Keeping Water Tanks Clean: Part III

By Rich

For more backgound on this post, see this post and this post. In summary, the fresh water tanks on a boat can get pretty disgusting inside if they aren’t managed carefully. We cleaned the water tanks on our Hylas soon after we bought her and it was a big job that I’d prefer not to have to do regularly. As such, I needed a means of draining the very last bits of water out of each tank once they were “empty” (but not really empty, because the pump pickups are high enough from the bottom of the tank that small amounts of water remain in each tank, then go rancid and start growing small swamp monsters).

Editor’s note: NERD ALERT! The cynical among you, please hold your laughter but this solution works INCREDIBLY well.

On the Sabre, the tanks were small enough that an ordinary dinghy hand pump could reach the bottom and the last bits of water could be reached with a sponge via the inspection port. On the Hylas, the tanks are much deeper so that solution would not work. So here is the solution I found: a nice vacuum fluid pump meant for marine engine oil changes, etc.

The wand is semi-rigid, so it can reach the very bottom corners of the tank and vacuum out the last bits of water once the tanks have been run dry after a cruise and we are on the dock water connection. It takes only 2 minutes or so per tank. Perfect!! We have found the tanks leave anywhere from a half gallon to 2 gallons or more once they are “empty” and this solution means we can fully dry them out until they are needed for the next cruise.

And just in case you think this post is kind of insane, go back and look at the photos from the articles linked above ask if you’d like to drink a glass of water from the faucet of this boat before we’d cleaned the tanks…





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