Question: This might sound silly to you, but why can’t boat manufactures build a boat that has a bilge pump that dispenses water out of your center console, that is waist high so you can flip a switch and have running water. It doesn’t matter if its saltwater for rinsing your hands after grabbing bait, slimy fish, sun screen, etc. It only makes sense. And the best thing, is that it’s a cheap fix.
Ray Perez, San Antonio, Tx
Answer: Hi Ray, and thanks for sending in your question. We do see these systems (with both fresh and raw water) in many large fishing boats and think what you’re looking for can be added to most smaller boats, perhaps yours, in the form of add-on raw water washdown systems. Seaflow, Amarine, Oasis, and other manufacturers sell kits for about $100, though they don’t include a through-hull fitting a seacock, which you’ll need to add to draw in the raw water (this costs another $120 or so). All of these items are available at your local marine supply store, or via Amazon. The tough part is installing it.
The through-hull and seacock require drilling through the hull of your boat, which can be a scary thing for many folks. And installing the outlet in such a way that it fits your needs, especially for being waist height, is a challenge that will vary from boat to boat. One way to do so would be to use a pull-out vegetable-sprayer style nozzle, and mount the holder for it on the console or perhaps on the back of your leaning post, then run the plumbing down through the console or post and into the bilge.
An even easier, cheaper option would be buying a portable washdown system. You can find them on Amazon for about $100 and instead of installing them you simply toss one end of the hose over the side of the boat to draw water in for the pump, and the other end of the hose is your washdown. There are also some portable camping sinks on the market, though most we’ve seen are plastic and aren’t really designed for the marine environment, and use on boats. Still, with a little Googling, you may be able to find one that meets your specific needs and fits on your boat.