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Old 04-06-2015, 13:56   #16
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Re: Cementing the watertank on a steel boat

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Originally Posted by Orchidius View Post
Both coal and tar sound horrible, not sure 'bout that .

In any case, I've looked into it for different uses (it's the holy grail for paint imho), and it's impossible to get due to the eco-warriors nowadays.
just acid wash it,and recoat with bitumen.......job done,and cheap
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Old 04-06-2015, 14:10   #17
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Re: Cementing the watertank on a steel boat

I've spent the last 5 years doing a refit on my steel ketch. Ospho or phosporic acid converts the rust to iron phosphate a black solid that seems to be firmly attached to the steel, it doesn't remove the rust but changes it. I would try to remove as much rust as possible before letting the acid do it's thing. I am very suspicious about the thin cement, but can't say I have any experience except with the cement ballast in my two steel boats I've worked on. I wouldn't expect it to stop the water and the rust. Leaving the tank as just storage, allows future checking of the hull and rapid access to any problems. I have spent most of my time on the latest boat gaining rapid access to rather inaccessible places on my boat, to me that is very high on the list of important things. I replaced most of my tanks with rigid plastic and made them all removable in a emergency. Plastic is very easy to weld and heat mold with a heat gun and such, you might consider making a tank to fit the space out of flat sheets of plastic cut molded and welded. I put fittings any where I need using a hole saw, a soldering iron, and thin plastic to use as a welding rod. I cut the donor fitting out of a tank and put it where I need it.

The only tanks that were water against steel on my boat was the black water and a keel cooler for the engine. I am a strong believer in keeping salt water as far away from any engine as possible. The black water tank is now plastic and the keel cooler may still have a problem that will be addressed later. Seems like there may be a tiny leak. When I bought my boat I had to replace many steel panels in a hurry to get it out of the yard it was in. I think I've got a couple more panels to replace next time I have it out of the water. You can see a lot of my work on my website.

I clean all my steel by first beating the heck out of it with a hammer and punches, to pop off any rust, then with a rotary wire brush, repeat the hammer, treat it with phosphoric acid for a day, maybe a second time for another day, then if it's some place that will routinely get wet, I paint it with a 2 part epoxy as the first coat, then normally cover with 3-7 coats of oil based paint. I still have some rust show through in about 3% of the places I've treated like this after a couple years, those place need a redo of the process.

I've reshaped the concrete bilge areas to eliminate water in the bilge sloshing against the steel, by making a sump in the middle of the previous flat concrete. I make the sump when I pour the concrete by inserting a 5 gal plastic gas can full of water or something like that into the concrete a couple inches deep. I then paint the hardened inside of the sump with the 2 part epoxy to seal it. I leave the rest of the top of the concrete unpainted so it can breath. I do everything I can to keep water away from the steel, no matter how it's been covered. I also paint a couple inches of the edge of the concrete and the steel hull 6 inches up from the concrete bilge with the epoxy. The rest of the interior just gets the 5 coats of oil based paint.

I also think coal tar and a drinking water tank sounds bad. There might be some plastic foaming type stuff that might work or the epoxy. I've lived with 2 liter pop bottles for water for many years, I still have not had any water in my new tanks yet.
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Old 04-06-2015, 15:57   #18
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Re: Cementing the watertank on a steel boat

I like the idea of making a tank out of plastic. Making it out of fiberglass with polyester and cloth might be an option too.
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Old 04-06-2015, 19:30   #19
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Re: Cementing the watertank on a steel boat

Have steel boat with same water tank set up. What exactly is the cement you refer to???? I have derusted and Ameron coated mine but cement sounds good.russ
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Old 04-06-2015, 19:36   #20
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Re: Cementing the watertank on a steel boat

Maybe just fix the tank as best you can, and use the water for washing rather than drinking if it's still slightly tainted, not much is going to make an old rusty tank perfect, if you can't properly access all of it . Make another small tank reserved as drinking water only, or use Jerry cans for your good drinking water supply.

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Old 04-06-2015, 19:57   #21
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Re: Cementing the watertank on a steel boat

Ameron sells a two part epoxy paint (133?) for potable water tanks. I used it on ours, water tastes fine. But I haven't looked in the tanks for a few years.

BUT!!!!!!.....consider this......

Convert the keel tank to fuel, diesel. Then put in a plastic water tank somewhere else.

Our small boat had very nice ss water tanks in the keel, but that made the steel impossible to maintain, not to mention dissimilar metals issues. Out they came. I've converted them to fuel and replaced the old fuel tank ( it had to go for other reasons anyway) under the cockpit with a nice plastic water tank and a bladder tank. I now have 70 gallons of water and 80 gallons of fuel.
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:35   #22
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Re: Cementing the watertank on a steel boat

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Our small boat had very nice ss water tanks in the keel, but that made the steel impossible to maintain, not to mention dissimilar metals issues. .
My boat originally came with two large rectangular SS tanks, they had to go for two reasons, they were 40 years old, showing rust spots on the outside surface and had been repaired a couple times, but the main reason, they blocked any access to the tons of storage available in the bilge and if there was a large leak in the hull under the tanks, the boat was going down. My boat was built at one of the world's best steel boat yards in the world but I am always amazed at the lack of attention to details like access to the bilge. Also I am very disheartened every time I find rotten pine holding up all the fancy teak. Basically it, like most stuff, was built mostly on a get it done, get paid, get it out the door, as cheap as possible but still look good attitude. I think the problem, is the boat was built by a good yard, the steel work was great, but everything else was done by contractors with mostly a lowest bid selection method.

Plastic is great stuff if you keep it out of the sun.
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:59   #23
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Re: Cementing the watertank on a steel boat

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Ameron sells a two part epoxy paint (133?) for potable water tanks...
Yes, AMERCOAT 133
https://docs.td.ppgpmc.com//download...8/amercoat-133
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:12   #24
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Re: Cementing the watertank on a steel boat

I have a small steel boat that is quite rusty in the tank and in some parts of the bilges. I have used cement wash in the tank and in the bilges with good results. the cement slows the rust down due to its alkalinity. it is not a paint and is not permanent but each time you go and have a look at the rust, you can chip a bit of cement off with the rust flakes behind and easily and cheaply slap a bit more in there. three years so far and several thousand miles and we haven't sunk yet. for the rustiest bits where the plating is a bit thin I add a bit of sand to thicken up the cement and it's still there...i even tried this above the waterline on deck with less success. this year I will chip the rust on deck and treat with owatrol and then oil based paints...the thing about rust is, don't freak out about it.... just slow it down as much as cheaply possible and keep sailing... the water tank needs flushing out a few times before the water tastes sweet. in your position I would remove as much bitumen as possible and mix up a bit of portland cement and water to a porridge like consistency and try it... add bit of sand for structural integrity if you like....see how it goes.... the main thing is you get sailing.
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Old 11-02-2017, 19:59   #25
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Re: Cementing the watertank on a steel boat

I have been told that the Swedish Cruise lines coat their water tanks with cement with milk added. Supposed to make the water taste good. Could be.
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Old 20-02-2017, 12:35   #26
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Re: Cementing the watertank on a steel boat

Semi-OT question for the OP or anyone else w/ integral tanks on a steel boat:

If you could start from scratch, would you stick with integral tanks?

Or would you go with freestanding plastic/SS/glass?
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Old 20-02-2017, 18:45   #27
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Re: Cementing the watertank on a steel boat

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Semi-OT question for the OP or anyone else w/ integral tanks on a steel boat:

If you could start from scratch, would you stick with integral tanks?

Or would you go with freestanding plastic/SS/glass?
Yes, integral's add a lot of strength.
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