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Old 09-03-2019, 12:57 PM   #1
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Drains and vents

No simple task is ever simple.

We've got an electric grille on the boat. And the last time it was used seems to have enough gunk on the grate to get moldy. No biggie, the grate comes clean easily enough, and I've got some spare lava rock chunks on board. The rest can wash down the drain attached under it... right?

Yeah, no.

Turns out the drain is shared by a scupper behind the cabinet. Running a bit of water down the plugged drain didn't quite have the desired effect. Oh, it cleared the drain under the grille... right back out that scupper, not down into the (above the waterline) through-hull. Which, of course, let grimy bits get drained out across the cockpit sole.

>sigh< more work...

At least I'd filled the fresh water tanks, so I was able to easily clear the mess.

But in doing so I discovered the fresh water tank must not have a clear vent because there was a hiss of air when I opened the deck fill for it. I'm not happy with the fresh water tanks, as there's only a single deck fill but there's two tanks and a 3/4" cross-over in-between them. It makes for a tedious process and extended amount of time getting the tanks filled evenly. And now there's this.

I'm tempted to re-rig things to add a valve to direct the deck fill into specific tanks. But that'll no doubt lead to an even deeper rabbit hole of 'discoveries'.

No such thing as an empty to-do list when you have a boat.
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:03 PM   #2
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Can you just add a second deck fill and direct the original fill to just one tank? I have 2 tanks and 2 deck fills. Simple. I do have a cross connect hose so water will be used out of both tanks at the same time.
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
But in doing so I discovered the fresh water tank must not have a clear vent because there was a hiss of air when I opened the deck fill for it. I'm not happy with the fresh water tanks, as there's only a single deck fill but there's two tanks and a 3/4" cross-over in-between them. It makes for a tedious process and extended amount of time getting the tanks filled evenly. And now there's this.

Interesting you mentioned this....


A few weeks ago when I came back from being out on the boat, I was thinking that I should put more fresh water on the boat. We have two, 175 gallon tanks, each with their own deck fill. In the past, I have filled both tanks. It is a long process as the tanks won't take the water super fast. So it means setting the hose there for a LONG time to fill one tank and then another long time to fill the other. It is also a bit of a hassle to drag the hose across the boat to fill the other tank.



I have two fuel tanks also, each with their own fill (conveniently recessed on the inside cockpit bulwark which is really nice). However for a while now, I will usually just put fuel in the starboard tank and use the transfer pump to balance the tanks.


I decided to try it with the water tanks. Instead of filling both, I just filled the starboard water tank as I was putting the boat to bed after I came in. This created a list in the boat but I left and checked on the boat the following weekend. No list and the water tanks were equal. There is only a 1/2" line connecting the two water tanks but is equalized them nicely.



So I think I will continue to do that. Fill the starboard tank when I return to dock with the boat. This should keep a good supply of water on board. Worst case we would have only 175 gallons on board ready for us when we use the boat again. This is plenty for our typical weekend trips. It also will save me the time of filling both tanks.


So, unless you need full tanks for a longer trip, you may want to just do the same. Fill up the one tank after returning to the dock and let them equalize on their own. You will need to ensure that each of your vents is clear however.
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:21 PM   #4
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Can I add a second deck fill? Of course. Do I want to? Possibly not.

If I add a second deck fill I have to contend with deck surface condition. Right now it's nicely painted non-skid, artfully excluding the area around existing deck fills. Adding a plate would require changing that, at least if I want to maintain a consistent nice appearance. And then there's the whole other adventure of source "the same" deck plates as what's already installed.

Then there's the question of how much labor would be involved finding a route from the deck down to the port tank.

Versus a somewhat simpler task (he says with a serious amount of skepticism) of routing a hose between the existing fill and tanks. The downside would be having to manually flip a valve between the tanks for filling purposes. But there's at least easy access to the tops of the tanks and spaces between them.
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:26 PM   #5
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Well it may be easier to put a valve in than add a second fill. I prefer the second fill because it is straightforward. But I donít mind doing a bit of glass or paint work, it keeps me busy...
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:43 AM   #6
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At least I'd filled the fresh water tanks, so I was able to easily clear the mess.

But in doing so I discovered the fresh water tank must not have a clear vent because there was a hiss of air when I opened the deck fill for it. I'm not happy with the fresh water tanks, as there's only a single deck fill but there's two tanks and a 3/4" cross-over in-between them. It makes for a tedious process and extended amount of time getting the tanks filled evenly. And now there's this.

I'm tempted to re-rig things to add a valve to direct the deck fill into specific tanks. But that'll no doubt lead to an even deeper rabbit hole of 'discoveries'.

FWIW... we have two 100 gallon tanks, each vented, and one deck fill. Our crossover hose is 1Ĺ" diameter, and the fill process doesn't particularly take a long time.

(Except we usually also double filter water as we fill those tanks, and the second carbon block filter slows the process down a bit. Probably wouldn't be necessary if we had a "city" water supply.)

Maybe you could just change the size of your connector hose?

I'm usually able to intentionally force a jet of water out each of the vents during our fill process... hoping that keeps the vents clear...

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Old 09-04-2019, 07:26 AM   #7
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Maybe you could just change the size of your connector hose?

I'm usually able to intentionally force a jet of water out each of the vents during our fill process... hoping that keeps the vents clear...
Two excellent points. I'll take a look at where the fittings enter the tanks for the cross-over. My guesstimation looking at them gave me the impression that they were 3/4". There's a line from with a shut-off valve, leading to a tee that feeds to the freshwater pump. Which would allow for isolating (relatively speaking) one tank from the other... IF they had their own fills (which they don't).

In the past I've had a hose bib fitting with a pressure-limiting valve. Even with that it was possible to make the polyethylene tank bulge a bit if I overfilled it. The 1/2" vent line wasn't sufficient to fully relieve it if it was being filled from city water. So I had to make sure to limited the flow and stop before it got totally full. I say this because the tanks in this boat are stainless and I'm thinking "it would be bad" if an over-pressure situation developed. Not that it'd rupture the tanks, more than a hose would let go and I'd have a 200 gallon situation in the bilge.

Yet another item on the to-do list: check feasibility of changing cross-over hose to a larger diameter.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:07 AM   #8
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So I think I will continue to do that. Fill the starboard tank when I return to dock with the boat. This should keep a good supply of water on board. Worst case we would have only 175 gallons on board ready for us when we use the boat again. This is plenty for our typical weekend trips. It also will save me the time of filling both tanks.

So, unless you need full tanks for a longer trip, you may want to just do the same. Fill up the one tank after returning to the dock and let them equalize on their own. You will need to ensure that each of your vents is clear however.
Fair points.

We have two 100 gallon tanks (iirc). With 3 people on board and muddy Chesapeake bottom conditions we can put a sizable dent in that over a week. I've learned to keep them topped up. I tend to use about a half-rate-of-flow from the Annapolis city water source at our marina and let it run. It manages to get them re-filled in about an hour (which is just my wild-ass guess). I try to get the hose into the fill on arrival and by the time everything else is sorted and we're ready to head out the deck fill has started to overflow.

In a previous boat I'd installed a filter with the existing factory hose bib fitting to allow coupling a hose directly to the boat. Which I never left connected, and had two shut-off valves attached (at the pedestal and another at the boat). No better way to sink your boat than to trust the full pressure of municipal water dumping in it. This let me feed water back into the single tank, through a filter. It was tee'd into the tank before the freshwater pump.

Though I don't have a readily convenient place to add a bib like that to the Eastbay. Well, maybe under one of the cockpit gunwales, that'd get me close to the freshwater pump in the engine room. I'll have to do some thinking on where it might be best to add a water filter setup... that'd dictate where a direct-fill connection would get routed...
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