Holding tank and plumbing

Down under the V berth was this very smelly black bladder with yuchie pipes . Not good!!  Very odiferous.  Tony plucked up courage and pulled the whole nasty mess out.  If you will excuse the pun  … a really crappy job!  Despite being dressed in a head to toe disposable overall and kitted up with disposable goves, I still felt dirty.  The whole kit and caboodle was carried gingerly to the dumpster and heaved in!

By this time the entire boat was stripped of course.  All the accoutrements were stored in Eric’s garage, per kind favour of Eric and Liz.  My adult grandson, Justin, loaned me his powerwasher.  It roared away for over an hour as I sprayed every part of the boat including closets, bilges, engine, and of course the “smelly” area.

The smell lingered on.  In desperation I ripped out all the foam insulation in the V berth area.  Yep, as I carried it out to the dumpster, there was no doubt, foam had been the culprit, that had captured the smell!  The powerwasher was fired up again and we washed everything yet again.  Just about thought we were done when a great big bucket load of smelly mud came tumbling out of the bottom of the chain locker!

Raw area under V berth before final cleaning
Raw area under V berth before final cleaning
Cleaned and partilally painted with BilgeKote
Cleaned and partilally painted with BilgeKote













We had followed up an advert in “Currents” (Bluewater Cruising Association) magazine for a used polypropelene 1/2″ tank that had been used for potable water.

Holding tank
Holding tank being plugged and drilled

Perfect!  Replumbed by yours truly!

Some holes plugged, others drilled and fittings inserted.  Brian at Trotac had patiently explained the complexities of properly installing a holding tank to ensure odour elimination.  Complicated stuff!!

Looped vents on both port and starboard were called for to provide throughdraft (lee side vacuum sucks air out, and sucks fresh air in from the windward side) to ensure proper microbial action.

Tank dropped in
Tank dropped in after foam pads strategically glued

The big question was how to effectively strap the tank in place so that even in the event of a capsize it would remain securely in place?

Tank installed








The solution was simpler than at first dreamed during a midnight “brainstorm” a couple of days earlier.  The sturdy longitudinal stringers were used as a base and 4 chocks were cut, one for each corner, and secured in place by 4″ SS screws.  Perfect!!

The aft chocks were simply screwed into the athwartships bulkhead which was properly glassed into position against the hull.

Tank chocked down


All looking pretty good so far.  The pipes, T junctions, Y Valves (x 2)  and macerator pump are to be fitted next week.

1 comment on Holding tank and plumbing

  1. Wow! Way to get the nastiest of jobs out of the way. Having a holding tank that doesn’t smell is high on my list of necessary things for a boat. We have this huge holding tank on Andromeda that has plumbing that you wouldn’t believe. I think there is literally 33 feet of pipe. We do not look forward to the replumbing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *