Jane has been assembling photos to show the progress we have made in our first year of refitting Vida. As we looked at them we looked a bit more closely at the pictures of our fresh water tank (according to the survey around 400 litres).
You can see a lot of it here.
It is stainless steel and sits under the main cabin floor on top of the encapsulated lead of the keel. It starts just aft of the mast support and continues under the companionway ladder and wet locker to the forward bulkhead of the engine compartment.
The problem is that as we look at the photos we realise there is a lot more rust both inside and outside (as well as horrible crud on the gauge float).
So looks like we will replace it. Having all our drinking water in a single tank which already has rust seems like a risky thing when planning ocean crossings.
To remove the tank we will need to (at least temporarily) remove the companionway steps, the wet locker and several floor beams. That means we are wondering about putting the house batteries at the bottom of the wet locker, directly on top of the keel. That would be great for weight distribution and might solve a future issue of where to add extra house batteries if we need them.
If we fit polypropylene tanks that are a better shape to fit the space we might be able to not lose much water capacity in the process.
But we can’t do much until we can get there and do some careful measuring and disassembly. One of the challenges is that the companionway steps are not central but instead offset to starboard (to make the galley bigger and provide the space for the steering wheel in the cockpit).
As usual we are in that place where things have lasted well for 40 something years and might last a fair bit longer, but with a few years before we will be ready for live aboard cruising it seems sensible to tackle this large jobs now rather than when in some remote part of the world – yes we do plan to go more remote than Anglesey 😉