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Old 09-03-2016, 11:41 AM   #1
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FRP Water Tank Access on Californian 42LRC

Hi folks,
I have a leak in my FRP water tank and was wondering if any owners (Californian 42LRC) have tried to gain access into this tank? I can reach the aft end of the tank in the rear deck lazarette, but I was thinking more of inside the aft stateroom. Has anybody lifted the floor in the aft stateroom to gain access to the water tank?

Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:28 AM   #2
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Not sure about the LRC but our 48' MY has access to the few places you might get a leak. Like the fill line and vent area through the lazarette. The water level sending unit and the outlet for the pump. Not saying it can't happen but I find it hard to believe that the tank itself is leaking. I'd start looking at the outlet to the pump. Our access to that is inside the master hanging closet floor.
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:25 PM   #3
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Capt. Jon,
Thanks for the reply. I agree that it seems unlikely that the tank suddenly sprang a leak after all this time, but I have been unable to find any water leaking from hoses or pumps, and I went through 175 gallons in 5 days on my last trip. I will look more in depth when I return to the boat, which is squeaky clean right now due to Hurricane Newton, in Baja. I have seen water coming from under the middle of the forward end of the tank, but have not checked to see if it is salt or fresh water.
Anyway, I will look much more closely before doing any major removal of floors, etc.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:18 PM   #4
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City: San Rafael, California
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Vessel Name: M/V Patience
Vessel Model: 1978 Californian 38' Trawler
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38' Californian with similar issue

I have a 38' Californian trawler which has a similar problem. The rear cabins on both our vessels are pretty much identical.

Symptom:
- Annoying low level leak. Less than a gallon or 2 a day.
- No evidence of leak around inlet or outlet.
- Used bore scope type video inspection device to look under tank from the bottom front edge. Bottom of tank was wet and could see water dripping. Could not identify location of leak.

Response:
- So far I've been living with the leak as it has not increased in volume.
- Next time I replace the carpeting in the back cabin I will remove plywood floor to access the tank and resolve the problem.
- I'm hopeful I can perform a fiberglass repair once I identify where the leak is located.

Access Points without removing floor
- Aft end of tank in lazarette.
- Forward end of tank from engine room
- Inspection hatch just outside bathroom door.

I have given some thought to installing an inspection plate in the top of the tap in the area that is accessible via the inspection hatch. This would require cutting a hole in the top of the tank. The debris from cutting the hole would need to be removed from the tank (an interesting challenge - I guess it would entail vacuuming and flushing and filtering any residual.)

Via this access port one might be able to apply a flexible conformal coating, approved for use in potable water tanks, to the inside of the tank. The theory being the coating would seal any cracks.

- Has anyone ever tried this?
- If so was it successful and what product did you use?

I'm anticipating I'll just bite the bullet and replace the old fiberglass tank with one built from FDA approved linear polyethylene or equivalent. It will probably be a custom build to get the necessary form factor. The trigger to do so will be either an excessive leak rate or excessive cash in the bank.

If you take corrective action on your leak, do let us know how you resolve it.

Mike
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:21 PM   #5
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I have the same issue with my 42 and so far I'm living with it. I did the same with the bore scope but couldn't identify the location of the leak but isolated the area to about 6 feet from the aft end. The challenge is the tank is half the length of the boat and its glassed to the stringers. Any way you approach it is going to be quite a job due to access limitations. You almost need to disassemble the aft cabin to do it properly.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:42 PM   #6
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Thanks Mike for your informative post. My leak appears to be more significant, as I went through 175 gals of water on my last trip in five days. I had four people aboard, but only my wife took showers, so there is a decent leak. Visually, there appears to be water coming out from under the forward end of the tank. All the hoses appear to be dry, however, when I switch on my deck wash pump (fresh water) it runs continuously. I have tried to trace all the hose coming to and from the deck wash pump, but also have failed to find any leaks.

I do have a watermaker, so I guess I will have to un-pickle it and figure out how to use it if I am unable to find the leak(s).

Thanks again for the replies folks.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 09-25-2016, 12:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montenido View Post
Thanks Mike for your informative post. My leak appears to be more significant, as I went through 175 gals of water on my last trip in five days. I had four people aboard, but only my wife took showers, so there is a decent leak. Visually, there appears to be water coming out from under the forward end of the tank. All the hoses appear to be dry, however, when I switch on my deck wash pump (fresh water) it runs continuously. I have tried to trace all the hose coming to and from the deck wash pump, but also have failed to find any leaks.

