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Repairing keel holding tank leaks - successes and pitfalls?

captpete

Member
I have confirmed that my holding tank leaks at the top edges in two spots so bilge water gets in (and presumably full tank contents can get out although haven't used the boat enough yet to notice that...).

Having had good luck working with epoxy and 1708 biaxial in other glass repairs, it seems to me that putting some layers of 1708 glass tape around the whole top edge would be a reasonably easy repair solution.

Wondering if others have performed holding tank repairs with any success and what pitfalls they may have encountered. There are certainly many threads on this problem, just not real clear what folks did to close off the leaks. Not looking at this stage to put in a new holding tank. Thanks.
 

dave_a

Dave Ahlers
Pete, maybe a "bodged" repair to some, but here's what I did:
I used a West slurry of epoxy and thickener between the hull & delamn'd tabbing. (I deemed the area too restrictive space wise to grind the adjacent area and tape properly). After a few applications of acetone to clean, then epoxy, then the thickened slurry I filled the void. How long will it last is the question.

Everyone's boat is different with respect to how badly delaminated the bilge floor/ HT cap is due to improper keel blocking. I got some odor when flushing the head IF the tank was full. If it wasn't full yet, I could live with situation. The bilge odor wasn't too terrible. I made sure my aft HT vent was clear which if clogged drives odor into the bilge around the tabbing. Yech! Good luck! Dave
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Pete

The problem with repairing the tabbing holding the bilge floor is the fact that you can't get tools down to the areas where the damage is. The only way to fix tabbing that has separated is to grind it completely away well beyond the damaged area and start fresh. Unfortunately there just isn't room to work in the area to do the job correctly. Adding new tabbing and glass over the old tabbing will never work. I had attempted the fix twice and failed both times. My solution was to build a new, larger tank, located in the V-Bunk, and abandon the keel tank.

Jim
 

struell

Stephen Ruell
We have also had failures in the holding tank seal. Ours leaked so fast that when the boat was on the hard, filling the bilge with water, it filled the holding tank from the bilge in less than a day. The PO told me that he paid for the seam repairs, but when we tried it first season we found that they were not successful. I don't see how anyone could properly clean and prepare the seam, as you can barely reach some of the perimeter with the pipes in the way, let alone see what you are doing. Our boatyard fiberglass guys looked at it and said to forget it- not possible to fix with any certainty. But maybe some people have had luck with it, from the posts it sounds like some have. Maybe if you cut off the pvc pipes and install threaded unions, you can remove the pipes and get at the seam better.

So I did the new tank route and followed the Jeff Lovett approach combined with Don Casey. with a Todd 15 gallon polyethylene holding tank under the head sink counter last spring. I can say after one season that it works well. Jeff Lovett in his great SV Pilgrim blog shows that it is possible to fit a tank there and I am not sure I would have thought it possible. I did the hoses slightly differently. Don Casey in "This Old Boat" 2nd edition describes the plumbing, basically the head outlet goes directly to the tank with no Y valve, then the tank drains either by gravity or can be pumped from a deck outlet. It eliminates the Y valve and has very simple plumbing. The Todd tank fits the Morgan head compartment so that, if the tank is pushed up against the bottom of the sink counter, then the tank is a few inches above the waterline, and the tank will drain by opening the seacock, or by the pump out. No macerator pump needed. No Y valve, only a few feet of sanitary hose. And the cost wasn't too terrible.

The hard part is getting the tank in under the counter. Jeff Lovett shows how he cut away the front face of the fiberglass below the counter. I enlarged the existing door opening instead, and got the tank in that way. I still have to make a new door for the enlarged opening. Either route will work. The deck pumpout hose runs under the tank then up the side of the the hull and ends up on deck just above the head compartment storage locker, so you can work the pumpout hose and vent hose up through that, with fairly good access.

A post by John Gonzalez this past summer shows his corian countertop, I wish had done that since it would have made working on the tank a lot easier.

Good luck on the repair but there is a method that works if that doesn't.
 
