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Old 17-03-2012, 15:39   #1
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Water Storage ?

Our question is in choosing a water tank">fresh water tank. What type of material is best and why? For example stainless steel ..fiberglass..plastic.. which has best tasting water?
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Old 17-03-2012, 15:47   #2
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Re: water storage?

As far as I know, stainless is the only one that won't impart any sort of a taste to the water. I've been on some boats with plastic where the water tastes like plastic and some where the water doesn't.
Plastic is cheap and durable
Stainless is expensive.....and durable.
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Old 17-03-2012, 16:11   #3
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Re: water storage?

All the options should be acceptable if installed correctly. Why? If you are taking on water (this does not include watermaker-folk so please don't get upset) in a less than ideal setting you should always have some sort of filtration up stream from your faucets. The most basic filtration systems usually include a carbon filter of some sort. The carbon will pull most 'bad' tastes out of the water.

I have had SS, fiberglass, and wood (epoxy/glass over wood) tanks on different boats. After the SS tank (my first boat) I installed a simple carbon filter because I was sailing down into Mexico on a regular basis and the water was sometimes cloudy in Ensenada and further south (40 years ago). I soon learned (after a bad case of worms) that this wasn't enough and upgraded to a more sophisiticated filter that took out bacteria. No problems since.

An example for today- Ceil is kept off Catalina Isl, California, USA. The water dock is a float in the harbor (this is a very high-end place - analogous to a SoCal Monaco) and the pump out is installed on the same float. People routinely pump out and then drop the sewage sucker on the deck of the float. The fresh water is located less than 10 ft from the sewage nozzles and in most cases the boaters will use the pump-out and then without washing hands pick up the fresh water hose, when done they cast the fresh water hoses back onto the same float deck that the black-water nozzle is on and go on their way.

If this happens in Avalon, you can be sure it only gets worse in less developed places (insert joke).

You can buy a bacteria removing filter that has carbon filters included for under $50 bucks in the states. Both issues are for the most part solved.

Cheers,,,
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Old 17-03-2012, 16:11   #4
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Re: water storage?

It also has to do with where the tank is located. In the bilge, stainless is at risk of fairlly rapid corrosion, as is ALuminum. Fibreglass tastes bad... really bad.. most of the time. Welded plastic doesnt have a taste to me, cheap plastic does have some.
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Old 17-03-2012, 17:57   #5
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Re: water storage?

[QUOTE=bluetriguy;910595]All the options should be acceptable if installed correctly. Why? If you are taking on water (this does not include watermaker-folk so please don't get upset) in a less than ideal setting you should always have some sort of filtration up stream from your faucets. The most basic filtration systems usually include a carbon filter of some sort. The carbon will pull most 'bad' tastes out of the water.

Actually all you stated should apply to all the watermaker folks as well. Sonetimes even more so.
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Old 17-03-2012, 18:13   #6
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Re: water storage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ulpilot45 View Post
Our question is in choosing a fresh water tank. What type of material is best and why? For example stainless steel ..fiberglass..plastic.. which has best tasting water?
As a DIYer, I like wood; epoxy coated and if you want to be really fussy, internally coated with food grade epoxy; strong, no taste and always a custom fit.
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Old 17-03-2012, 20:04   #7
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Re: water storage?

Ronco Plastics - Marine Water Tanks, RV Water Tank, Auto Detail Tanks, Water Tanks

I've used these guys for years. No plastic taste with Poly-ethylene that I can detect. They are cheap, easy to install and they have hundreds of shapes and sizes. Why spend all your time welding or glassing? Get the FREE catalog. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 17-03-2012, 20:42   #8
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Re: water storage?

