man washing his boat

Maintaining Maritime Excellence: The Essential Guide to Choosing High-Quality Boat Washdown Pumps and Kits

After a day on the water, a deck washdown is the best way to clean up your boat before docking, or winching it onto a trailer. Where a normal day on the water might cover a boat with enough salt to warrant a discretionary washdown, if you’ve spent the day angling, wrestling with an anchor on a muddy road, or beached on a sandbar, you’ve probably collected enough debris on deck to make a washdown unavoidable.

Make no mistake: with everything from salty southerly winds to acidic seagull excrement working against you, deck washdowns are as much a part of hull maintenance as anything. The key to good washdowns, however, is equipment and planning; and fortunately, there’s no shortage of premium choices in Australia when it comes to high-quality washdown gear to help you with both.

Washdown Kits That Offer Perfect Protection for Your Boat and Trailer

man washing his boat with deck wash pumps

Let’s be honest: while deckwashing may not be one of the most glamorous aspects of owning a boat, it’s arguably one of the most important. This is where turning to high-quality deck wash pumps and washdown kits to take the labour out of the job can really pay off for you. Smart, sensible choices go a long way when it comes to boating equipment and high-flow, high-pressure washdown pumps and hoses from companies like Jabsco, Shurflo, and Easterner help you perform washdowns the way you want.

Regardless of how or where you prefer to do your washdowns, the true measurements of the effectiveness of your boat deck wash equipment are how easily you’re able to undertake a cleanup, and the time you need to finish it. Salt deposits, grime, and other debris are constantly extracting a toll on everything from fibreglass decks and chrome fittings, to canvas biminis and teak coamings; and depending on how long you’ve been out, top-quality washdown equipment gives you the flexibility to perform any of the following at your convenience:

  • A quick rinse of the deck, gunwale, and hull;
  • A thorough boat soap/foam washing and rinse; or,
  • A high-pressure washdown with salt remover.

The fact is, given the sheer range of painted, metallic, and rubber trim pieces and marine accessories fitted to most boats, a highly adaptable deck wash pump kit is the best way to protect it and even your trailer from the corrosion and deterioration that occurs around salt water. And given the wide array of pumps that are available, you won’t have a problem finding one that fits your requirements perfectly.

High-Performance Pump Configurations for Every Washdown Contingency

With every boat owner working from their own rinsing or washing routine, it’s no surprise that the available selection of general-purpose, and boat deck wash pumps would be just as extensive. Unlike standard marine pumps, not only are heavy-duty washdown pumps designed specifically for use with either raw, or freshwater sources, but they also feature sealed, seamless, and corrosion-resistant construction that prevents them from becoming casualties of the kinds of conditions that they’re intended to prevent.

PSI ratings between 40 – 70 are the standard for today’s high-flow marine deck wash pumps, making them effective for everything from removing cockpit fish remnants to rinsing masts. And with litre per minute (LPM) pump capacities from 12LPM – 44LPM at head heights up to 3 metres, they’re sold in a range of plumbing configurations that are able to pull water from a variety of sources, such as:

  • In an inline configuration, ideal for pulling water from live-wells and freshwater tanks;
  • In a submersible configuration, they’re the preferred way to draw water from a bilgewater tank; and,
  • In a free-flow configuration, suitable for drawing raw water directly from the sea.

Optimally, these pumps are best mounted inside a gunwale or fish cockpit cabinet, or along a handrail; and with both 12V and 24V power ratings, they can wired directly to your boat’s distribution panel through their own separate wash pump panel. If you have space available, you could even consider mounting an accumulator tank downstream of your boat deck wash pump to smooth out water delivery and prevent excessive cycling.

Washdown System Accessories That You Can’t Afford to Do Without

close up of a deck wash pump

Although the effectiveness of your washdown process rests on the reliability and durability of your marine deck wash pump, the accessories you use with it are no less important; and regardless of whether you purchase them separately or as part of a complete washdown kit, you don’t want to leave such an important job to less-than-adequate tools. Here is where your washdown planning becomes essential, together with a proper complement of washdown accessories, including:

  • Water strainers. When drawing raw, or bilge tank water for washdowns, twist-on strainers are crucial for keeping unwanted sediment and residue out of your pump, thereby extending the life of your pump’s impeller and other downstream accessories.
  • High-pressure hoses and adapters. High strength, re-coil memory and expandable washdown hoses, together with high-performance polyester adapters, are sold in a wealth of styles and lengths, and are especially resistant to UV and salt exposure.
  • Engine flush mixers and nozzles. The range of multi-functional engine port flushers, and washdown hose guns and nozzles offer you an opportunity to perform the type of washdown that’s consistent with your type and size of boat, as well as your washdown schedule.

Between their reliability, flow rates, and ability to tackle different washdown contingencies, it’s these lesser parts that give the various types of deck wash pumps for boats their effectiveness. In short, when you’re working out your washdown plans, you can’t afford to ignore the quality of your accessories.

The Final Word

At the end of the day, regardless of whether you’re using raw, fresh, or bilgewater, properly planned washdowns are an irreplaceable part of taking care of your boat. You need to have the right equipment though, and it has to have the flow and pressure to get the job done effectively. High-quality deck wash pumps and washdown kits help simplify the washdown process. They’re everything you need to sensibly protect your boat from the elements.

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