When I bought her, I discovered several separations along the perimeter of the bilge (some a 1/4 inch wide) and so water went in the holding tank. I used a mouse sander with 50 grit, and then a dremmel sander to get into the most aft end of the bilge area where it narrow substantially and then by hand to sand where both could not get to the corners and tubes. I spent hours on sanding alone. I cleaned the glass with acetone and use the west system with coarse glass woven matting first and while still wet, followed with less coarse matting. I used a lot of epoxy, not resin in this project. Around the tubes I used matting then thicken epoxy to complete a fillet. Precut all the matting and plan out how you are going to lay it out to make the corners and turns with the different matting. My boat is still on the hard but it appears to be holding; however, as it is not in the water, I won't really know how well the fix is until it is fully tested. But I have filled it up with water and it holds. I can go out to the keel and knock on the side of it and it rings hollow where it should for the holding tank. This was an 8 out of 10 on a scale of difficulty of tasks I have undertaken so far (changing out the teak cap rail was a solid 10). You need to have a long arm and use slow acting harder to give yourself time to lay the glass out and to feather out with a brush and the small epoxy roller. Go to confession afterwords as you will cuss the world and all on it.
 

captpete

Member
Thanks for sharing your experiences and input. A new tank may be the ultimate solution and i like what Stephen has described doing a modified version of what Jeff shows well on his blog. In the short term i want to give tabbing a try. I understand the challenge of access and proper preparation to effect a good bond. I have had good luck working with the 1708 and epoxy so am still going to take a crack at it, perhaps with the help of my son who has long arms, strong knees and back, and more patient disposition so the "cuss jar" doesn't get filled! I welcome any additional experiences, insights, and experiences.
 

stnick

lee nicholas
Captpete , When you get done your fix, I hate to tell you the boat will flex and break the new seal. Have a new tank made POLY put it under the port side seat. Easy to run new deck pump out Port side too Inside head double door cabinet. to under hamper. My Macerator was moved to right behind the head seat lid . I made that a locker with a pull down lid and Mounted the macerator inside.
I filled the empty holding tank space after cleaning and drying with Closed cell foam liquid and watched it expand. Than 2 layers of glass and roving over top. It will never smell again. ! Sometimes the long hard way works cause you only ever do it once in your life !
 

wild382

John
Captpete , When you get done your fix, I hate to tell you the boat will flex and break the new seal. Have a new tank made POLY put it under the port side seat. Easy to run new deck pump out Port side too Inside head double door cabinet. to under hamper. My Macerator was moved to right behind the head seat lid . I made that a locker with a pull down lid and Mounted the macerator inside.
I filled the empty holding tank space after cleaning and drying with Closed cell foam liquid and watched it expand. Than 2 layers of glass and roving over top. It will never smell again. ! Sometimes the long hard way works cause you only ever do it once in your life !
Lee have you ever checked to see if the foam you sprayed into the holding tank area has moisture?
Any cracks or separation. Did you just glass over the top of the bilge?
 

captpete

Member
Captpete , When you get done your fix, I hate to tell you the boat will flex and break the new seal. Have a new tank made POLY put it under the port side seat. Easy to run new deck pump out Port side too Inside head double door cabinet. to under hamper. My Macerator was moved to right behind the head seat lid . I made that a locker with a pull down lid and Mounted the macerator inside.
I filled the empty holding tank space after cleaning and drying with Closed cell foam liquid and watched it expand. Than 2 layers of glass and roving over top. It will never smell again. ! Sometimes the long hard way works cause you only ever do it once in your life !

