Galley and Water Improvements

Galley and Water Improvements

July 20th, 2011  |  by Marilyn  |  Published in Maintenance and Repairs

Fresh water has been a problem for us so far. The built-in fiberglass tank was badly affected by venting blisters, and as of last summer, we weren’t content to drink water from it any more. We tried using Sanitred to fix it, which was a complete disaster!!  Never ever use Sanitred products on your boat!!!

I eventually stumbled into Seattle Tarp, which supplied us a custom built flexible water tank, designed to fit snuggly inside the existing fiberglass tank. Deano at Seattle Tarp made the purchase process rather easy, and in short order we had a custom bladder built to our dimensions that costs less than the off-the-shelf flexible pillow bladders that other manufacturers make. We have high hopes that this will work to provide us water we are comfortable drinking (after passing through a Brita filter).

[Later Update: We abandoned that flexible bladder after 1 season because it was too hard to keep clean. It never fit just right into the complex water tank shape, and it would slump when not completely full. In the end, we reverted to just the original, blistered, fiberglass water tank and use an inline filter. All drinking water goes through a Brita filter]

We finally replaced the galley faucet that was hard for me to turn on/off, and it leaked. Van saw a photo of another Nic 38 that had a wall mounted faucet, which we thought was pretty clever. So we added a wall mounted faucet too and now we have more surface space around the sink, and a faucet that is mounted high enough to get larger things under it. We also have some holes to repair in the galley top surface where the former counter mounted faucet was located – but that plaid formica has to go someday…

[Update 2019: When we took out the hot water tank, we had no more need for a hot water tap  – so we replaced the wall mounted faucet again. This time with a single tap “pot filler” type faucet that has a considerable swing available to allow it to be positioned where it is convenient for use (or when not in use).]

We replaced the Jabsco accumulator tank (again). The first new one had a hole in the bladder, so it never acted correctly as an accumulator. Thanks to West Marine’s generous return policy, we exchanged the defective accumulator after 11 months for a new one that works properly.

We replaced the quick connect fitting on the existing ShurFlo water pump. It obviously had been leaking for a while because someone (not us) tried to seal the hose connection with some goop after the cheap nylon had been squeezed out of shape with a hose clamp. We found it easier to just buy the $2.50 replacement connector and use the properly sized hose.

So now we have a fresh water system that holds pressure and supplies potable water. What a treat!

In another effort to conserve fresh water, we turned the foot pump into a saltwater supply rather than fresh water supply. During our recent haulout, we cleaned up the Blakes seacock in the aft cabin bilge, which was formerly used for the aft toilet inlet but for 20+ years had been plugged. We then used 5/8” Trident Series 147 hose to plumb the Blakes seacock to the Whale Gusher Mark III foot pump that was already in the galley. To avoid having the Gusher pump be the only thing holding back the ingress of water in the entirely below-the-waterline plumbing, we looped the hose above the waterline in the galley locker outboard of the sink, and added a cheap PVC ball valve that allows us to easily shut off the supply, without having to go to the aft cabin and open the bilge to shut off the proper seacock.

[Update 2019: We again changed the foot water pump source, this time to a polyethylene water day tank that we mounted under the galley cabinet. I’ll miss having a salt water source at the galley sink when doing dishes. Maybe someday we can figure out how to solve that problem too.]

All of these are nice improvements to the galley and water situation. Hopefully we will continue to have a positive attitude about having a flexible plastic/fabric fresh water tank. I guess that is mostly up to us and how diligent we are about keeping it clean. [yep, that didn’t work out. see the update above.]

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