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The water tank saga

Posted by Ange, 31 December 2009 · 119 views

Dave & I decided to do a joint blog in my name rather than separately - this is Dave's first contribution (and his first every blog entry) (Dave is davel on the forum)

We picked Iona up on 9th October and spent our first week on the boat taking her from Northwich to Coventry. We noticed the water consumption seemed very high, but put that down to the fact we were doing a lot of cleaning (she'd been standing around at Harrals for the last three months). We also noticed a distinct and rather alarming list, which we thought must be due to the poo tank being full. Not so - on 19th October, just as we were about to lock up and leave the boat for the first time, I discovered that the back of the boat was full of water up to just under the floor boards. On inspection the water tank was dripping water - not at a great rate but sufficient over a period of time to deposit between 50 and 100 gallons of water into the back of the boat. We spent over two hours with a jug and buckets baling it out (or is it bailing?).

It proved impossible to trace the source of the leak - the space was too awkward to investigate properly - an anorexic double jointed monkey might have been able to get behind it but not me :cheers: )

I decided to cut out the stainless steel water tank and replace it.

I spent many happy hours (not) under the front with the angle grinder. I rigged up my snorklewith a bit of hose attached to the hole in deck where the filler cap used to be. Ange had to be very careful where she trod when she went out the front for a fag in case she inadvertantly cut off my air supply :D

Initially I was thinking about making a new SS tank using the remains of the old tank but we would have had to make 3 tanks to get any where near the capacity of the old tank (about 170 gals) because the hatch from the cabin is only 16" x 21" so I decided to have a flexible rubber tank.

I measured up as best as I could and made drawings to send off to Hovercraft Consultants Limited / Duratank and a firm in Billericay, the latter were not able to make it but fortunately HCL were.

Once the old tank was gone it revealed a huge space, over 9 feet to the point of the bow. I rigged up my snorkle again and cleaned off the old red oxide paint with a wire brush attachment. There were a few lively moments when the grinder overheated, siezed up and started buzzing. I went to switch it off, but the switch had melted, so I found himself in a confined space, scrabbling around in the dark surrounded by thick blue smoke trying to unplug it from the extension, with the buzzing grinder next to me, the genny straining overhead and Ange hopping about panicking - alerted to the fact something was wrong by the struggling generator :D

I painted the water tank area in white - it was such a dark place when it was red oxide, now it's a dark place painted white - but you can see a bit better. I then built a framework with 25 x 25 x5 angle irons (which I had prepared during a recent visit to Kent and had to be dragged back on the National Express to London and Megabus from London to Bolton). This was then clad with plywood and lined with bubble wrap. The stainless steel tank was square and about 15 inches away from the access hatch, whereas the new tank has been placed right at the front of the boat, gaining us about 4-5 feet of storage space. This meant a new hole had to be drilled on the front deck for the filler cap. I fixed rings into the ceiling of the area to support the tank and stop it collapsing when empty, and also one at the front at floor level to stop the tank sliding backwards along the sloping floor (the tank has flaps with eyelets in for this purpose) .

Our new water tank was finally installed and working on 12th September. We moved on the boat in June so to say it's a relief would be an understatement!

I forgot to put isolating valves on the outlets so I will have to install them sometime when the level gets low.

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