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Old 25-07-2020, 00:52   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Grapevine TX
Boat: Pearson 323, 32ft
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Freshwater tank needs cleaning

We just acquired our 1982 Pearson 323 in December and love her. However, one thing we discovered that is hard to love is the layer of brown slime in her freshwater tanks. I have tried bleaching but the layer really needs to be scrubbed out. These are 19 gallon tanks and they only have one access port on the top of the tank, not enough access to clean thoroughly.

They are made of polyethylene. I have decided my only option short of trying to get new tanks fabricated, is to make a couple of other access ports on the top of the tanks. My problem is what do I do once I get a couple of 6 inch or so diameter ports on the tanks. From what I've read, nothing adheres to polyethylene very well at all, save for some Marine Tex Flex Set. Maybe keep the pieces I cut out and then place a splint on top of them to hold them in place while I reseal with Flex Set?

Any and all ideas appreciated.

Sincerely,
Skipper and Cindy
RxSin
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Old 25-07-2020, 04:45   #2
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Re: Freshwater tank needs cleaning

Sailrxsin,

I had a similar problem on my Pearson 33. I also have two polyethylene tanks, which I removed completely and thoroughly scrubbed and rinsed out. (my arm fit through the port and I also used a long handled brush and strong spray from hose) Removal also allowed me to check/replace fittings and hoses, as well as the straps that secured them. It wasn't easy but it was very effective, and well worth the effort. Far better than cutting into them with additional access ports. (This of assumes yours are removable as well.)
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Old 25-07-2020, 15:01   #3
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Re: Freshwater tank needs cleaning

I made an access port just like you described because my tanks were gross and unable to be removed without demolition.

I just cut out a gasket from rubber. I epoxied studs and made a clear hatch cover. Nuts secure it and the gasket is sandwiched.
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Old 25-07-2020, 16:36   #4
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Re: Freshwater tank needs cleaning

Quote:
Originally Posted by djousset View Post
Sailrxsin,

I had a similar problem on my Pearson 33. I also have two polyethylene tanks, which I removed completely and thoroughly scrubbed and rinsed out. (my arm fit through the port and I also used a long handled brush and strong spray from hose) Removal also allowed me to check/replace fittings and hoses, as well as the straps that secured them. It wasn't easy but it was very effective, and well worth the effort. Far better than cutting into them with additional access ports. (This of assumes yours are removable as well.)
Diane,
Thanks for your comment. I have tried a long brush with hose but I can't get around the backside of the baffles that way. I think the only way is to cut new access ports.
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Old 25-07-2020, 16:38   #5
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Re: Freshwater tank needs cleaning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chayal View Post
I made an access port just like you described because my tanks were gross and unable to be removed without demolition.

I just cut out a gasket from rubber. I epoxied studs and made a clear hatch cover. Nuts secure it and the gasket is sandwiched.
Chayal, thanks so much for your help. This sounds like something that may work for me. Would you happen to have any pictures of your repair?
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Old 25-07-2020, 17:41   #6
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Re: Freshwater tank needs cleaning

I donít have any pictures but Iíd be happy to take some and send it your way when Iím on-board

Mine is just made from an acrylic plexiglass. No leaks when Iím heeled.
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Old 25-07-2020, 20:42   #7
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Re: Freshwater tank needs cleaning

That would be great! Thanks so much, I'd love to see (very new to this and just looking for ideas)
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Old 25-07-2020, 21:34   #8
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Re: Freshwater tank needs cleaning

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailrxsin View Post
We just acquired our 1982 Pearson 323 in December and love her. However, one thing we discovered that is hard to love is the layer of brown slime in her freshwater tanks. I have tried bleaching but the layer really needs to be scrubbed out. These are 19 gallon tanks and they only have one access port on the top of the tank, not enough access to clean thoroughly.

They are made of polyethylene. I have decided my only option short of trying to get new tanks fabricated, is to make a couple of other access ports on the top of the tanks. My problem is what do I do once I get a couple of 6 inch or so diameter ports on the tanks. From what I've read, nothing adheres to polyethylene very well at all, save for some Marine Tex Flex Set. Maybe keep the pieces I cut out and then place a splint on top of them to hold them in place while I reseal with Flex Set?

Any and all ideas appreciated.

Sincerely,
Skipper and Cindy
RxSin

I built my port and starboard water tanks with three of these per tank, positioned so that I can reach any bit of the tank without any great gymnastics.

https://www.theboatwarehouse.com.au/...iABEgIGkfD_BwE

(I got the bigger ones, 196 mm, to make life easier.)

They don't leak when submerged, and frankly, like on most tanks, they barely get splashed except when the tanks are totally full. Certainly in your situation I'd add as many as needed to get really good access.

Also, my tanks are painted with a white food-grade coating inside which makes keeping them clean very easy indeed. You might consider this even though you don't really need the coating by the sound of it. I did because my tanks are made from epoxy and glass.
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Old 25-07-2020, 21:59   #9
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Re: Freshwater tank needs cleaning

This looks like exactly what I need, thanks so much!!
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