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Old 30-05-2016, 08:34   #1
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Water Bladder vs tank

I recently looked at a boat with flexible bladders inside nylon bags rather than a water tank. Could anyone provide some feed back on this? Their own experience. Long term serviceability, potential for leaks, general function?
Apparently the bags are just slightly smaller than the bladder's max capacity to prevent any sort of damage from overfilling.
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Old 30-05-2016, 08:38   #2
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

My previous boat had a flexible water tank. Worked fine for years for the seasonal usage I put it through. The key is to make sure it is properly supported to avoid any chafe.

In some ways there are real advantages to the flexible tank. For cleaning and winter storage it's easy to just take it off the boat.
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Old 11-10-2016, 21:33   #3
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

Just wondering what brand is favoured by cruisers. Seems Platismo (West Marine) has mixed reviews....

Are the plastic containers safe for drinking water... thanks
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Old 11-10-2016, 22:26   #4
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

I had a plastimo bladder for a couple of years before it hemorrhaged. It seemed that just as the nasty plastic taste was wearing off, it emptied itself into the boat. I would not use Plastimo again. There are a lot of outfits who make custom tanks that would probably be worth a look.
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Old 11-10-2016, 22:35   #5
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

Another option, if you're looking for a real project, is building an integral tank out of plywood and fiberglass, and then coating with food grade epoxy. The upside is you utilize all available space, add strength and eliminate inaccessible areas of the hull, and you can install huge inspection ports which make regular cleaning an easy chore.
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Old 11-10-2016, 23:43   #6
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

Our boat had been fitted with a bladder after one of the keel tanks developed problems. The bladder lasted less than ten years (OK, not so bad) but once it failed it was a nightmare to extract. The originally flexible outer layer had become as hard as the proverbial rock and the only way I could extract it was by cutting it into small pieces within the keel tank, using, of all tools, a tree pruning saw, and pulling the pieces out of the tank inspection hatch one by one.

Took two days.

Matt
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Old 11-10-2016, 23:55   #7
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

Replaced all Plastimo tanks with Vetus.
Far better quality.

Still some issues with plastic taste remain.

Be sure to add a vent/overflow.

Do not cut the connector openings to big.
I have one where I did cut it so I could get the fitting through. It worked for a year.
The holes want to be really tight.
Tried to fix it with bigger backing plate and Sika. Failed again and filled the bilge.

Needs replacing.

Filling gauges do not work you need to be able to see the tank.

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Old 12-10-2016, 00:51   #8
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
I had a plastimo bladder for a couple of years before it hemorrhaged. It seemed that just as the nasty plastic taste was wearing off, it emptied itself into the boat. I would not use Plastimo again. There are a lot of outfits who make custom tanks that would probably be worth a look.
That was pretty much the same experience I had with a bladder tank, but that was 35 years ago. When I installed a replacement bladder tank I learned the manufacturer dusts the inside with sulphur (to keep the inner surfaces from sticking together in storage) which needs to be rinsed out thoroughly before installing the bladder. Boatbuilders never do that, hence the nasty taste. But the replacement bladder, properly rinsed before installation, didn't last any longer than the original. I made an epoxy-lined plywood tank that was still in service when I sold the boat after 28 years of ownership.

Fabbian
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Old 15-10-2016, 12:39   #9
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

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Originally Posted by fgd3 View Post
That was pretty much the same experience I had with a bladder tank, but that was 35 years ago. When I installed a replacement bladder tank I learned the manufacturer dusts the inside with sulphur (to keep the inner surfaces from sticking together in storage) which needs to be rinsed out thoroughly before installing the bladder. Boatbuilders never do that, hence the nasty taste. But the replacement bladder, properly rinsed before installation, didn't last any longer than the original. I made an epoxy-lined plywood tank that was still in service when I sold the boat after 28 years of ownership.

Fabbian
Now that is a good water tank. There have been several posts about this food safe epoxy/plywood method. I would appreciate learning more along the lines of diy instruction if anyone can send along a reference... thanks
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Old 15-10-2016, 12:56   #10
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

High leak potential. We gave up on them.

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Old 15-10-2016, 13:07   #11
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

Barny, you refer to the bladders, no?

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Old 15-10-2016, 13:18   #12
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

Better yet, and not only a LOT easier, but prob'ly close the same price is top quality rotomolded PE tank from Ronco Plastics (no relation to the VegoMatic Ronco) Ronco Plastics Marine Catalog They make TOP quality thick-walled water and waste tanks for a very reasonable price and has more than 400 shapes and sizes, over 100 of which are non-rectangular, and they install fittings in the sizes and locations specified by the customer when they make the tank. There are several retailers--Plastics Mart is one--who sell Ronco tanks, but you can buy direct for a lot less. Be sure to specify "water" when you order it.
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Old 15-10-2016, 13:30   #13
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

We had a Vetus one: like a pvc dinghy, same stuff. This one went at the filler.

Same story our neighbour here - same style of a tank.

I was also sent to diagnose a huge bladder in a big cat's hull. This was the inlay/jacket style (Plastimo or similar). Leaking from the very corner.

They can be fine for a weekend use when a leak is a small problem.

+Ours got a mushy taste after a while. I never get any bad taste with our present roto molded polypropylene tanks. They also have a big round inspection hatch.

If installing new, skip the whole bladdy adventure.

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Old 15-10-2016, 13:44   #14
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

Installed Plastimo bladders about 6 yrs ago. They were about $100 ea., plastic tanks about $1k ea. No issues so far, no taste, no leaks no issues. Even if I throw them out every 10 yrs, way cheaper than rigid plastic.
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Old 15-10-2016, 16:24   #15
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Re: Water Bladder vs tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Delay View Post
Installed Plastimo bladders about 6 yrs ago. They were about $100 ea., plastic tanks about $1k ea. No issues so far, no taste, no leaks no issues. Even if I throw them out every 10 yrs, way cheaper than rigid plastic.
Good news. Our aluminum boat has integral tanks and trying to epoxy coat the inside has been horrible.... and not 100% sure it's all perfect. I think i'll give the Plastimo a shot.

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