Installing new water tanks

As mentioned in our previous post, Blue Tale was pulled from the water on Thursday (January 8th) to have some major work done on it.

We removed everything possible from the stern area in anticipation of having the old wooden boomkin removed and replaced with a new stainless steel one hopefully on Friday.

Wooden boomkin from above with mainsheet winch

Wooden boomkin from above with mainsheet winch

Friday morning with the help of staff from Blackline Marine Inc. we removed the backstay, the very heavy Aries windvane and unbolted the old wooden boomkin from the stern. The old boomkin upon inspection showed definite signs of getting old – the wood was going soft and the area underneath it was a nice dark shade of green from moss growing underneath it and on the stern.

Wooden boomkin from below

Wooden boomkin from below

Deck after removal of wooden boomkin

Deck after removal of wooden boomkin

We were excited to get started with the installation of the new stainless steel boomkin when at this point we noticed that we were missing parts to the new boomkin; perfect! The missing box contained the backstay extender, boomkin pads, the fiddle block and all the hardware (screws, bolts, washers, etc.) needed to install the boomkin and pulpit. Rob quickly got in contact with the supplier, Westsail Parts Inc., and it was discovered that the box containing these parts went missing during the shipment to Point Roberts, Washington. The supplier was able to ship us the parts but unfortunately we wouldn’t get most of the parts until the following Tuesday, and the remaining by the Wednesday.

Soooo…   ,while we waited for the parts to show up at the Blackline Marine office, we continued to work on the boat and went ahead and replaced our very old, rusty stainless steel water tanks with our brand new ‘shiny’ polyethylene water tanks from Westsail Parts Inc..

Old attachments prior to tank removal

Old attachments prior to tank removal

Old stainless steel water tanks from our boat

Old stainless steel water tanks from our boat

Once we removed the old tanks located under the cabin sole, we discovered that there was a lot of rust and muck underneath on the bilge where the tanks touched the bottom (it was not raised when initially installed). We cleaned the bottom three times using a bilge cleaner product before it was finally clean; not the black, icky and rusty colour but a clean white-ish colour. With all the moisture that accumulated in the bilge and the years of dust/dirt in the bilge, it was not as smelly as we would have expected, surprisingly!

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Mast and very dirty bilge

Mast and very dirty bilge

Rob inspecting the bilge

Rob inspecting the bilge

Sophia starting the cleaning of the bilge

Sophia starting the cleaning of the bilge

First clean of bilge

First clean of bilge

Once the bilge was clean, we noticed that there were some low points along the bilge that were perfect areas were water was collecting from condensation. We dried the areas with our little heater, sanded these areas and then applied an epoxy resin to level out the base. This took about two days to complete before we were able to install the water tanks. We decided not paint the bilge at this time as we continued to have condensation accumulate on the bottom no matter how much heat we applied.

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Epoxy layer in bilge

Epoxy layer in bilge

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We placed strips of 1/4″ x 3″ Muty Tile plastic matting (same as what we’ve using for storage areas) as runners under the water tanks to raise them above the bilge to hopefully prevent water from collecting around the tanks.

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The installation of the water tanks went smoothly and with no difficulty. The new tanks are made of a heavy food grade polyethylene with walls over ¼” thick and weigh less than the original stainless steel tanks with a capacity of about 38 gallons. The tanks also came with inspection ports making it easier for us to see the bottom of the tanks compared to the old ones.

New polyethylene water tanks

New polyethylene water tanks

New polyethylene water tanks

New polyethylene water tanks

Once the tanks were put in place, we attached the ½” water hoses to each tank and to a two valve setup that allows us to select which tank we want to withdraw water from (on our original tanks, we usually last about 6 days/tank). The vents from each tank were combined and run to a vent line into our port locker. This whole set-up was attached to a wooden block to prevent chafing and for the parts from eventually leaking. In addition, the block would prevent the tanks from sliding into each other.

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We also placed some cut up water hose underneath the original metal straps where they would touch the corners of the new tanks – this would hopefully help with chafing and potentially any damage to the tanks.

Once everything was in place, we tested the tanks and they work great and we have no leaks! ~Sophia & Rob

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2 responses to “Installing new water tanks

  1. Pingback: Installing a new boomkin, stern pulpit and radar arch | Sailing Pups·

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