16/04/2024

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Replacing the Fresh Water Tank on Your Boat

4 min read
Replacing the Fresh Water Tank on Your Boat

Purchasing an old used motor yacht can come with concerns. Some of these deficiencies can be positively alarming. However truly understanding that purchasing a vessel which does have problems may be addressed inexpensively is welcomed.

A few weeks ago our 300 gallon stainless-steel water supply tank started leaking; the problem was first discovered at 3:00 a.m. because the aft bilge pump persisted to run. Even though the actual leak has yet to be found, we realize it’s on the upper side. Our vessel is 27 years old; what do you expect! Things simply break down.

Mike did a ton of investigation with both customized aluminum tanks and made a decision we would order a 130 gallon polyethylene tank. Polyethylene tanks are molded all in one piece and plastic won’t ever decay. He sent a diagram to the retail merchant, Plastic -Mart revealing the area all fittings needed to go. The retailer asked the manufacturer e-mail us directly to ensure that our fitting areas were correct. The water tank arrived on a semi a couple of days afterward and all fittings we bought fit perfectly into the factory holes.

The big day was finally here. Our great buddy and boat surveyor, Mike Hagan of CYA Surveys volunteered to help us with this gigantic task. We commenced doing the job at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Mike and Mike did the hard work; Nadine and I acted as assistants. They operated a Sawzall to cut the stainless steel tank so we could remove it from the boat. Because of its size, the fresh water tank was put into our used trawler before the super structure was constructed. They flew through roughly fifteen metallic cutting blades. Simply cutting the first tank up took roughly five hours. It was a huge chore. They finished up chopping the old tank into several different sections. I insisted they put on gloves so they would not cut themselves on the jagged edges. They methodically elevated each part out and put it onto the dock. Thankfully – that was finished with negligible damage to our teak bulkheads.

Next phase was building a new casing for the brand new fresh water tank to sit on and be secured. The new water tank is roughly 3/4 the dimension of the old stainless steel water tank. Mike used 2 x 4’s and constructed a good frame for it to stay on. After that it was time to place the new water tank into its new residence. The new fresh water tank is constructed of plastic so it didn’t turn out to be quite as hard to lift as the old stainless tank. All of our custom made holes had been drilled in the proper location – my Mike did an outstanding job.

The next stage was to connect the brand new hose to the tank… whoops… we bought the incorrect dimension hose. At this point Nadine and Mike called it quits. They desired to return home. It was late afternoon and we were all exhausted.

That next morning Mike and I took back the wrong sized hose and went hunting for the correct hose. We went to Home Depot and Lowe’s, neither of which possessed a sufficient amount of the right dimension. We eventually wound up at Ace where they stocked an abundance of plastic hose. We went back to the boat and needed to bore a hole in the wall of our head to snake the new hose through. Making a hole in a trawler is a terrifying thing. We stretched the hose from the new tank completely forward to the fresh water pump. We needed to prime the water hose to get the air out, and then we started to add water to the tank. I was a little worried about completing this task therefore Mike kept a close look on all the fittings to be sure nothing leaked. And we had no leaks… thank heavens!

The total cost of this project was $1,002.00 and it required an amount of eleven hours to finish it. Our friend declined any cash and I can assure you if you hired a boat yard to do it the labor charge would be in all probability almost $1,000. So we put in a new water tank at half the sales price you are charged at a boat yard.

Our trawler ought to be okay for the rest of her life now with the new polyethylene fresh water tank. All said and done, this project ended up being easier than we had imagined.

So if your trawler needs a new fresh water tank, here is my guidance:

You’ll certainly need two men to handle the bulky fresh water tank.

Make certain you have a good Sawzall and roughly 20 saw blades for thick metal.

Ensure you have some towels to mop up the blood… you probably will cut your body.

Keep some gloves close by for when you need to move the cut tank around the boat.

Keep a number of blankets to safeguard the teak that might be close to your work.

Our next task is replacement of our fuel tanks. Goodness!

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