Friday, August 6, 2010

Water Tanks revisited....

The Whitby 42's water tanks consisted of a hull liner under the deck in the saloon, with a riveted and gooped in place aluminum lid placed on top. There were two tanks, port and starboard. Naturally these tanks, after 30 years have some issues. They leak around the rivets and in some places in the hull liner. TIH tanks had also developed some interesting aluminum corrosion blooms.

For some reason I thought today, when it was 95 degrees below decks (with the Mickie Mouse air conditioner running full blast) would be a good day to tackle the starboard tank.

First use the existing inspection hatches to remove as much of the top lid as possible. A Sawzall works well for this. With a little effort you can remove all of the center of the lid from the forward edge to the after one. The next problem was removing both riveted edges.

Having seen what Bob Cambell did to the center fuel tank with a few come-a-longs I decided to revert to using mechanical advantage. A few cranks of the 1 Ton hoist and the sides popped right out.

This is the cleaned out liner. The two raised pieces are the chocks for the baffles which can be ground off as necessary. The approx dimensions 46" long X 20" wide X 12" deep which should give me approx 50 gallon capacity per tank (two tanks). This will leave me a 22" long space forward of the tanks for pumps etc. I may use two smaller tanks per side for ease of installation.

I may also add another 30gall tank behind the settee on the port side for more water storage and as ballast as the boat has a slight starboard list.


Ocean Dove said...

Will you install flex tanks or have solid tanks fabed up.
I am just started to look at my tanks don't know if they leak yet.

The Incredible Hull said...

I'm not a fan of flexible tanks but they are always an option. I may be able to find suitable stock tanks but if not then its off to Dura-weld,

What surprised me was how simple the process was, about 2hrs, with a sawzall. Now I have this enormous space to play with and can create places to store other items, pumps etc..

Another Whitby saga dealt with.

Tom - said...

Good Day, I love using mechanical advantage tools too when used with finesse like you have done. If you go the way of bladder tanks, these are what I will be installing, they are by far the toughest:

FYI search "turtlepac" on my site.
Regards, Tom

capndeb said...

We had 4 long and skinny tanks fabricated and slipped two in the port and two in the starboard exiting tanks. (Slipping one in, shoving it 'outboard' and slipping in the next.) Each side now houses one tank for fuel and one for water. Less water capacity, but wanted the extra fuel for the water maker.

The Incredible Hull said...

Hi Deb and Lew. Good to see that the wrists seem to be progressing well. I like the tank idea. Where did you get them made, dimensions etc.? You can always e-mail me at whitby42 at



Serenade said...

Hi Gerry,

Very Timely. I just had to replace the baffles in the stbd tank. No leaks, but cloudy water due to loose baffles shifting around in the bottom of the tank. I made new ones of fiberglass. Question: what sort of adhesive or bonding material would be suitable to hold the new baffles in place?

Roy B
S/V Serenade W-42#45

The Incredible Hull said...


NSF approved for potable water
(black and white only)
- USDA approved for incidental food contact

I would love to see how you got the baffles out through the existing inspection hatch - child labor? Well done.

capndeb said...

Info you asked for is on its way.

The Incredible Hull said...

Thanks Deb, info received.

Scott said...

I am going to undertake this project in the next couple months on our 79 Whitby. Both tanks leak around the top. Did you decide on a tank solution? Flexible, fixed?



The Incredible Hull said...

Hi Scott

Fixed from Dura Weld

once I get the templates constructed.