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Old 21-08-2010, 22:29   #1
MV
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Willard Water Tank

Hello

About two years ago I got a wild hair and when I was redoing parts of the boat, I lightly sanded and painted the interior of my water tank. It had been leaking around the rim (someone had fitted and sliconed a piece of plywood over the opening). I decided to paint the interior with one part yacht enamel cause there were cracked "scallop eyes" in the finish that simply proved too deep to sand out. So I thought painting was the best way to solve the issue. However, my prep was poor and back then I did not know the proper steps to take in painting gelcoat and I ended up with a trillion fish eyes. In the interim, I moved to San Diego and became a live aboard and never really needed the water tank to function since I had dockside water and days sails were liquidated in other ways. Now, I am push to finish this refit process and I want that water tank functional.

My friend who is life long serious sailor says I have to install either flexible tanks or have custom ones built since the tanks are now ruined and that the inherent flexing of the tanks will cause paint to microscopically chip and contaminate the tanks and cause brain regression, emotional impulsivity, and unplanned peter wilt. In his mind the tank can NEVER be used safely again since it was once painted.

I am willing to do the labor to work to strip the paint out since flexible tanks or a custom job is (in my mind) a damnably frivolous expense. BUT as always, when it comes to safety and brain health, I am willing to go the extra mile and truly do the right thing.

1. If I strip the paint, can the tank be safely used?
Or
2. Do I really need to switch to another system (flexitanks or custom hard ones).

As always, I appreciate your responses.


Michael
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Old 22-08-2010, 08:12   #2
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Oy Veh, Michael, this is another nice fix. If you could strip the old paint completely (questionable), you could probably recoat the interior with a stable food grade mono-poxy. However, given the difficulty of the fix, it might be wiser to use the existing tank as a "holder" for two or three smaller flex tanks connected in series (which will act as baffles to some extent) with feed water going into the first tank and ship's water taken from the last tank in line. (We have two 50 gallon flex tanks that seem to work pretty well.)

Another alternative would be to simply clean your existing tank as well as possible and then install a number of filters. One 10 micron before the fresh water pump to capture any flakes that migh come off, a second 5 micron carbon filter after the pump, say a Pentek 5, and then a Seagull IV under cabinet filter in the galley for drinking and cooking water. We use a Seagull Filter and find that one cannot tell the difference between ship's water run through that and bottled water. (We actually fill a couple of bottles with the filtered water and keep them in the heads for use when brushing teath, mouth-wash etc.) (The only problem with this solution is that replacing filters can become fairly expensive. I buy them in "bulk" now which does save somewhat but they are still not inexpensive, particularly the General Ecology Seagull filters.)

FWIW...
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Old 22-08-2010, 08:51   #3
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Thanks Scott -- sorta suspected my past would haunt me here. And I like your idea of a filter! But am going to do the flexible tank route. Do you have a brand suggestion for the tank? BTW: Pulled the mast last friday and she is being rewired and re-rigged!

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Old 22-08-2010, 10:34   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MV View Post
Thanks Scott -- sorta suspected my past would haunt me here. And I like your idea of a filter! But am going to do the flexible tank route. Do you have a brand suggestion for the tank? BTW: Pulled the mast last friday and she is being rewired and re-rigged!

Michael
Michael--

Our tanks are Nauta but they are relatively costly and I am not sure they are measurably better than the Plastimo tanks which I would use given a do-over. You might check out the MariSafe site (www.MariSafe.com) which seems to have the best prices on Plastimo products (see MariSafe - Boating products and services designed to make you safe, smart and secure ) as well as others.

If you're rewiring the mast I suggest you have your electrician add a wire run to the spreaders for a PA loudspeaker that can be connected to your VHF with loudhailer capability when the time comes and messenger lines that will allow you to pull cables to the masthead at some future time. If you're living aboard full time now you might also want to add a cable for a TV antenna. We have the Shakesphere 2025 and tho' I'm not thrilled with TV aboard it's something my girls like and this unit, coupled with an inexpensive "Eliment" Digital LCD TV, gives very good performance.

FWIW...
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