Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-12-2008, 08:21   #1
Registered User
 
CruisingBeauty's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 12
Water Tanks

My boat has two 55 gallon stainless water tanks that make it hard to get at the bottom of the bilge. They are really rusty, and old and I can't tell if they are leaking.

My dad said to use large bladders instead of plastic tanks so I can get to the bilge. I am not sure about his suggestion. What do you think?
__________________

__________________
CruisingBeauty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2008, 10:28   #2
Moderator
 
cabo_sailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Tarpon Springs FL
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 1,905
I think that we would need a bit more info. What boat do you have? Do you wish to retain the same amount of water, i.e. 110 gallons? Where are the tanks located? Can they be readily removed without having to rebuild the cabin? I helped a friend replace a water tank in an Endeavour 37 and it was a simple as pulling the old one out and sliding the new one in. The cabin sole above just had to have about a half dozen screws removed. Other boats require just about a total rebuild of the cabin.

Bladders can work but you'll probably want something to support them. They are not likely to have baffles in them so think old style waterbed with all the sloshing around. Even with bladders I don't see how that would improve access to the bilge and for that matter why would you normally want to get to the bottom of the bilge. (Some things neither man nor woman are meant to know ).

Anyway, with a bit more info I'm sure there are plenty of folk here willing and able to help.

Happy holidays,

Rich
__________________

__________________
cabo_sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2008, 10:47   #3
Registered User
 
CruisingBeauty's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 12
The boat's an old cat. I'm new here, so I'm not sure I should tell everyone exactly what boat I'm on yet. Girls have to play it safe.

It would be nice to have nearly the same amount of water as I do now.

The tanks are in the bilges, right in the center and take up the entire area below the cabin sole with very little room. They run the length of the bilges.

The tanks can be lifted straight out with no problem at all.

My dad said it might be a good idea to be able to reach the bottom of the bilge in order to clean it or in case of an emergency or something.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
I think that we would need a bit more info. What boat do you have? Do you wish to retain the same amount of water, i.e. 110 gallons? Where are the tanks located? Can they be readily removed without having to rebuild the cabin? I helped a friend replace a water tank in an Endeavour 37 and it was a simple as pulling the old one out and sliding the new one in. The cabin sole above just had to have about a half dozen screws removed. Other boats require just about a total rebuild of the cabin.

Bladders can work but you'll probably want something to support them. They are not likely to have baffles in them so think old style waterbed with all the sloshing around. Even with bladders I don't see how that would improve access to the bilge and for that matter why would you normally want to get to the bottom of the bilge. (Some things neither man nor woman are meant to know ).

Anyway, with a bit more info I'm sure there are plenty of folk here willing and able to help.

Happy holidays,

Rich
__________________
"The beauty of nature is the beauty of cruising."
CruisingBeauty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2008, 11:08   #4
Moderator
 
cabo_sailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Tarpon Springs FL
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 1,905
OK, that helps.

First, with all due respect to your dad, most folks don't find the need to get to the bottom of their bilges for cleaning and especially in the case of a cat I can conceive of no emergency either that would require access. After all, you should still float even with only one hull. Consider an emergency where you needed access to the bilge but there was a great bloody bladder sitting on top. If you had time to drain the bladder it probably wasn't that much of an emergency, and if you didn't have the time.....well it wouldn't matter what the tanks were made of.

Corrosion and/or leaking is a different matter. You should be able to determine if they are leaking by simply filling one and then monitoring its level. Do this for each tank and simply supply your water needs off the other tank during the test. Also, if one or both is leaking you should have fresh water sloshing around in the bilge causing the bilge pump to cycle. There is also the infamous taste test.

Just my personal opinion though is that if you are really concerned about leaks, you can remove each tank for a thorough inspection and/or cleaning since you say they are easy to access.

Sounds like they just might need a thorough cleaning and you'll be good to go.
__________________
cabo_sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2008, 14:30   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
If the tanks are easy to get at and you have questions about their integrity then I suggest you remove them for a thorough inspection. Stainless tanks can rust badly if not installed properly. If they need replacing then take the tank to a tank fabricator. They should be able to make a replacement using the old tank for measurements. Be sure to use a tank fabricator, not just any welding shop. They will know what is required in the way of baffles, vents, etc. Ensure that each chamber has an access port for cleaning and be sure to mount the new tanks properly so that moisture will not be trapped against the surface of the tank anywhere. It's this moisture in an anaerobic environment that kills stainless tanks.
__________________
The Blue Dot Campaign. This Changes Everything.
DeepFrz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2008, 15:07   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
I can't get under my SS tanks - they are monel and don't rust, but they are not at the bottom of the bilge but under the birth so water under them drains into the lower part of the bilge.

You don't want rusty tanks, since there's good chances that they will leak through and then they will empty into the bilge... slowly and annoyingly.

You can get new tanks and bladders are not a bad idea, or have SS, poly or other material. I wouldn't use aluminum. You'll want to have inspection and cleaning ports as well.

Measure them up and contact Defenders for quotes on different options. If they're rigid, you'll need help to handle them. And you want them well secured! You don't want them flying free a a roll!
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2008, 16:31   #7
Moderator
 
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,175
Images: 18
If the tanks are that easy to remove...

If the tanks are that easy to remove I'll second pulling them out.

Take the opportunity to give the area under a good clean and repaint if necessary.

Now you can examine the tanks carefully.

It's possible that there are some minor issues with the tanks that can be easily addressed.

If they don't have decent sized inspection ports now might be a good time to install them, not to mention new hoses etc.
__________________
Rust never sleeps
Boracay Blog.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2008, 16:33   #8
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: No longer post here
Boat: Catalac Catamaran
Posts: 2,462
Quote:
Originally Posted by CruisingBeauty View Post
The boat's an old cat. I'm new here, so I'm not sure I should tell everyone exactly what boat I'm on yet. Girls have to play it safe.
The guys here are pretty knowledgeable and they're asked for the make/model of the boat in order that they can offer you the best advice.

Tankage is sold at most chandlers and in general, cats have the room to drop a less expensive mass produced tank with better results than a lot of monos.

Merry Christmas
__________________
Tropic Cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2008, 20:55   #9
Moderator Emeritus
 
Ex-Calif's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Boat: Maxi 77 - Relax Lah!
Posts: 11,514
Images: 4
Hi cruisingbeauty and welcome to the forum.

Not to be forward and I love your idea of fulfilling dad's dream as it is a great way to honor him. It sounds like you have a lot of experience sailing from your meet and greet post but I wonder how you are prepared to fix this boat up. You could take years fixing it up and never get to sail.

How much boat fixing experience do you have? Are you generally a mechanical type?

And now a question that you can blow off if you like. Do you have a good assessment of what shape this boat is in?

It may be prudent to pay $300 or more to have a professional survey done. Once you have a complete picture of what needs to be done to achieve Carribean and perhaps pacific crossings, you may decide to do it with a different boat.

I always ask people if they prefer to sail or fix boats. If you pay someone to fix your boat, you better have deep pockets. If you do it yourself you better have deep pockets and thousands of free hours.

I am sure your dad would still be honored for you to go cruising even if it wasn't on "his" dream boat...

Just sayin' is all...
__________________
Relax Lah! is For Sale <--- Click
Click--> Custom CF Google Search or CF Rules
You're gonna need a bigger boat... - Martin Brody
Ex-Calif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2008, 21:49   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
44'cruisingcat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7,454
Images: 69
It would be a good idea to pull the tanks out if it's easy to do, and check them out properly. You could replace them with food grade plastic tanks, which will be lighter and won't rust - there are manufacturers who will custom make them for you if neccessary. I got mine from here: www.atlastanks.com.au

There is bound to be a similar business within a reasonable distance from you.
__________________
44'cruisingcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-12-2008, 06:18   #11
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
...There is bound to be a similar business within a reasonable distance from you.
Ronco has an excellent reputation.
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2008, 17:00   #12
Registered User
 
CruisingBeauty's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 12
Thank you for all the wonderful ideas! When I do the tanks, I'll take them out, look at them and see if they need replacing. The ideas about not using a bladder were enlightening. Thank you!
__________________
"The beauty of nature is the beauty of cruising."
CruisingBeauty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-12-2008, 09:14   #13
Registered User
 
James S's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Yemen & Lebanon... the sailboat is in Lebenon, the dhow is in Yemen
Boat: 1978 CT48 & 65ft Cargo Dhow
Posts: 5,816
Images: 139
Are the bottom of the tanks actually in contact/sitting on the bilge...this would generally be a bad thing.
I agree that having access under them is not that necessary as long as you can pass a rag under them some how for general cleaning or getting the screw driver.
I would vote for plastic and maybe tack the opportunity to do some segregation using more, smaller tanks...this may help maintain a supply if you get some contamination.

Like others have said....a real assessment of your boats present condition may help in your over all planning$$$$
__________________
James
S/V Arctic Lady
I love my boat, I can't afford not to!
James S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-12-2008, 12:09   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,450
bladder pitfalls

Our previous boat came with hypalon bladders which were custom made to fit closely in their compartments. After a few years of full time cruising, with somewhere around 25k sea miles they both failed. New properly fitted custom tanks were not feasible (we were in the Marquesas at the time), so we got some very pricey high-tech bladders from France. They were a generic shape and didn't fit the hole very well, but we were assured that they would be "tres bien". They failed within three weeks!

Subsequently we had new s/s tanks fabricated in New Zealand for somewhat less money than the bladders cost. Bottom line? Bladders ain't a real good option for real long-term cruising (IMO).

If you do go with s/s tanks, be sure that they are spaced up from the hull at least a couple of centimeters... water trapped externally where it can't get oxygen is the biggest cause of corrosion in s/s tanks.

Good luck with the project

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gladstone Qld Oz
__________________
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-12-2008, 15:52   #15
Registered User
 
Christian Van H's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Princeton, NJ
Boat: Challenger Anacapa 42
Posts: 2,097
Images: 57
Hud is right, Ronco is a great company to deal with, and they have so many shapes and sizes it will make your head spin. Oh, did I mention they were inexpensive? They will install the threaded holes for your fills and outlets wherever you please, and have hardware if ya need it. They offer clean-out ports if ya want 'em too. Try to cushion any areas where these new tanks might "work" or rub on anything after installation. Try to stay away from bladders. They are usually a quick fix, but with the sloshing and "working" of the tank, they just might not last. Chris
__________________

__________________
www.anacapas.com

Here's to swimmin' with bowlegged women!
Christian Van H is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water Tanks Plumbing Help!!! Please surfingminniwinni Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 23 11-04-2008 16:52
water tanks northerncat Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 32 08-08-2007 21:36
Sealing Water Tanks rleslie Construction, Maintenance & Refit 3 17-05-2005 19:48



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:26.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.