F30 water tank

Fresh/Waste Water Systems, Watermakers, HVAC, Refrigeration...

F30 water tank

Postby mike cunningham » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:55 pm

This week's project is to increase usable storage under the starboard side cabinet just forward of the stbd settee. On my boat one can remove the forward bolster and extend one's feet under the cabinet to use the stbd settee for a 2nd main cabin berth.

The cubby is equipped with a full depth cushion. I removed the cushion and use the space for food storage but its not terribly efficient and I sometimes found myself sleeping in that berth with my feet on top of a pile of canned food. OK, that's not cool.

So my plan was to remove the plywood base and create an opening port so I could use the space below for extended storage and clear the foot room for sleeping.

When I pulled the base I discovered the plastic water tank extends about 8 inches into my storage. Not a big deal, I have another 19 inches to work with so plenty of space to store stuff. However, some genius filled a big portion of this space with expanding foam. After three hours of work I have it all out and have my storage space but I was wondering if anyone else has expanding foam around the front and sides of the water tank in their Freedom 30. Is this an OEM install job or something done by the PO?
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Re: F30 water tank

Postby rvivian » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:13 pm

Hi Mike -

I don't use that settee as a bunk so I've sealed the end off permanently and use the whole cabinet in front of the settee bulkhead for storage.

My water tank does not extend beyond the bulkhead on either end of the settee, but it is embedded in expanding foam along the bottom and long sides.

(Hull 30)
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Shelton, WA
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Re: F30 water tank

Postby gamayun » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:25 pm

Mike, my F38 has expanding foam around the water tank, which takes up the whole starboard settee. No storage room there at all!
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Re: F30 water tank

Postby dlynch » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:23 pm

Our F 30's water tank is completely surrounded by expansion foam with no available storage.

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F 30 Solitude
Blue Hill, Maine
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Re: F30 water tank

Postby mike cunningham » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:07 pm

Thank you all for your responses. Apparently what I have is original build. I am a little surprised at the somewhat indiscriminate use of expanding foam both around the tank and extending to the bottom of the tank cabinet. On my boat this makes it extremely difficult to get wiring from the engine room to the battery compartment under the chart table. It was a nightmare installing my electrical upgrade and Balmar alternator because of the difficulty of running wiring through a foot of inaccessible expanding foam under the floorboards below the tank area. The shortest run is from the engine, forward a few feet and to starboard under the tank and into the battery cabinet. Any other route adds many feet of cable.

Yesterday I discovered my water tank has original Freedom Yachts annotations on the very front side, so it is original. Apparently a number of different sized tanks were used. I am sorely tempted to expand the current project to remove and replace the tank with a smaller unit which would allow easy access to the aft end of the tank. On my boat, this area is almost inaccessible today. If I ever have a fitting failure on the aft end of the tank, the whole thing is going to have to come out. Of course said failure will occur at the worst possible time.
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Re: F30 water tank

Postby rvivian » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:27 pm

Mike -

My boat has about 2" open between the rear of the tanks and the chart table bulkhead. The water fill, vent, outlet and some electrical cables all are routed there. I used a hole saw to make a 4" access at the bottom of the chart table bulkhead to get at the tank connections. Work there is a pain.

On my previous boat I cut out the top of the poly water tank and installed a flexible tank inside the original tank walls. That worked well and lasted a long time. I also tucked a couple of smaller flexible tanks in other barely accessible locations on that boat to increase the water capacity.

I've toyed with the idea of doing something similar to the water tank on Heart's Desire and cutting the existing tank containing a flexible tank shorter at the aft end to allow access to the hoses and electrical cables routed there. But so far that project is not very high on my list of projects. (If the existing tank and foam are cut I'm sure that some connection and reinforcement of the inboard settee wall will be required.)