Thanks for your input Lee. I may wind up in that direction as i dont have a water tank, only storage under the port settee so it would be a good space to use. But i still have to seal things up so the bilge doesn't continue to drain into the holding tank space. It was 27 degrees this morning here in Mass so not a place to have water collect, freeze and expand. I am reluctant to put a garboard drain there just yet. Maybe if i was ambitious and did install a new holding tank solution i could remove the lead hockey pucks from the bow and put them in that space with some hull and deck putty....No matter what, for now i see no solution that doesn't still have me tabbing in to close off the top of the tank. In doing so if it makes it useable and durable then i will be happy.
 

stnick

lee nicholas
I dId rinse and used a leaf blower to dry the open holding tank after the top was dry . I cut a 3 inch hole in the bilge bottom tank top.
When it was dry , I was so mad at it . I filled it with liquid closed cell foam. Than 2 layers of roving and mat .
Or you can do as Jeff did is cut the top out and have the deepest bilge ever, ! He has Pix of putting the switch and bilge pump on Starboard extensions so he could service the pumps. Dam pumps and switches always a to short a life span to suit me !
I did all new head all new hoses and new holding tank 15 gallons.
The whole concept of a SPACE in the KEEL used as a holding tank with out actually installing a real tank there is just penny pinching stupid !
 

wild382

John
I dId rinse and used a leaf blower to dry the open holding tank after the top was dry . I cut a 3 inch hole in the bilge bottom tank top.
When it was dry , I was so mad at it . I filled it with liquid closed cell foam. Than 2 layers of roving and mat .
Or you can do as Jeff did is cut the top out and have the deepest bilge ever, ! He has Pix of putting the switch and bilge pump on Starboard extensions so he could service the pumps. Dam pumps and switches always a to short a life span to suit me !
I did all new head all new hoses and new holding tank 15 gallons.
The whole concept of a SPACE in the KEEL used as a holding tank with out actually installing a real tank there is just penny pinching stupid !
Why don’t you tell us how you really feel! Lol
 

struell

Stephen Ruell
I put garboard drains on the side of the keel. I bought two Perko drains and put one for the holding tank and one above it for the bilge for winter drainage. With the drains you can tell if you have the leaks into the holding tank and also can drain the holding tank for winter freeze up. But the boat had 39 years in New England before I did that so I suspect the water freezing in a filled holding tank could have broken the top seal by flexing the sides of the keel. The sides of the keel are not all that thick where I put in the drains.
Haven't decided yet whether to fill the old holding tank with foam or concrete or whatever.
I second Lee about this tank being stupid!
 

rickdowe2

Richard Dowe
So my boat also had a leaking tank. During the process of grinding it down I found rivets and bolts that appeared at one time to have gone through the hull and holes in the stainless steel tubing for the tank suction and discharge.
I cut the tubing down to about 3 inches from the bilge deck ,that allowed me to get a 4 inch grinder in the space. I had half a dozen types of sanding tools at my disposal. Three sizes of sanding drums, 2 " round sanding disk, Dremel tools, flexible drill extension. Plus a mirror, vacuum for the dust, full face respirator and Tyvak suit. It took about a half a day to prep the space and another half to lay the fiberglass. So far everything looks good for this year.
If I had to do it again I might go the course that Jim did and have a tank made for the fwd birth.
I also installed a new high level switch for the tank. Just getting the old switch out took many days making different tools. This is what finally worked.
 

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jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Rick

Isn't it amazing that a job which looks to be so simple can take so much time and involve every tool you own or can jury rig!

Jim
 

captpete

Member
I put garboard drains on the side of the keel. I bought two Perko drains and put one for the holding tank and one above it for the bilge for winter drainage. With the drains you can tell if you have the leaks into the holding tank and also can drain the holding tank for winter freeze up. But the boat had 39 years in New England before I did that so I suspect the water freezing in a filled holding tank could have broken the top seal by flexing the sides of the keel. The sides of the keel are not all that thick where I put in the drains.
Haven't decided yet whether to fill the old holding tank with foam or concrete or whatever.
I second Lee about this tank being stupid!

