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Old 24-01-2016, 12:35   #1
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Custom Water tanks

Has anyone ever built your own custom fit water tanks? I'd like to upgrade the tank capacity for water on my 30' boat, only real spot is below the two after quarter berths. Any suggestions? What about bladder types?

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Old 24-01-2016, 13:48   #2
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Re: Custom Water tanks

I built integral tanks into my 27' after removing the old bladders. Probably the biggest benefit is the ability to clean them regularly via large inspection ports.

Your Guide to Building Integral Watertanks

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Old 24-01-2016, 14:21   #3
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Re: Custom Water tanks

I agree with laika, build your own. I have fiberglass fresh water tanks, baffled, under the P&S salon berths, not cross linked. They were a factory install in 1977 which was a good build feature, Same structure for the black water tank. They don't degrade or leak ( so far)
Nigel Calder opins on them in his book as a design.
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Old 27-01-2016, 17:37   #4
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Re: Custom Water tanks

Several companies have videos of building fiberglass tanks to fit. West Systems, Jamestown Distributors, and others if you look.
Custom bladders are several dollars per gallon and don't last as long. A proper fiberglass tank will last the lifetime of the boat.
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:45   #5
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Re: Custom Water tanks

My sailboat is 1976, water tank under starboard settee. I noticed a leak on the sole, so I removed the tank to test...poly tank still fine, fitting sealant failed. Still had a label. Looked up "Kracor" on web and they still make the same tank...and many more, also one slightly larger, same shape that would fit. I also found "Ronco" who also have great selection of shapes. Just an option...

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Old 07-02-2016, 05:25   #6
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Re: Custom Water tanks

Based on liveaboard friend's recommendation (he did it on his boat) I'm planning to change to integral fiberglass tanks. What my friend did was as follows. He simply lifted the plywood under the settees (its a long story but he converted a 46' IOR early 80s racer into a liveaboard cruiser and initially built her out inside himself, then as the time went by he changed this and that which was easy since all the inside furniture was built by him and can be moved/removed as needed, except the original bulkheads and floor stringers.

So basically he fiberglassed all that space under the settees and fiberglassed the under the settee plywood to that (with 3 well spaced access hatches) and now he has 2 probably 150+gal (or larger) tanks next to the bilge.

My original 2 aluminum tanks were 55gal each, not bad but one got galvanically corroded here and there (making repair not feasible) from several pennies which gotten underneath it from one of the POs (one penny was dated after the date of manufacture so I know it was not them) so I replaced it, "temporarily", with a used 40gal plastic tank (as they say - nothing is more permanent that what is to be a temporary solution ). I expect to have at least 80gal capacity in each such built out tanks, if not more. Will depend on how low can I spread them out as I don't want to end up with too much water weight up high in the hull. Probably will not attempt the job myself but will hire it out as a weekend moonlight job to one of the boatyard guys at my winter haul out place.

On the other hand I may decide to DIY since I previously did fiberglass repair on my very first boat (finishing up unfinished job by an absconded boat guy) and was able to avoid any grinding by doing wet on wet layers. I was pleasantly surprised that not only it came out nice and strong there was no need for any grinding as that area was covered by vinyl anyway. Same with the tanks as they will be covered by veneered plywood and cushions above. Will probably need to use a longer setting hardener to allow for large area to be worked on.
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:30   #7
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Re: Custom Water tanks

Primitive, but cheap and it worked for us for 10 years. Built tanks from marine plywood wood for under vee berth. Required some fancy carpentry for exact fit. Painted interior with wax. Stayed leak-proof all those years. Don't forget baffles and an access port for cleaning (which was never needed.)

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