Sweet, sweet success!
I’ve spent many, many hours working on a solution for my leaking water tank.
When we bought the boat, I didn’t realize that one of the two conjoined polyethylene water tanks had a crack in it. I found that the edge of the smaller tank had a serious crack,
and instead of water overflowing outside the boat through the vent when the tank was filled, water was running out of the crack and ending up in the bilge.
The tanks were located beneath the master berth mattress, and after some exploratory probing of the mattress platform,
I started deconstruction to get at the tanks.
You can see that there are two different sized tanks. The smaller of the two was the one that had cracked, but I determined that even the small one was too large to come out of the boat in one piece, so I made several smaller pieces out of it.
The leak had wreaked havoc with the supporting wooden structure below, and it extended beneath the larger tank too, so I had to remove it (in one piece) and set it aside in the stateroom while I fixed the damage beneath it.
After quite a bit of epoxy filling and new wood installation, the area was finally ready for the old non-leaking tank, and the new smaller tank to go back in.
First the new smaller tank went in,
Then the large tank was put back in and the interconnecting plumbing was installed.
Some new framing to support the mattress platform,
So of course, that’s when we decided to buy a house that needed extensive renovations!
After an absence of several months, I finally got a chance to go back to the boat to fill the tanks. All was well until the water level reached the overflow hose fitting when I saw a trickle of water coming from around the fitting.
I emptied the tank to below the level of the leak, and left it for a few weeks while I constructed some built-in cabinets in our new family room.
Today, my First Mate and I (well, actually my second mate, but still my First Mate…it’s complicated) went to the boat with the intention of addressing the leak.
I’d fashioned a new gasket, and managed to reach my arm far enough into the tank to loosen the offending fitting and slide the new gasket into place.
With the First Mate standing watch over the hose at the water tank inlet on deck, I stayed below with flashlight in hand watching the water level creep upward toward the hopefully-now-sealed fitting.
The plumbing of the system should allow for the tanks to fill, and once full, for any excess to run out the overflow vent, exiting the boat beneath the swim platform at the stern. As I watched, the water level inched upward in the tanks, but then seemed to stabilize around the level of the overflow vent fitting. This is the fitting that had been leaking, but there was no sign of a leak now.
I could hear water burbling somewhere, and it finally dawned on me that the overflow might just actually be overflowing. I asked First Mate to see if she could hear water coming out of the boat at the stern, and she replied in the affirmative.
For the first time in I don’t know how many years, water is now overflowing the tanks out the back of the boat instead of into the bilge through the crack in the old tank. I’ll check it again in a couple days to make sure the water level is the same, but I have a strong feeling that this chapter may well be ready to close. At last.