Stephen, Would you have any pics of your garboard drains and where they are located? I fear whatever I do to reinforce the tank top will have to wait for warmer weather so I may need to drill a drain hole for now. Thanks, Peter
 

captpete

Member
So my boat also had a leaking tank. During the process of grinding it down I found rivets and bolts that appeared at one time to have gone through the hull and holes in the stainless steel tubing for the tank suction and discharge.
I cut the tubing down to about 3 inches from the bilge deck ,that allowed me to get a 4 inch grinder in the space. I had half a dozen types of sanding tools at my disposal. Three sizes of sanding drums, 2 " round sanding disk, Dremel tools, flexible drill extension. Plus a mirror, vacuum for the dust, full face respirator and Tyvak suit. It took about a half a day to prep the space and another half to lay the fiberglass. So far everything looks good for this year.
If I had to do it again I might go the course that Jim did and have a tank made for the fwd birth.
I also installed a new high level switch for the tank. Just getting the old switch out took many days making different tools. This is what finally worked.


Rick, Great idea on cutting the tubes down for better access. Thanks, Peter
 

stnick

lee nicholas
I just can't help myself . I just know stupid when i see it ! And I can be stupid myself. But with boats rarely is a short cut good enough to get by !
I always say " take the long way with boats ,its shorter " ! Thats the repairman in me fixing things once and never going back the 2 nd time !
 

rickdowe2

Richard Dowe
Yes Jim it unbelievable how long and how many tools one needs to use to do a simple job!
Yurek, when I was grinding I came upon some flexible sealant. Can't say for sure what it was but I bet it was 5200.
Captpete, it just happen that over the years the tubing had pinhole leaks where the black water would trickle down and where the rubber hose slid down over it. I had to cut out the bad places. It just happened to open up the area for better access.
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
CaptPete,
here is how i did my tank.... view pics in reverse order.... this is a variant of what St. Nick did except i went under galley floor and back up to starboard wet locker and reused macerator pump wiring and location and overboard seacock as well as the same pump out fitting on the deck:

http://www.morgan38.org/morgan38/index.php?media/albums/relocation-of-holding-tank-fall-2016.53/

So far, it works perfectly..... although i reused the anti-siphon which gave off some slight odor so i just replaced it this weekend.

and here's a video of my old HT leaking when full:

Good luck!
 

wild382

John
CaptPete,
here is how i did my tank.... view pics in reverse order.... this is a variant of what St. Nick did except i went under galley floor and back up to starboard wet locker and reused macerator pump wiring and location and overboard seacock as well as the same pump out fitting on the deck:

http://www.morgan38.org/morgan38/index.php?media/albums/relocation-of-holding-tank-fall-2016.53/

So far, it works perfectly..... although i reused the anti-siphon which gave off some slight odor so i just replaced it this weekend.

and here's a video of my old HT leaking when full:

Good luck!
Hey John
What are those cans? Emergency beer...:))
 

captpete

Member
Hi John,

Thanks. I have read your thread on this with great interest. And others. I like the approach you took and you sure did a good job. My boat has storage there as well so it would be a good spot if I ever do something like you have done.

My immediate need here in MA is to stop the bilge from leaking into the holding tank and freezing. And i am trying to avoid drilling holes in the tank or bilge for now.

It was our second season of light use of the boat which has been just day sailing, including infrequent use of the head. Supposedly we were getting deck pump out every week. Yet it seemed the near full tank light was on too often. However we never really had any tank odors that we could tell.

She was hauled and put on the hard just before i started this thread when i filled the bilge and confirmed it was leaking into the tank. I then did a reverse flow with a shop vac and saw bubbles coming up along the sides of the joint right next to the main pipes going in and out of the tank. I did not notice any bubbles around any of the pipes, the vent tube, nor the tank level sensor.

My boat, 1978 382 hull 49, was on the hard for 7+ years when i got it. She was on only 5 stands. And she was blocked right under the hollow tank. So it is no surprise i have the issues.

I believe repairs have been made before as there was some thin tape on there already. But it has not been up to the job.

Having had good luck with 1708 biaxial tape and total boat epoxy in other applications i decided i would at least get some of that in there for now. So fortified with advil and keeping the $5 cuss jar handy i decided to get down and dirty this past weekend.

I first used a harbor freight knock off of a fein multi tool to sand using 60 grit to rough up the area. Then cleaned with acetone. The first 2 shots show that. (You can also see what i would technically call "yuck" somehow got in and has discolored along but under the tank top/side junction).

