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Old 11-02-2009, 10:12   #1
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Considering flexible water tank in bilge. Input??

Hi Folks,

I have a 42 gallon poly tank in the v-berth of my 30'er. I would like more water storage, as we will be doing longer coastal cruising this summer. The current tank is set up wit ha deck fill, and a water pump, small accumulator tank, which feeds the pressure system.

I don't have much room for another solid tank. So, i am considering adding a flexible bladder tank in the bilge area, under the cabin sole. The boat as an inner hull liner, which forms the cabin sole floor. The soace in between this flat floor and the actaully v-shaped hull, is the bilge area. It is at least large enough for a 40 gallon tank. Of course, if this badder was full of water, and I then had a large leak from my v-berth tank, or from outside, the large bilge would not be available, and the water may flood above the cabin sole!

If I decide to put one in, I would likely change the pressure pump from the higher v-berth tank to the lower flexible one, and then have the v-berth tank drain into the flexible one. (possibly adding a manual shut off valve on the upper one).

I would pad the flexible tank with foam, or something similar. However, it should not move much as the bilge has a deep v, so it should stay in the bottom v, even on a heel.

I only have a inspection hole in the cabin sole to access the bilge, so I can't put a soild tank down there.

I would like to have any advice on this setup, or a better way!!

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Old 12-02-2009, 00:08   #2
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I used a Plastimo V-tank under the V-berth against the hull. I bought some cheapy carpet from Home Depot to cushion it from the hull. It seemed to do fine, but only owned the boat for another 6 months after I installed it.

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Old 12-02-2009, 05:04   #3
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Flexible Tank

Have you considered installing a water maker. I see new used ones on the net sometimes at great bargins.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:18   #4
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Flexible tanks are fine if installed properly and it sounds as if you are on the right track. If you run the exit hose from your primary tank to the new (and presumably) lower flexible tank you will, of course, avoid the need for another deck fitting and intake hose which will simplify installation. That being said, I would certainly have a T-valve from the primary tank so that, once the lower tank is filled, the exit hose runs to your pump rather than continuing to drain into the lower tank. In that way you can avoid losing all of your water should the lower tank develop a leak.

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Old 12-02-2009, 05:23   #5
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I think a Water maker would be too costly / overkill, as it's just for coastal cruising - just would like to make it a few more days in between fillups.

T -valve sounds like a good idea, as a precaution!

Thanks for the input!
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:47   #6
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I think the easiest and most cost effective way to do this would be to use those 5 gallon collapsible tanks that are 5 to 10 bucks a piece. Can fit them in a variety of places on the boat. Can bring to shore to fill easy. And when you don't need take them off. Plus a leak in one only means 5 gallons of water vs 30 or so being lost.

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Old 12-02-2009, 05:50   #7
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ship - I have those now, but was looking for less hassle, in having a more "fixed" solution, and using the mostly unused space in the bilge.

however, badder tanks are not cheap, and i wanted to know how they hold up, do they get green / slimy inside, etc

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