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Old 03-16-2015, 10:19 AM   #1
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Ideal Anchor Washdown System

Let's see if there's any more consensus on this than there is on anchors.

Currently, we have freshwater at the bow and transom, powered by a fairly anemic Shurflo that also runs the household FW system. While water capacity isn't a primary worry (tanks hold about 350 gallons), it sounds like I'll be using the anchor washdown a lot on the Chesapeake.

Option A: I've been thinking about installing a dedicated ninja of a washdown pump and maybe rigging it with a Y valve to draw from either the tanks or a seacock, which would allow me to keep one faucet/valve in the bow area.

Option B: I could install a completely independent saltwater line--seacock/pump/spigot--and retain the freshwater outlet. One of us would blast the mud off with saltwater while the other rinses the chain with fresh before it goes down into the locker. I'm guessing here that a freshwater rinse after knocking mud off with saltwater might be better for the chain and maybe produce less odor?

Option C?: How would you set up your ideal 12-volt system?
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:26 AM   #2
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Option B: I could install a completely independent saltwater line--seacock/pump/spigot--and retain the freshwater outlet. One of us would blast the mud off with saltwater while the other rinses the chain with fresh before it goes down into the locker. I'm guessing here that a freshwater rinse after knocking mud off with saltwater might be better for the chain and maybe produce less odor?
My vote would be for "B".
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:31 AM   #3
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B eliminates any potential of salt water entering any portion of your fresh water system.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:44 AM   #4
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Agree that you don't want seawater to be separated from your drinking water by a single valve. Upgrading the plumbing diameter may help with flow issues.
A dedicated SW washdown system is the norm for anchor duty.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:59 AM   #5
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I'm guessing here that a freshwater rinse after knocking mud off with saltwater might be better for the chain and maybe produce less odor?
Yes, salt water odor and what it allows to grow can stink up a boat. We have continued to use the 12V fresh water system, hose and nozzle. Lots of water storage on a DF and if you have a water maker all the better.

And it keeps me at the bow peering over at all the sea life and stuff the rode pulls up on retrieval. The best one was a very large octopus who wanted to board the vessel. The worst was a very large glacial boulder that would have caused lots of damage had we been retrieving blind from the helm.
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:09 AM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. s. Just for future reference... Octopus Curry Recipe from Seychelles
Last time I was there, I gained 10lbs in a week on this stuff or maybe it was the bat curry...
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:26 AM   #7
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I was in the same position as the OP. Installed a 7 gpm raw water wash down pump to blast the mud off and will have a <1 gpm misting wand to rinse the chain as it reaches the bow roller.

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Old 03-16-2015, 12:08 PM   #8
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I was in the same position as the OP. Installed a 7 gpm raw water wash down pump to blast the mud off and will have a <1 gpm misting wand to rinse the chain as it reaches the bow roller.

Ted
Great idea, Ted. That should make it a 1-person job.

Thanks, all.
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:27 PM   #9
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We installed a overall bigger house water pump which we use for anchor washdown, we now have house like water pressure.
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:01 PM   #10
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We have a hydraulically driven pacer pump plumbed with a y valve on the intake side. Click image for larger version

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One position dewaters the forward bilge area and the other draws seawater from a through hull. There is an adjustable nozzle on the stem that allows the pattern to be adjusted for different wind strengths.Click image for larger version

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Once the chain goes below deck the whole cone pile gets washed with fresh water if conditions permit.Click image for larger version

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Via iPhone.
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:48 PM   #11
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We have a hydraulically driven pacer pump plumbed with a y valve on the intake side.
One position dewaters the forward bilge area and the other draws seawater from a through hull. There is an adjustable nozzle on the stem that allows the pattern to be adjusted for different wind strengths.
Once the chain goes below deck the whole cone pile gets washed with fresh water if conditions permit.
How cool is that!
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:56 PM   #12
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B. My boat came with a 240v (your equivalent will be 110v) washdown pump, it requires the genset running. Powerful, but 12v would be more convenient. Don`t bother with a freshwater final wash. Blast the chain as it comes up too, your anchor rode locker will stay cleaner.
Now, what kind of anchor are you washing?
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:58 PM   #13
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Now, what kind of anchor are you washing?

Only the best, Rocna.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:18 PM   #14
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Bruce's post reminds me of our washdown system.

A previous owner of our PNW boat installed a very powerful salt water washdown system. It consists of a big 1hp Westinghouse 120vac motor driving a large Jabsco impeller pump with its own through-hull intake and seacock. This pump delivers about 25 gpm at the pump outlet which of course is diminished somewhat by the hose runs to the deck outlets at the bow and stern.

The blast is sufficient to blow everything we've encountered to date off our all-chain rode and our anchor, which tends to bring up a lot of bottom materal on the fluke. Like BruceK, we do not bother with any sort of fresh water rinse, and we've had no smell in the chain locker in the last 17 years.

Also like Bruce, the drawback is we need to have the generator running to use the pump. Supposedly our inverter will (barely) power it but we've not wanted to put the inverter to that kind of test.

The AC requirement alone makes our system not the most convenient setup on the planet. But so far as I know we could not get this kind of water blast pressure using any of the DC washdown pumps on the market.

To the OP's original question, after having a number of years' experience with our washdown system, were we in the position of needing to install a washdown system on a boat from scratch, I would be inclined to go with a system similar to ours but with the most powerful DC pump (within reason) I could find instead of an AC pump.

A dedicated salt-water washdown will not deplete the boat's fresh water supply--- it can take a LOT of water to get all the muck off a chain and anchor, particularly after anchoring in sticky mud. If the system craps out, it will not affect the rest of the boat's on-board water system. There are no selection valves required other than the individual deck outlets. It will require a dedicated through-hull and seacock unless the boat has a sea chest with additional pick-off points.

I would have fore and aft outlets. We use a stern anchor on occasion and it's nice to be able to hose it and its rode off, too.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:30 PM   #15
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We have a watermaker, so we use FW like there's no tomorrow. I would also like to minimize chain rust.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:30 PM   #16
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Marin, the plus of a mains electricity powered washdown pump, apart from its blast capacity, it compels starting the genset, something we may not do often enough. Onan say to run it weekly.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:59 PM   #17
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I like "Option A" when the watermaker can be used.

To reduce chain/locker moisture, I begin weighing anchor about 30 minutes before departure. By retrieving the rode in intervals equal to the exposed length of chain, I spray/clean each lift and wait a number of minutes until somewhat dry then haul in another lift. Requires a little planning and an active drag watch and certainly can't be used when the wind is howling, but it does help gradually break the anchor loose and keeps the chain locker much drier.
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Old 03-16-2015, 09:00 PM   #18
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Marin, the plus of a mains electricity powered washdown pump, apart from its blast capacity, it compels starting the genset, something we may not do often enough. Onan say to run it weekly.
Good point. We don't run ours weekly but we run it at least twice a month for an hour or so with a load on even if work or weather don't let us take the boat out for a weekend. We had the starter totally rebuilt last year and given the very time-consuming effort it took to remove and replace the starter (due to the position of the generator) we don't want to encourage more disuse-related problems.
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Old 03-16-2015, 09:26 PM   #19
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Blast the chain as it comes up too, your anchor rode locker will stay cleaner.
Now, what kind of anchor are you washing?
80-lb. Manson Supreme and a big-ass Danforth, depending on where we'll be anchoring. Obviously, only the best washdown system will do.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:49 PM   #20
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You asked for a 12V solution. I'd use the 12V to operate the control valve for the hydraulic wash down pump.
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