Normally, when a yacht comes into a marina one of the first things you do is to spray it off – sailing covers EVERYTHING in salt and rails, decks, windows and even canvas are disgusting to touch. Even just sitting gently on the water without spray eventually gives a salt cover to everything from the sea air. The usual issues of properly cleaning the boat are shortage of water and shortage of power – with many marinas understandably frowning on excessive use of scarce fresh water for boat cleaning and sometimes water pressure being so low that it’s hard to do a good job.
We have always had the luxury of a Karcher jet-wash on our boats – normally a small unit, hidden away somewhere in a locker which we dug out and plugged in on the dock. However, with Liberation our objective was to be completely independent and not to use marinas – so how do we solve this one?
Water is not a problem with our water-maker – as long as we have fuel to run the generator we can make as much water as we like. Power is also not a problem as we can run the generator. So as long as the Karcher’s power draw was within the output of the generator, we’re in business. However, the project got a bit carried away – and we ended up with a far smarter solution that we anticipated!
The jetwash is a Karcher K7280 model which we purchased in France with our supermarket points. The idea was to make it smaller by removing the handle and the wheels and to break it down to fit in the lazarette. However, bit by bit it got smaller and smaller – and Ed kept taking bits off until we were left with nothing but the engine! Amazingly it still worked perfectly – and is now a fraction of the size.
The Karcher unit itself was just one part of the smart solution – the best part is that the hose and lance are connected to the machine by means of an external plug-in socket so we never need to go to the machine except to turn the “on” button. It can therefore be stowed away behind the swim ladder, with a canister of deck-wash beside it to feed the soap function. The lance is rolled up and stowed on the lazarette shelf and can easily be used without any major drama.
We can now keep Liberation clean on the way, in a marina, on anchor – without having to rely on any water or power supply – and we can even clean the sails!