I also met up with another F-30 up here i the sound that had removed the water tank altogether and was using a bunch of 2.5 gallon water bottles he had bought t Walmart to store his water supply.
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Re: F30 water tank

Postby mike cunningham » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:10 pm

rvivian wrote:Mike -

My boat has about 2" open between the rear of the tanks and the chart table bulkhead. The water fill, vent, outlet and some electrical cables all are routed there. I used a hole saw to make a 4" access at the bottom of the chart table bulkhead to get at the tank connections. Work there is a pain.

On my previous boat I cut out the top of the poly water tank and installed a flexible tank inside the original tank walls. That worked well and lasted a long time. I also tucked a couple of smaller flexible tanks in other barely accessible locations on that boat to increase the water capacity.

I've toyed with the idea of doing something similar to the water tank on Heart's Desire and cutting the existing tank containing a flexible tank shorter at the aft end to allow access to the hoses and electrical cables routed there. But so far that project is not very high on my list of projects. (If the existing tank and foam are cut I'm sure that some connection and reinforcement of the inboard settee wall will be required.)

I also met up with another F-30 up here i the sound that had removed the water tank altogether and was using a bunch of 2.5 gallon water bottles he had bought t Walmart to store his water supply.


It sounds like you set up is very close to mine. I am going to take another look at access and see if an additional cut out could improve the situation. One of the issues is the water pump is crammed in just forward of the batteries and really gets in the way of access to the tank fittings through the battery box.

It never occurred to me to do some strategic cut outs and leave the existing tank in place. Boy, that would really simplify the install of a flexible tank! One concern I would have about the flex tank is fore and aft slosh. Was this not an issue when you had one installed? Assuming this is not an issue I am really tempted to look at this route. The fact the old plastic tank sides and bottom were still there would make it much easier to fasten the new flex tank in place.

Some of my colleagues a the Singlehanded Sailing Society have gone with the multiple mini tank approach. In fact the ocean race rules require a minimum quantity water be carried and that must be divided between at least two tanks. The hard core racers minimize water carry and just go with a few jugs. I like my creature comforts so I like having some water to wash dishes and rinse off a seawater bath. My drinking water is separate and carried in three 3.5 gallon water bricks. Having said this, the main water tank will last quite a long time if used conservatively so I should back off on the water I haul across the ocean. Of course this would be accomplished by default if Installed a smaller flexible tank. Probably somewhere around 20 to 25 gal capacity.
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Re: F30 water tank

Postby katorpus » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:29 pm

I think you're on the right track with the idea of replacing the original Freedom water tank...mine are aluminum, built by Florida Tank and original to the boat (1981). One of the other drawbacks to "indiscriminate use of foam" in the original construction manifested before I bought the boat (when it was a "mere" 16 years old). That being, a relatively minor deck leak (in the area of the port scupper) resulted in unnoticed water intrusion that ran behind the batten "ceiling" on the hull of the boat in the aft cabin. It became "noticed" when I found rot in the plywood deck beneath the port berth cushion when inspecting the boat before purchase.

The water hadn't stopped there, of course...and it percolated down and soaked the foam in which the tank was bedded, causing it to corrode from the outside in. A considerable number of pinhole leaks developed. I discovered these when I filled the tanks (which the previous owner had "left empty") I drained that tank and left it empty. One possible solution would be to cut the top out, cut out the baffles, "pad" the inside walls of the tank to prevent chafe, and install a BIG Nauta bag that would be contained by the original tank. I haven't done that (yet), but it's "on the list" in case I ever go anywhere that requires that amount of water. I don't "top off" the starboard tank, and a couple of anchors and other heavy stuff in the port side lazarette mostly counteract the "lost trim" resulting from the absence of the weight of the water in the port tank.

