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sue.stew

Below deck water bladders

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Hi Everyone 

 

We're thinking of getting a quote for either a plastic tank or a water bladder for our fresh water.

 

If anyone has any advice on the subject please reply.

 

Many thanks 

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Do you have easy access to the area where the tank is going to go? Presumably so, if you are thinking of a rigid plastic tank. Is this access likely to continue? What is going on top, too the sides after the water storage is installed? Will it still be accessible for maintenance/replacement?

My preference would be for a rigid plastic tank over a flexible bladder. A bladder might be an idea if current access is extremely limited, so it can be stuffed in through a small aperture. If there is plenty of access then go rigid. Presumably you have potential vendors in mind. What are the relative costs of one versus the other for the water capacity you want? How much water do you want stored? What is the use of the boat? How many people?

.

Jen

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We have a 200 litre Plastimo water bladder with canvas cover on our boat. It does stuff in quite well into confined spaces. They are not stupidly priced although the canvas cover is more expensive than the bladder. We got ours through Thorne chandlery who are distributors for Aquafax. We have the long thin one but there are other shapes but with less capacity.     https://www.aquafax.co.uk/products/plastimo-water-tank-spare-inner-bladder-for-p16656-p16663

 

If you do decide to get one make absolutely sure that there are no errant screws projecting into the compartment that is going to house the bladder.   We are not livaboard and our boat is purely for leisure. I don't think the bladders have enough capacity for a livaboard. I do not know whether bigger ones are available but hard plastic tanks do come in bigger sizes.

 

 

P18031-1593617117.jpg

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Personally,I would use a single,solid tank if I could find one that fitted in the available space.As pointed out by Pete,bladders can puncture or wear through.They can be joined together,as can tanks.But this gives the system more opportunities to leak.

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Beware bladder tanks.  They have a nasty tendency to fold in the same place(s) every time as they collapse as the water is removed.  Then they leak along the folds.

Aircraft bag tanks are hung from rails around the tank space to stop this, but that is not always practicable in an existing boat.

A rigid plastic tank is a good solution and IMO much better than stainless, where you are reliant on the skill of the welder to make joints that do not corrode.  

N

  • Greenie 1

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As Bengo says the bladders do fold and can crack. The one we originally had on the boat, long before we bought the boat, was nearly twenty years old. There were no leaks in that one BUT the inside was nearly completely covered in algae. I bought a new bladder from Thorne chandlery and promptly punctured it on a protruding screw when I was pushing it back in and that was through the canvas cover. The internal bladder cost around £40 back in early 2019. I didn't need to replace the canvas but the canvas does significantly add to the cost. I have put wooden battens around mine to try to reduce the folding effect when it empties but to be honest if it lasts another 20 years it will outlast me and probably CRT......Oh and I certainly wouldn't entertain joining bladders. A rigid plastic or stainless tank is a much better option if you have the room and the money.

Edited by pete.i

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This may be a bit off the wall, but i made a fibreglass tank for my boat. Made maximum use of the available space (under front deck) and fairly cheap! 😁

Hope it never leaks as the rest of the boat was fitted after and no access now.

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When we first had the boat we got the brokerage who sold it to us, to fit two bladders, one in the front water tank the other in the front locker in the cratch.

The company fitted ones, which should have been mounted in a caravan horizontally, vertically. Being naive boaters at the time we accepted this. 

1571434568_Update21_04.10002.jpg.54a075d975d68966c829114b3e882d74.jpg

 

This is what the bladder in the front tank was supported on.

DSC00024.JPG.0cdf4101e0f305ad6dbcfe33e6f9dc0d.JPG

 

Neither of the bladders had a pressure relief valve fitted. Yes 13 months after fitting they both burst.

 

We reverted to the front tank the boat had when built. I've recently blacked it - dreadful job to do it.

The funny colour is Vactan.

IMGP4936.JPG.3d50c7d43d67d97bd50575eb47f19173.JPG

 

The bladder in the cratch we replaced with this:
 

DSCF3678.jpg

 

The two tanks are interconnected. I initially fitted schrader valve with the inside taken out.  But have since changed it for an automatic pressure relief valve The inlet supply has a ball cock fitted.

My advice would be, if you do get bladders make sure they are fitted by someone who knows what they are doing.

Edited by Ray T

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And don't forget when anodes are welded on, I know a well known surveyor who welded on anodes for a favour for someone and burst the bag inside.

Owner didn't find out until the next time he filled up with water.

  • Haha 1

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Thanks everyone for so much info. There's alot to think about. Our water is currently stored in the front part of the boat. We had it cleaned and repainted last year and now it needs doing again! We do have space under the floor of the cratch area & a neighbour suggested a tek tank (unsure of spelling). I guess they've all got pro's & cons especially the fact that the bladders can snag on the sides. Thanks again.

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18 hours ago, BEngo said:

Beware bladder tanks.  They have a nasty tendency to fold in the same place(s) every time as they collapse as the water is removed.  Then they leak along the folds.

Aircraft bag tanks are hung from rails around the tank space to stop this, but that is not always practicable in an existing boat.

A rigid plastic tank is a good solution and IMO much better than stainless, where you are reliant on the skill of the welder to make joints that do not corrode.  

N

I would second this. I had exactly the same experience with the bladder tanks that were fitted to my boat when I purchased it. They have now been replaced with plastic( made to measure) tanks which came with a 10 year warranty. Very pleased with them.

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On 25/10/2020 at 07:30, Steve56 said:

I would second this. I had exactly the same experience with the bladder tanks that were fitted to my boat when I purchased it. They have now been replaced with plastic( made to measure) tanks which came with a 10 year warranty. Very pleased with them.

Who did your made-to-measure plastic tanks? We are considering this route. 

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29 minutes ago, MrsM said:

Who did your made-to-measure plastic tanks? We are considering this route. 

They were made by TEK Tanks. Made of 10 mm thick plastic and came with a 10 year warranty. Not cheap, but I was very happy with them and also a good company to deal with.

  • Greenie 1

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Window cleaners plastic tanks might also be a solution. Wouldn't drink anything that came out of a bladder, its the word association yuk.

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29 minutes ago, Bee said:

Window cleaners plastic tanks might also be a solution. Wouldn't drink anything that came out of a bladder, its the word association yuk.

You taking the pi$$ ?

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