21st May: Cleaning Seafly – Kärcher K4

I’ve been slowly getting my head around the need to clean both the Seafly and Seatern.  Following a couple of year’s neglect I anticipated a hard task and finally gave in to buying a power washer.  Based on reviewing comments on various boating websites I’ve bought a “Kärcher K 4 Power Control Pressure Washer”.  First impressions were that it was the worst German designed item I’ve ever bought!

The instructions for assembly turned out to be next to useless, they expect you to view videos.  I couldn’t get the high pressure hose to connect to the gun.  The manual shows a picture with an exclamation mark but no explanation.  The illustration (left) from the sales brochure doesn’t show the much smaller yellow “trigger” that you have to use in order to secure the connection.

This does not show the yellow trigger to press!

I don’t think I ever got a reply from Kärcher UK Customer Care Team apart from that they “aim to respond within 5 working days”.  In the end it was the Amazon customer care agent who suggested the correct video to watch.

Only one of the 2 lances will store on the washer.  The extensible handle does not stay extended.  The high pressure hose insists on staying curled up whilst trying to knot itself at the same time. A quick trial convinced me to replace it with a 15m “Flexiwash TP Karcher style Quick Fit replacement Hose” from Directhoses which was to prove far better than that supplied.

My original plan was to use river water so I bought a “Kärcher 26431000 5 m Suction Hose and Filter”.  However it says it will only lift the water 0.5m which means positioning the washer on the pontoon. I couldn’t get the pump to prime unless the pressure hose was disconnected and even then it was a fiddle. That and having seen the amount of fecal pollution on the Friends of Itchen Estuary facebook page I did not fancy breathing in the aerosol produced by the power washer. So I decided to use tap water instead.  Annoyingly that means I’ll be paying even more to Southern Water.

On the 20th to 21st May I “experimented” by cleaning the Seafly.  I must admit that having the pressure washer speeded the process up.  I still had to scrub growth by hand, but only after the mud and much of the growth had been dislodged by the pressure spray.  Cleaning the inside was much easier, especially the none-slip floor surface.  However I’m not sure how much paint I might have also removed.

In all it took me parts of 4 days to clean the hull inside and out. The next job is cleaning Seatern!