I have eschewed tanks entirely and carry 120 gallons in jugs (apple, cranberry juice, etc.) Not only is it re-using bottles that would otherwise have been thrown out, in places with questionable water I can inspect each jug before I drink it. Also, when ferrying water in the dinghy, it's far easier to trim the dinghy with lots of small bottles than with huge jerry cans. Whenever my wife feels like it (about twice a year), we wash all the bottles out thoroughly. And I don't have the bother and expense of plumbing and hoses all over the boat. I know my system has drawbacks (or would for some people), but I know too many cruisers who got a bad batch of water in their tanks and had to buy water in jugs everywhere they went, which gets spendy in the long run.
Consider no tanks--I think you'll be pleased with the advantages.
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Old 17-03-2012, 22:37   #9
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I added a sterilight uv water purifier under the galley sink. It cost about $200 plus the 5 micron prefilter I picked up at the home improvement store.
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Old 17-03-2012, 23:41   #10
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Re: water storage?

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
I have eschewed tanks entirely and carry 120 gallons in jugs (apple, cranberry juice, etc.) Not only is it re-using bottles that would otherwise have been thrown out, in places with questionable water I can inspect each jug before I drink it. Also, when ferrying water in the dinghy, it's far easier to trim the dinghy with lots of small bottles than with huge jerry cans. Whenever my wife feels like it (about twice a year), we wash all the bottles out thoroughly. And I don't have the bother and expense of plumbing and hoses all over the boat. I know my system has drawbacks (or would for some people), but I know too many cruisers who got a bad batch of water in their tanks and had to buy water in jugs everywhere they went, which gets spendy in the long run.
Consider no tanks--I think you'll be pleased with the advantages.
I'm doing the same thing except I'm using 5 gallon poly-ethylene jugs from the silicon wafer industry. They're robust. thick and 5 gallons each. I have a 100 gl. keel tank (built in) and 40 gallons of the jugs. Like you say...makes sense for carrying in the dinghy.
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Old 18-03-2012, 07:36   #11
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Thank you all for the opinions and knowledge.. our tanks are in the bilge so corrosion would be a concern, we are removing all waste tanks [we r installing composting toilets] so we want to be able to hold more fresh water. Carrying jugs of water ...does that mean u shower with salt water? We plan to have a couple lg water jugs aboard for those moments when all else don't work. Or when we must fill in areas of wormy water. Eewww raiseing eyebrows. .. wormy water what have I let my husband talk me into??? Oh lordy...
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Old 18-03-2012, 08:23   #12
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Re: water storage?

We carry a sunshower thing that heats up in the sun. Wash with salt water, final rinse in fresh. When it's too cold to swim, showers are not needed so frequently. Obviously this jug system will not work for people who won't do without hot running water, but I can testify that it works for us just fine and I've spent exactly $0 on tanks, pumps, plumbing, and fixtures.
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Old 18-03-2012, 09:38   #13
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Re: water storage?

We have 2 tanks of 600 litres each and they are made of regular steel, no fancy stainless or so. They are treated with special epoxy paint and there is absolutely zero flavour change to the water. My parents have the same in their boat and it sits for 20 years now, they opened their tanks last year and it still looks like new.

We have some bad experiences with plastic tanks. Steel would be our preference, if you have big bucks to spend make it stainless, if not; plain steel with epoxy, it outlives you!
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Old 18-03-2012, 09:42   #14
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Re: water storage?

I don't drink that stuff, man. Store-bought jugs for drinking, and the water in the tanks is for washing and showering. I broke that rule for a week or two last summer and ended up regretting it, if you get my drift.
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Old 18-03-2012, 14:45   #15
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Re: Water Storage ?

Another issue with SS tanks is their size. If they are large enough to require baffles it becomes very hard to clean the residue from wielding. I cut out a 200 gal SS water tank (to be replaced with two smaller tanks,) and found that almost every wield behind the first baffle were caked with SS wielding flux. I ended up installing four plastic tanks and a small water maker.

I've lived aboard and cruised for more then 30 years and I now drink bottled water while tied up at marinas that provide city water. Over the years I have seen dock water supply hoses with leaks submerged in some of the nastiest looking water you can imagine. I once found a four inch long fish blocking my dock water hose. No idea how it got in their. I now filter the water going into the tanks and use a carbon filter for the sink.

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