I then ran heat on the boat overnight, keeping the epoxy and glass tape indoors. And then went at it. I added two layers of tape along the edges, approx 3" covered by approx. 6". I had a third layer of 9" ready to go but i decided the two smaller pieces were good for now. I then kept heat on the area overnight. The last two pics show that.

So we will see how the repair goes - gonna test with some water in the bilge and see if the holding tank fills (I use the shop vac to empty the tank since i have no macerator nor hand pump set up, just deck discharge - that's always pleasant to empty - not).

Hopefully i dont have to do anything with the penetrations in the tank. And can re-evaluate where i am at in the spring. In the meantime i will give my son, who is my boat partner, a hard time all winter long for his absence during this difficult job his old man was stuck doing...
 

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stnick

lee nicholas
if you get some emergency die from west marine. Its yellow powder It hits water and turns green a teaspoon in the head is all you will need. Flush into the tank keep pumping till 12 15 gal of water is in there if your bilge does not turn green you fixed it !!
I sure hope after all your work you solved that problem . ! Best of luck
 

captpete

Member
Thanks Lee. I will try that next season. For now I hope to take advantage of a 50 degree warm front this evening and turn the outside hose back on, fill the bilge, and see if i get anything with the wet vac out of an otherwise empty holding tank. Fingers crossed! And then i have to turn the hose back off and drain the bilge before the Canadian air gets here! Oh, to be in FL....
 

wild382

John
Thanks Lee. I will try that next season. For now I hope to take advantage of a 50 degree warm front this evening and turn the outside hose back on, fill the bilge, and see if i get anything with the wet vac out of an otherwise empty holding tank. Fingers crossed! And then i have to turn the hose back off and drain the bilge before the Canadian air gets here! Oh, to be in FL....
Wouldn’t it make sense to go the other way where you can get pressure?
 

captpete

Member
John, yes, but... I am trying to keep water out of the holding tank. So if my repair is successful in that then i am happy for the winter.

Removing the holding tank contents with a shop vac is no fun - which i do down below as i connect it in a cut i made to the pumpout hose just under the floor and connect the vac there - a stinky, messy, little room to move, loud, and tedious job that requires pouring vac contents into a 5 gal bucket and lumping that bucket up the companionway and down the ladder for disposal ( and i keep wondering where the H is Junior???!!!).

So i just checked my work by making sure the tank was as empty as possible with the wet vac, then putting water in the bilge and look for bubbles and listen for any water draining - nothing so far. Then i did the reverse flow of the wet vac (which puts a lot of air pressure in the tank) and no bubbles whatsoever from the sides where before there were a lot. Just a few bubbles where there is caulking around the tank sensor wire, which i can easily fix i think.

I will check the water level in the morning and suck the tank again with the wet vac, hopefully there wont be any water in there. Fingers crossed!
 

wild382

John
John, yes, but... I am trying to keep water out of the holding tank. So if my repair is successful in that then i am happy for the winter.

Removing the holding tank contents with a shop vac is no fun - which i do down below as i connect it in a cut i made to the pumpout hose just under the floor and connect the vac there - a stinky, messy, little room to move, loud, and tedious job that requires pouring vac contents into a 5 gal bucket and lumping that bucket up the companionway and down the ladder for disposal ( and i keep wondering where the H is Junior???!!!).

So i just checked my work by making sure the tank was as empty as possible with the wet vac, then putting water in the bilge and look for bubbles and listen for any water draining - nothing so far. Then i did the reverse flow of the wet vac (which puts a lot of air pressure in the tank) and no bubbles whatsoever from the sides where before there were a lot. Just a few bubbles where there is caulking around the tank sensor wire, which i can easily fix i think.