I considered cutting the top off, cleaning the inside of the tank thoroughly and pouring in enough epoxy to seal the areas of leakage (sacrificing that amount of tank volume in the process), but I don't know what other areas on the (hidden) hull side are "thin" from the external corrosion, and I fear I'd just end up with more holes higher up once the water in the tank was restored. I can't really see any point in glassing in the entire inside of the tank, given that a bladder could easily be replaced if that time ever arose...
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Re: F30 water tank

Postby mike cunningham » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:34 pm

katorpus wrote:I think you're on the right track with the idea of replacing the original Freedom water tank...mine are aluminum, built by Florida Tank and original to the boat (1981). One of the other drawbacks to "indiscriminate use of foam" in the original construction manifested before I bought the boat (when it was a "mere" 16 years old). That being, a relatively minor deck leak (in the area of the port scupper) resulted in unnoticed water intrusion that ran behind the batten "ceiling" on the hull of the boat in the aft cabin. It became "noticed" when I found rot in the plywood deck beneath the port berth cushion when inspecting the boat before purchase.

The water hadn't stopped there, of course...and it percolated down and soaked the foam in which the tank was bedded, causing it to corrode from the outside in. A considerable number of pinhole leaks developed. I discovered these when I filled the tanks (which the previous owner had "left empty") I drained that tank and left it empty. One possible solution would be to cut the top out, cut out the baffles, "pad" the inside walls of the tank to prevent chafe, and install a BIG Nauta bag that would be contained by the original tank. I haven't done that (yet), but it's "on the list" in case I ever go anywhere that requires that amount of water. I don't "top off" the starboard tank, and a couple of anchors and other heavy stuff in the port side lazarette mostly counteract the "lost trim" resulting from the absence of the weight of the water in the port tank.

I considered cutting the top off, cleaning the inside of the tank thoroughly and pouring in enough epoxy to seal the areas of leakage (sacrificing that amount of tank volume in the process), but I don't know what other areas on the (hidden) hull side are "thin" from the external corrosion, and I fear I'd just end up with more holes higher up once the water in the tank was restored. I can't really see any point in glassing in the entire inside of the tank, given that a bladder could easily be replaced if that time ever arose...


This is exactly my concern with the use of foam. It makes it very difficult and time consuming to access the hull wherever it is applied. In my case there was about a foot of foam completely filling a void in front of the tank. The area was more than a foot deep. Although unlikely, if one was holed or had leakage in that area one would play hell trying to get at the damage. Its true there are a number of areas in this category due to necessities of equipment installation but the gratuitous addition of foam was wrong IMO. It's a bit surprising because elsewhere Freedom obviously took pains to make obscure areas accessible for repairs. The hull deck joint bolts come to mind. One can get at them fairly easily around the full circumference of the joint. Removable panels have been incorporated as necessary to provide access. I would have thought there would be better ways to secure a tank, but water is awfully heavy and moves a lot so it would have been a tough problem to solve.

In any event I am going to think hard about the flex tank install into the current tank via cutouts, that really sounds like a simple and effective approach. I would be inclined to try to minimize the cutout(s) size to maintain the basic structural integrity of the original tank.
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Re: F30 water tank

Postby rvivian » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:34 pm

On my Ericson the water tank was under the aft berth under the cockpit. Sloshing was not an issue with the 15 gallon flexible tank, but I was not alone on the ocean in a gale either. (Some people are just nuts!! :) ) I think you might consider two flexible tanks in the existing F-30 tank as an enclosure and still have some room for storage.

My boat is different from most F-30s because I've messed with it a lot. It's my way of avoiding so much of the "adult supervision" by the Admiral at home.

Modifications pertinent to the area currently under discussion -- The boat used to list to port because it had the weight of both the batteries and the 50 gal water tank on the starboard side. (I had the almost the exact same battery / water pump system under the chart table as shown in the photos you posted a few years ago.) I solved the list problem by replacing the water pump with a new one that I mounted just under the center floorboards in the bilge, relocating the battery charger and solar controller behind the port settee back and relocating the 4- series 31 batteries to a platform I built and glassed in under the port settee. The area under the chart table now holds my SSB radio base and my isolation transformer in the lower part and I use the area on the shelf behind the folding door for food/kitchen storage. Extra bedding, towels and other miscellaneous stuff is in the enclosure forward of the starboard settee with the footwell closed off.
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