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Old 05-05-2016, 19:45   #1
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Fresh Water Tank / Paint

I am constructing an integral water tank (fibreglass) under the v-berth of my 1969 Alberg 30, to replace leaking bladders currently under the settees. It seems like using a food grade epoxy paint on the interior of the tank is the way to go to so that the fibreglass does not affect the taste or quality of the water. I have (finally!) sourced a paint that is available in small quantities from a winery supply company - O'Sullivan Gondola Enamel.
Just wondering if anyone has any words of wisdom on constructing such a tank, and in particular, any feedback on paint products or techniques?
thanks, in advance.
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Old 05-05-2016, 20:21   #2
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Re: fresh water tank / paint

unless I am badly mistaken, that is just a common enamel and is NOT for the inside of a tank. It is not for food contact and it will not stand continuous immersion.

Something more like this, though it is only rated for >1000 gallons.

Tank Clad HS Epoxy - Protective & Marine

Or you can simply use West Systems, but you need to really read the instructions ("Certified potable water tanks have been made to minimize or eliminate extractives."):
http://www.westsystem.com/ss/wood-ep...nk-guidelines/
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Old 05-05-2016, 20:29   #3
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Re: fresh water tank / paint

Years ago I built fiberglass water tanks for commercial boats I was building. After tanks were fully cured, the tanks were filled and a box of baking soda was added and left for a couple weeks. Then flushed with water. It seemed to do it.
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Old 05-05-2016, 21:00   #4
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Re: fresh water tank / paint

Or this: Potable Water Tank Resin | MAS Epoxies
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Old 05-05-2016, 21:16   #5
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Re: fresh water tank / paint

I have an Alberg30 and it came with a factory fibreglass tank with aluminum top in the v berth. Perhaps a pre-1970 may be different but what was used before the bladders? They were not factory for sure. I'd work back from there. Mine feels happier with a full tank though I'm sure racers would disagree :-)

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Old 06-05-2016, 09:22   #6
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Re: fresh water tank / paint

Gougeon Bros have water tank plans and special food grade epoxy resins too.

Go on You Tube and check out: "1972 Alberg 30 refit part 2".
Your answers are all there.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:37   #7
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Re: fresh water tank / paint

The epoxy/paint/whatever should be rated for water tank usage under NSF 61. I think the problem you'll run into is the size of the tank. If you look at any of the NSF ratings they'll say they are suitable for tanks larger than XXX gallons (1000, 2000, 6000). This is based on the approximate surface area of exposed coating to the volume of water in the tank, and the estimated leaching rate of undesirable chemicals.

Since I doubt you will find an NSF rated coating for 20-100 gallon sizes, I'd go with the coating that is rated for the smallest size you can find and is compatible with your tank materials.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:43   #8
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Re: fresh water tank / paint

I wouldn't chance trying to build a tank. I would install a poly tank made by one of the reputable tank manufactures. You can either buy one that's a close fit or have one custom made.

That way, you know it's safe.
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Old 07-05-2016, 14:20   #9
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Re: fresh water tank / paint

Appreciate the suggestions & especially the excellent resources. The cautions and further reading have lead us to re-evaluate our decision to go the integral route. We’re going to consider other options before we make a final call on this.

Thinwater, if we do go ahead with an integral tank, the MAS epoxy you provided a link to would be a far better product than what we were considering – thanks! (By the way, we plan to take a closer look at your blog… looks like lots of good reading there).

Lepke – wondering about the baking soda “treatment” that was used on the commercial tanks. Do you happen to know if that also had effect on drawing out/removing the water soluble amines that will leach with most fibreglass?

Pickpaul – wondering what, if anything, lines your fibreglass tank?

Scaramonger – yes – Gougeon’s site has lots of helpful information & cautions about using their products for this kind of application. The ‘72 Alberg refit you recommended was what originally got us on to the option of an integral tank… if only everything could be as straightforward and easy as it appears on a few minute youtube!

Thanks, again, everyone.
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Old 07-05-2016, 17:54   #10
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Re: fresh water tank / paint

Not sure but Alberg30.org email list would tell you.

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Old 07-05-2016, 19:38   #11
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Re: fresh water tank / paint

We have been thinking along similar lines, these are a few resources I have found interesting.

Atom Voyages - Integral Watertank Construction

Low VOC, FDA rated epoxy coating for brewery tanks linings, potable water tanks and food processing.

Hope this helps, keep us informed on your decisions.
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Old 08-05-2016, 13:02   #12
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Re: fresh water tank / paint

Yes - Atom Voyages' integral tank on the Alberg he refinished was what first sparked the idea for us of going that route. Still considering all options. I have the v-berth opened up so still can easily go the route of solid tank, or bladder, or, as originally intended, integral.

Appreciate the link to "Brewcoat" - hadn't come across that product but it looks ideal. Will try to figure out how it compares to the other product we're considering - MAS Potable Water Tank Resin. Anyone out there have experience with either product?
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Old 31-05-2016, 18:27   #13
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Re: Fresh Water Tank / Paint

After a couple of weeks of hunting around for products available in Canada, I haven't found any available in smaller quantities. MAS Potable Water Resin, for example, I can get, but at minimum, would need to purchase about $800 worth! Guess I could paint our entire Alberg 30 inside & out while I'm at it!

Is anyone aware of something to coat the inside of an integral fibreglass water tank that is available in Canada in small quantities?
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Old 31-05-2016, 18:46   #14
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Re: Fresh Water Tank / Paint

I have used Serwin Williams Tile Clad for many water proofing tasks. It is sold as water tank lining. It is two part epoxy high build, gloss white. I have painted most of the hull interior. Our tanks are SS.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:25   #15
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Re: Fresh Water Tank / Paint

Thanks for the suggestion, Nicholson58.

From what I can see, the Sherwin Williams Tile Clad isn't classified by NSF for potable water. I did find about a half dozen other of their products, though, that are. Appreciate you leading me there.
I'm justs in the process of checking with Sherwin Williams on which one would be most suitable. I will update the forum with what I find.

Ariose Notes | We're a "north-of-49" novice cruising couple sharing our musings about life & learning on our classic Alberg 30 sailboat. Welcome aboard!
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