Monday, May 20, 2013

Crap! Alberg 30 Holding Tank

To recap since my last post: Finished up the spring semester at school, started my new job and finished some much needed yard work around the house.  I have been trying to get some sailing in but have been out only once. The weather this season has been anything but good for sailing.
I had started a v-berth project a while back and have been making progress to getting that completed. One of the major hurdles has been a building a new holding tank. When we purchased Sal she had only a 6 gallon holding tank. We quickly found out how inadequate that was for two people. Not only did it reek something awful....but it was a plastic tank that had seen better days.
I searched all the options for a new tank. I looked at many pre-fabbed tanks but didn't find any that fit into the area where Sal's holding tank was designed to be, which is quite an oddly shaped space. I finally decided to make one myself. I've always enjoyed fabricating items I've needed when I couldn't find them anywhere else. Given my budget, I decided to give an epoxy/plywood tank a try. From all the reports and reading I did, it seemed
 like a very easy build and if done right would work quite well. Since I had just about all the materials, this option seemed like the best.
Oddly shaped holding tank area, it follows the curve of her keel and creates a sharp angle

 Started by cutting rough shapes of the area and laying them in place
 Next, I taped the pieces to hold in place while I laid some epoxy. I lined the space with wax paper in case of any spills or leaks

Brought basic form home to make a box, used thickened epoxy on all seams

Test fit, so far so good

Here is the finished inside, fiberglass tape and thickened West System on all seams and 5 coats of epoxy

Using tension straps to secure and glue the lid on, I covered the outside of the tank with 2 layers of fiberglass cloth

All the access holes cut, made a few boo boos but epoxy mistakes are very easy to fix
 Finished tank waiting to go in. I bought 1 1/2 pool fittings and then bought marlon 90 from west marine...yeah I know....those fittings cost nearly as much as the rest of the tank. Know when not to skimp on expenses! : ) 
There is the new tank in place, it holds 14 gallons. The two smaller fittings are for the vent lines. I decided to run to vents as I have been told it helps promote less odor by allowing airflow through the tank.

So in summary a very good project, not very hard and quite fun. Best of all I have just over $100 in the whole thing including the marlon fittings. 
We'll let you know how its first sea-trials turn out...

1 comment: