26. Choosing an Anchorage
  27. Choosing a Spot
  28. 15 Steps To Getting Securely Anchored
  29. One Anchor or Two?
  30. Two Anchors Done Right
  31. It’s Often Better to Anchor Than Pick Up a Mooring
  32. Yawing at Anchor, The Theory and The Solution
  33. Yawing at The Anchor, an Alternative Cure
  34. How To Use An Anchor Trip Line
  35. ShoreFasts—Part 1, When to Use Them
  36. ShoreFasts—Part 2, Example Setups Plus Tips and Tricks
  37. ShoreFasts—Part 3, The Gear
  38. Gale And Storm Preparation, At Anchor Or On A Mooring
  39. Storm Preparation, All Chain On Deck