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.................................--- Multiple Water Tanks -- Part I ---
One of the pluses for the Endeavour that we bought was it was advertised as having a newer (2001) water tank of 90 gallons. After buying the boat we lived on her a few days in a slip at Ft. Myers Beach getting her ready and our nerve up to take her 70 miles north to Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage where we planned on keeping her. At this point we had gone out on a very short sea trials where the owner didn't even offer to let either of us take the helm.
Ok back to the story....we had put some water in the tank at the slip and were using water out of the tank and the pressure tank and pump seemed to be working ok. So the night before we were to leave we fill the tank all the way up with the deck fill.
The next morning we get up and I hear the bilge pump running and wonder what is going on as it hadn't come on before. Well there is some water in the bilge, enough to kick the pump on, but it wasn't pumping the water out. We had taken our Suburban up to the yard where we were now taking the boat so didn't have a vehicle. I call a cab and he takes me to a West Marine and I buy another pump and install it and the water is pumped out.
We were still in time to have the incoming tide push us away from the dock so that we could leave. A few hours later we are up on the ICW past Captiva and I think I should look at the bilge. I take a look and it is full of water in the deeper lower section. I'd wired the new pump to another temp hose the previous owner had where you could plug a second pump into a lighter outlet so no pump had been active.
We pump the water out and then later that night try and use water. There is none. All of the water had drained out of the water tank. Luckily we had filled a couple 4 gallon containers before leaving and use those for the next couple days.
So now what do we do about the aluminum tank that apparently doesn't hold water? Note, if you are looking to buy a boat make sure all of the tanks hold what they are suppose to hold. We could pull the tank and see if we could get it repaired or do something else.
We decided on something else. We carry about 40 gallons of water in the MacGregor using two 7 gallon tanks and six 4 gallon containers and like it as if something happens to one we still have the others and we also trim the boat in the water by using out of ones that help to keep the boat in trim. The trim part wasn't important with the Endeavour, but maybe not having all of our water in one tank would prove to be a good idea at some point.
We looked at tanks and it looked like we could fit four 20 gallon Todd poly tanks in the area in the bilge where the one 90 gallon was. We would give up 10 gallons, but we also would put a 6 gallon up in the cowling by the cockpit (more on it later) and we would probably start with 20 gallons in five 4 gallon containers like we used on the Mac. We wanted those in case we went ashore and got water with the dinghy.
So below you will see part one of installing four 20 gallon tanks but first lets look at some bilge pictures showing where they will go. I figured these might also benefit someone who is looking at an Endeavour 37 understand more of the workings of the boat in case they have never seen pictures of the bilge area.
There are 4 total pieces of the sole that easily lift out to expose the bilge and the fuel tank that is also down in the deeper part of the bilge that starts where the lower middle arrow is. Above the right arrow points to the last section you can lift up and out. It is under the companionway steps, but they remove in just a minute or so. The double arrows above point to where the water tank rests on top of the encapsulated lead keel that is directly below that area.
From the outside of the boat the keel extends towards the stern of the boat where the deeper part of the bilge is and where the fuel tank is. If you have the boat up on stands you can tap the keel sides and here where the two areas are. It sounds quite hollow towards the stern.
The cross 2 X 4 supports that span the bilge are held in with a few screws and easily come out. Each section of the sole rests with its edge on one of the 2 X 4's. The arrow points to the forward part of this area where a bulkhead closes it off. Where the arrow is pointing is a small round hole that allows water that might get into the hull ahead of this area to flow through the bulkhead. Also the mast step is just forward of that bulkhead and is something to check for rot when inspecting a boat.
The top arrow is pointing at one of the 2 X 4's and the bottom at the hole in the bulkhead for water drainage from the forward part of the hull. There had been some paint in this area and we will probably repaint the area. With the water tank/tanks out you have access off the bilge area on each side if you want to run wiring or plumbing. Most of the boat is pretty accessible. I like that.
The bottom arrow above points to the fuel tank that drops down into the deeper part of the bilge. There is also a bulkhead there from side to side above the arrow.
The left arrow points to the hose that goes up to a deck fitting to fill the water tank. I have pushed a smaller garden hose down the original hose hoping to be able to fill the tanks quicker with pressure vs. just gravity feed.
Again the left arrow points to the water fill lines. The middle arrow is down in the deeper part of the bilge where there was one bilge pump. I'm putting in 2 major ones for use on the water and a smaller one to handle rain water while on the stands in the yard and it will possibly also be used on the water depending on how I run the discharge line for it. The right arrow points to the pump discharge line that was with the boat. I'm changing as much of the discharge to PVC that I can to hopefully improve performance and there will be two lines to the above water thru-hulls on the stern.
Above the middle arrow you can see a copper line that ran from the water tank to a pressure tank/pump for supply to the galley and head and cockpit shower.
We bought four 20 gallon Todd tanks (Todd Model #: 85-1666WH ). Above I've slid 2 into the forward part of the bilge as a trial fit. These tanks are 10" X 16" X 30" (H X W X D). If they would of been just a little wider than the 16 inches 4 of them would of probably been back up to the 90 gallons that had been there. Still we will have a 6 gallon tank up in the cockpit coaming and another 20 gallons in portable containers and probably about 25 gallons or more stored in the 2 1/2 gallon drinking water container you buy at the grocery store.
As you can see from the arrow, these tanks 'just' fit under the 2 X 4's. If you do this you need to measure before buying. I think there are options of replacing the 2 X 4's with something else if needed.
The arrow point to the openings I'll probably use in this install. The large ones will be plugged. The ones on the right will be for filling and discharging the tank and the ones on the left will be vent.
Above you can see all 4 tanks in place. I might cock, middle arrow, the near ones a little to expose the openings that will be used for the vents on the forward 2 tanks, top arrow, and they will off-set in the bilge to the starboard side to gain access to the opening on the right side of the forward 2 tanks.
The tanks barely overhang the deeper part of the bilge, bottom arrow.
Another view of the tanks. They still have to be secured so that there is no chance that they will move around.
When we get back to the boat I'll post the next part of this install.
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