Water Wars – The Final Battle

Well, I’m going back to the boat in the morning to start on the final phase of fixing my water tank woes. Last weekend, I managed to cut the old tank out and get it out of the boat. Wow, that sounded so simple. I guess it’s because that description glosses over a few details.

As I explained in an earlier post, the water tank is located under the master berth. There are actually two tanks, with two connecting pipes between them, but only one of them is leaking. Luckily, it’s the smaller of the two.

The leaking tank is juuuust a bit too large to go up the stairs in one piece, ergo, a new tank of similar dimension won’t come DOWN the stairs in one piece. I mocked up a tank out of some wood and foam board to see how big I could get it and still fit through the door, and then up and around the corner to the main salon above.

This looks like it fits easily, but it just makes it up the curved stairs.

I found a company that makes a tank this size and its capacity is only a few gallons less than the one I’m taking out, so I was glad about that.

Once the new tank arrived, and I actually got it down into the stateroom, it was time to start tearing the old one out. Because I knew it wouldn’t fit up the stairs, there was no point in trying to take it out in one piece, so I started to make smaller pieces of it.

Most of the top of the tank has been cut out here.

And smaller pieces…

One end is gone, and part of one side.

About this time, I realized that the tanks were glued together with some sort of adhesive, and it seemed that it was glued to the deck too, so I had to get it torn apart to the point I could start prying the adhesive away.

At this point, all that remains is one wall and the floor of the tank.

The adhesive didn’t want to give up easily. I’ll give them credit…whatever they used, it was still tenacious after twenty years.

I expected that the deck under the tank might have some damage because of the water that had leaked onto it for who knows how long. I planned to clean it up a bit, and figured I might have to overlay it with a new piece of plywood just to stiffen up the deck under the tank. Once these two tanks are full of water, they’ll weigh about 1,250 pounds, so I want to make sure they are on a firm support.

Boy, was I being optimistic. When I finally pulled the remains of the tank loose and got it out of the box, this is what the deck underneath looked like.

This was my OMG moment.

But wait…there’s more!

Not only is the deck rotted completely under the tank that I removed, but the rot extends up under the larger tank too.

Yippee! Now THAT tank has to come out.

I’ve got to figure out a way to get it out of the box in one piece and set it on the floor beside the box so I can cut out all the rotted deck and rebuild it. I’m just hoping the rot didn’t get into the beams between the deck and the hull below. If so, I’ll be looking at a carpentry project that would make Noah proud.

BUT…once it’s done, I’ll know the deck is sound, I’ll have water tanks that don’t leak and don’t overflow into the bilge, and I can move on to the next project.

That’s the thing about an old, fairly good-sized boat. There’s never any shortage of projects.


About TwoCaptains

The TwoCaptains are Jim and Janet, both US Coast Guard licensed boat captains home-ported in Daytona Beach. We recently sold our 1990 Ocean Yachts 56' CPMY "Magic Carpet", and now we're in the hunt for a replacement.
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One Response to Water Wars – The Final Battle

  1. Bill Kelleher says:

    Boy do you have that statement correct. LOL

    “That’s the thing about an old, fairly good-sized boat. There’s never any shortage of projects.”

    Bill Kelleher
    1981 46′ Bertram Motoryacht
    Thank goodness in fresh water ( Lake Erie )

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