I do have a watermaker, so I guess I will have to un-pickle it and figure out how to use it if I am unable to find the leak(s).

Thanks again for the replies folks.

Cheers, Bill
Bill, have you looked at the deck wash pump itself or the connections at it? Reason I say that is from my experience. I installed a new Par Pump Sr. fresh water pump and was having terrible issues with it running constantly and acting like it was sucking air. Took me over a year to finally find (by accident mind you ) that the schedule 80 PVC close nipple between the filter screen and the pump on the suction side had a hairline crack. Once that was replaced the system worked great.

At 8.75 gallons per day you and your guest really know how to conserve water. With almost 200 gallons on board we are lucky to make 3 maybe 4 days before we have to refill!
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Old 10-16-2016, 12:18 AM   #8
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Bill
Did you find the source of your freshwater leak? How about a solution.

I think you jinxed me, I fear mine is leaking now.
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Old 10-16-2016, 12:02 PM   #9
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Hi folks,
A quick update if you are interested. I spent a week aboard just doing projects recently. I did not find the smoking gun fresh water leak, but I did find a possible source. I posted earlier about an electrical short on my main fresh water pump (Smoke in the cabin). While messing with that, I discovered that my accumulator had several pin-hole rust leaks. While not huge leaks, together they might account for several gallons a day. I did not find any obvious leaks near the frp water tank, and nothing obvious around the washdown pump, so further investigation is needed.


I will let you know if I find anything definitive.


Thanks and cheers, Bill
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:59 PM   #10
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Hi everyone,
I have a 1988 42 Flybridge sport fisher. Built in Tustin, and from what I have heard 1 out of 12 or so.
I just started to have a water leak in my fresh water tank. It holds 190 gallons and takes a long time to leak out but it is definitely leaking. I have been following this thread trying to figure out where my leak is and have a thought. My tank is built right into the bottom center of the bilge and i can see the lines on the top by looking aft from the inspection plate in the forward stateroom. I see a large fill line, a smaller vent line and the watermaker fill line all into the top of the tank. What I can't see is the drain/source water supply line. I have been looking for it and can see where it disapears thru the bulkhead forward of the engines. Berfore I go crazy and get out the Sawzall I just wanted to ask if anyone knows if the supply line is to the bottom of the tank and if anyone knows how the line is attached to the tank? Hope this makes sense.
Thank you all in advance for your help.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Rob View Post
Hi everyone,
I have a 1988 42 Flybridge sport fisher. Built in Tustin, and from what I have heard 1 out of 12 or so.
I just started to have a water leak in my fresh water tank. It holds 190 gallons and takes a long time to leak out but it is definitely leaking. I have been following this thread trying to figure out where my leak is and have a thought. My tank is built right into the bottom center of the bilge and i can see the lines on the top by looking aft from the inspection plate in the forward stateroom. I see a large fill line, a smaller vent line and the watermaker fill line all into the top of the tank. What I can't see is the drain/source water supply line. I have been looking for it and can see where it disapears thru the bulkhead forward of the engines. Berfore I go crazy and get out the Sawzall I just wanted to ask if anyone knows if the supply line is to the bottom of the tank and if anyone knows how the line is attached to the tank? Hope this makes sense.
Thank you all in advance for your help.
Sounds like we have the exact same tank in our Tustin built 48' CPMY. In our case the pickup is at the bow end on the very bottom of the tank. Access to it is through the aft stateroom hanging closest.
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Old 11-10-2016, 08:33 PM   #12
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Breaking News:
Boat owner squeezes self thru small hatch and slithers aft on top of water tank with flashlight. After a long and dangerous trip reaches rear of water tank. Looking down, spots water supply line! he wriggles hose, appears to move! now he has a new problem! How is he going to be able to tighten plumbing fitting in tight area! Stay tuned for more breaking news.
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Old 11-11-2016, 08:58 PM   #13
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Well... the water tank saga continues, I had high hopes that tightening the supply line fitting would fix the leak. Alas, after buying the only tool that could reach the plastic fitting (telescoping basin wrench) crawling 15 feet on my belly sticking my arms and the telescoping basin wrench into the 3 inch wide area about 18 inches into the hole, the fitting was tight. Water leak continues. Thinking Sawzall and cutting open the top of the tank! Any ideas welcome. Thanks
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