On a cruising powerboat that spends time in the ocean, I think it would be great to have a small portable electric power washer, or perhaps two fixed units, one in a foredeck locker and the other in the cockpit. We all know the salty, slimy film that covers every inch of the exterior after being at sea. With a low-pressure nozzle and the right hose set up, one could easily spray off the salt and film of an offshore passage with fresh water, using way more pressure than from a regular hose, and using far less water. (Small, light duty power washers only use around 1.2 GPM with 1,600 PSI pressure.) In just a few minutes, gone is the salt covering, and the windows, railings, and exterior are shiny and clean again.
Never told this story before, but I first thought of this when helping deliver a brand new Krogen 58 from the Annapolis fall show to Ft. Lauderdale awhile after I left PMM. We had to run offshore from Norfolk to meet the upcoming show’s schedule, despite an approaching weather system. It started out fine but then got a little exciting trying to outrun the stormy weather at trawler speed, but we did not really have a choice. Out in the ocean well south of Virginia, it got rough. It was a bit spooky when the Coast Guard radioed us that we should not even think about coming into Cape Hatteras Inlet—it was closed.
Thankfully a Krogen 58 is no lightweight and can handle big seas. And despite being on a brand new boat with brought-along-for-the-delivery electronics and minimal equipment (which often breaks down as it breaks in), I had the best shipmates ever. One was the chief of a firehouse, another was a Krogen client waiting for his new 48 to arrive. Then there was the seasoned charter captain who runs a school of seamanship in Annapolis, and his good friend, a professional merchant marine officer who serves as navigator on ocean tugs for a living. He shared stories and pictures of his recent tow of an aircraft carrier from Hawaii to San Diego. When these last two started bitching about not having a sextant aboard, yeah, I felt safe.
As we got into Florida waters we steered toward the nearest inlet north of Ft. Lauderdale. Standing boldly at the helm, one hand on the throttles, John showed nerves of steel as he waited for the perfect moment, then gunned both engines of the 97,000-lb trawler to catch then surf down a huge breaking wave, straight as an arrow into the narrow inlet. What a rush!
Relieved to be finally back in the protected waters of the ICW, we ran the last few miles to Ft. Lauderdale. The Krogen, which only days before had been all polished and pretty from the Annapolis show, was covered in salt from head to toe. With a power washer, I could have walked around the boat, spraying off the salt, and working out the kinks from bracing myself for the last so many hours. We would have arrived clean and fresh, ready for the detail crew to come aboard to prepare for the show.
Think how you would enjoy getting settled in at an anchorage, all self-sufficient, with the boat washed down. In a marina, you would still use less water than a regular hose on the dock.
Anyway, going to give it a try next time.
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