I will check the water level in the morning and suck the tank again with the wet vac, hopefully there wont be any water in there. Fingers crossed!
Sounds like a lot of fun...understand about freezing here in Vermont ...we load everything up with -100 antifreeze.
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
John, I like the work you've done, it really looks great. My bilge has been painted white, and then on top of that, in the bottom I had some engine oil leaks that somehow made their way down there so I have about a 2" high grey stain down in there. I looked at where the tank leaks were coming from as you may have seen in the video above and I just didn't feel I could get my head nor hands down in that tapering part of the bilge to do any good with it. It seemed that moving the tank to where I did was the most viable option. I hope this works for you and you don't have to deal with this ever again!

I will say that the tank sensor, when I took mine out, it was essentially encrusted to where it was rigid in the up position so it's possible that is the case with yours and thus why it always shows full. I dumped about 2 jugs of holding tank treatment (the mint flavor) down in the old tank and I think that pretty well has that old issue solved. I ran my vent for the holding tank back up under the hot water tank, thru the back side of the storage area behind the stove/oven, and then up to the high side of the sail locker zip tied with the other hoses running fore and aft, then, over the top of the lazarette bulkhead, and then used the same vent over on the starboard stern side to hook it up and solve that problem. I used white plastic sanitation hose for the vent hose. So far so good. It feels really great to know that I can flush that head into the tank and my galley, salon, and even the cockpit become an embarrassment when guests are aboard. Finally, the curse of the built in holding tank is put to rest!!!!

I did have one concern as I did mine and that is, what to do if I get any clogs to where it won't make the downhill run from tank to under the floor of the galley to the wet locker. I have a very small cleanout on the top of the tank. If that were to happen, I would pump water back in from the deck pompous fitting and then use a plumbers friend at the deck fitting to push the clog back into the tank for more time to decompose and get out the rest of the tank's contents with the regular pumpout suction fitting... I think all of that would work as designed...
 

captpete

Member
After my overnight test all systems seem to be a go on the go system. Bilge water stayed in the bilge and tank was dry so i think i am good for now. Will put some antifreeze in the tank and rest easy for the winter. I may add another layer of 1708 glass tape in the spring to give it extra strength but that stuff is easy to work with, can cover complex surfaces and is very strong structurally. It may not be the final solution, but certainly an improvement worth seeing if it works and can withstand the stresses and strains of real world use.

John, great idea on freeing up a stuck sensor, thanks. Also, on the pearson i had for many years the holding tank was in the bottom of the sail locker which was a good spot, but it had a wimpy vent that got clogged if the tank got too full (no sensor) so periodically i would have to get in the locker and detach it from the hull vent and blow on it to clear it - nasty! And once my daughter had a sleepover with some of her college buddies, one was not aware of the if you dont eat it don't flush it rule. I wound up replacing the clogged hose on that one - more nasty! Makes you wonder why we do this boating thing!
 

struell

Stephen Ruell
Here is a picture of the garboard drains on the side of the keel as requested. Perko 714 fittings installed with 5200.
 

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captpete

Member
Here is a picture of the garboard drains on the side of the keel as requested. Perko 714 fittings installed with 5200.

Thanks Stephen, looks like the best spots for those. Nicely blocked keel. Must have been a little dicey deciding on where to drill the holes. Do you also have the fittings screwed in with the 5200? And what function does that anode plate serve?
 

struell

Stephen Ruell
Hi CaptPete
Garboard drain questions....
The bronze plate is a ground plate, I assume for lightning protection, don't other Morgans have that? It is bolted through the side of the keel and the bolts are visible in the bilge, so I measured down to the floor of the bilge on the inside and transferred that measurement to the outside to locate the drill on the outside, about one inch higher. The holding tank one was a bit of a guess but you can drill a smal hole and then insert a wire and feel around inside before drilling the final hole.
The Perko fittings have flanges with holes for bolting the fitting to the surface. I also countersunk them to be more or less flush. You can use bolts for the bilge but cannot reach the lower one inside so I used screws set in thickened epoxy
My old Hunter had a garboard drain and I found it very useful when cleaning or flushing the bilge to have a way for draining it. In this case I was very worried about the holding tamk having liquid contents and freezing.
 

