We repaired our integral water tank a few months ago, here in Uruguay. This video is a recap of the build project from two years ago, and details of the recent repair. Overall, the integral water tank has been a vast improvement. It is easy to clean and fill. We are happy to make use of the space below our cabin sole that was filled with foam. The 65 gallon water tank makes long term cruising much easier.
200 hours later, we finished the water tank! Parts 1 (Building an Integral Water Tank) and 2 combined for a rewarding job; now we have double the water capacity (65 gallons), more storage, and an easy to clean cabin sole.
Installing 3 inspection ports
Using an angle grinder to recess the inspection port to stand less proud
Brew coat on the bottom of the sole/tank top
Brew coat (second coat)
Third and last coat
After finishing the brew coat (a food grade epoxy coating), we prepared to epoxy the forward sole section and the main cabin sole/tank top into position. We applied epoxy to the tops of the flange from the old cabin sole, and to the new floors and baffles in the water tank.
Forward sole, to be glued down first
Forward sole section (future storage) with epoxy
Sole/tank top glued in! Filler pieces showing
Fairing/sealing tank top in
Aft plumbing for vent and supply
Bilge side plumbing: vent and supply
FInished border paint (interlux epoxy primekote), also cream color interlux perfection with non skid
We finished the project by filling and painting the border of our new sole. Our water system works great! Check out our galley post to see our bucket sink, foot pump, and water filter.
As we went further into project rabbit hole with the water tank, we found our compression post to be corroded. Dawn Treader’s mast is well supported by a two inch bulkhead, the compression post is fiberglassed to this bulkhead. This made us question the importance of the post, but we decided to repair it regardless. At this point, why not?
Our original project plans did not address changing our water tank. But, upon removing the engine, we gained better access and visibility to the water tank area, this revealed the need for further investigation…
Our work continued, and we ended up removing everything from the bilge: water tank, resin blocks, foam (so much foam). We discovered lots of usable storage after removing oily residue, cleaning, and drying out the bilge.
Next, we need to construct a new tank! Our new tank will have an expanded footprint that extends well forward of the previous tank. Also, a new integral tank is a good choice for maximizing our water storage capacity. We hope to double the capacity of the previous tank (from 30 gallons).
This unexpected project has lots of benefits! We will be able to carry lots more water for long voyages, our hull has been reinforced with 6 new floors and a heavy fiberglass layup, and we now know Dawn Treader is clean from top to bottom! No more hidden treasures!
In part two we complete the tank with paint, install the tank top/sole, add plumbing and inspection ports.