stnick

lee nicholas
Wouldn’t it make sense to go the other way where you can get pressure?
You can sail and retire in Summer weather all the time. ! Life in the tropics. ! Im from Philadelphia and I have not been back in 30 years. The boats on the jersey coast have to come out of the water most of the year just in for a 90 day window and Hope there is wind !. Years back I came to fla during Xmas to visit and saw friends sailing while my boat was out of the water back in New Jersey . With in 30 days I moved south , boat in tow !
 

stnick

lee nicholas
Hi CaptPete
Garboard drain questions....
The bronze plate is a ground plate, I assume for lightning protection, don't other Morgans have that? It is bolted through the side of the keel and the bolts are visible in the bilge, so I measured down to the floor of the bilge on the inside and transferred that measurement to the outside to locate the drill on the outside, about one inch higher. The holding tank one was a bit of a guess but you can drill a smal hole and then insert a wire and feel around inside before drilling the final hole.
The Perko fittings have flanges with holes for bolting the fitting to the surface. I also countersunk them to be more or less flush. You can use bolts for the bilge but cannot reach the lower one inside so I used screws set in thickened epoxy
My old Hunter had a garboard drain and I found it very useful when cleaning or flushing the bilge to have a way for draining it. In this case I was very worried about the holding tamk having liquid contents and freezing.
You can pour some Anti freeze in that tank 2 gallons sure cant hurt !
 

captpete

Member
Hi CaptPete
Garboard drain questions....
The bronze plate is a ground plate, I assume for lightning protection, don't other Morgans have that? It is bolted through the side of the keel and the bolts are visible in the bilge, so I measured down to the floor of the bilge on the inside and transferred that measurement to the outside to locate the drill on the outside, about one inch higher. The holding tank one was a bit of a guess but you can drill a smal hole and then insert a wire and feel around inside before drilling the final hole.
The Perko fittings have flanges with holes for bolting the fitting to the surface. I also countersunk them to be more or less flush. You can use bolts for the bilge but cannot reach the lower one inside so I used screws set in thickened epoxy
My old Hunter had a garboard drain and I found it very useful when cleaning or flushing the bilge to have a way for draining it. In this case I was very worried about the holding tamk having liquid contents and freezing.

Sounds like you did a nice job installing those drains, Stephen. How did you find the thickness of the fiberglass to bilge and holding tank, particularly since you counter sunk the fittings? On the ground plate, are there wires attached to shrouds and/or thruhulls and/or other parts of the boat connected?

Lee, you only add to my jealousy of you FL sailors!
 

wild382

John
You can sail and retire in Summer weather all the time. ! Life in the tropics. ! Im from Philadelphia and I have not been back in 30 years. The boats on the jersey coast have to come out of the water most of the year just in for a 90 day window and Hope there is wind !. Years back I came to fla during Xmas to visit and saw friends sailing while my boat was out of the water back in New Jersey . With in 30 days I moved south , boat in tow !
We discuss that but would miss the Vermont mountains greens and the adirondacks of Lake Champlain ...less crime too. But we have to see that water you get to enjoy!
 

david_buckley

David Buckley
He Ya'll
We cut the tank top/bilge floor open. Cleaned and dried the tank. Filled it with high density foam then heavily glassed the bilge wrapping up the sides. We installed a new tank under the V-berth. It was a tough job but not impossible. I am very glad we did it. The keel is stronger, when we haul we can block the back of the keel and the holding tank odors are gone. The is a long list of reason why the tank in the keel void was a bad idea.
 

Terry Davis

New Member
He Ya'll
We cut the tank top/bilge floor open. Cleaned and dried the tank. Filled it with high density foam then heavily glassed the bilge wrapping up the sides. We installed a new tank under the V-berth. It was a tough job but not impossible. I am very glad we did it. The keel is stronger, when we haul we can block the back of the keel and the holding tank odors are gone. The is a long list of reason why the tank in the keel void was a bad idea.
Hi David, Are you still happy with the foam in the keel holding tank. I am ready to do the same to my boat
 
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