1989 Sailfish anyone know how to remove fresh water tank??

dstarok

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#1
1989 Sailfish 252G. Fresh water tank is leaking about half it's water, draining into the bilge. It doesn't look like it is a hose, as far as I can see. I think it must be cracked, or maybe a screw or something rubbed a hole in it. I have removed the access panel between the live well and "Aft berth" several times to replace thru hull hoses, replace salt and fresh water pumps, add recirculating pump to bait well, etc. I removed it to look at the hoses on the tank and didn't see a leak at the hose connection. I contacted Grady and they indicated removing that panel to replace the tank, but I'm having trouble believing there is room to lift it up high enough to get it out that way. I thought maybe i would have to remove the main gas tank and slide it out through there. Anyone ever attempted either way?
Thanks,
Dave
 

JeffN

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#2
Re: 1989 Sailfish anyone know how to remove fresh water tank

I am curious about the source of the leak, no idea about where? Tank freeze over the winter? Not an easy area to explore is it. I looked at the '89 catalog on the Grady site and your boat layout looks like my '83 more or less. Is your water tank located below the fish box? I too have removed the panel in the quarter berth. In my case to replace the drain hose for the fish box/live well. IIRC I don't think the tank will come out through the quarter berth opening as the water tank is below the fish box and that puts the most of the water tank below the level of the floor of the berth. How about removing the steps down into the cabin and panel behind the steps and access the tank there? Do you think the water tank would slide out forward into the cabin? At one point I had that panel out and thought that the front of the water tank was right there. I have no idea how the water tank is fastened to the hull and where those fasteners are or where hoses are connected. Might be able to remove the bottom of the fish box and get it out that way but that is a big effort and repair too. The water tank may be wider than the fish box also.

As to removing the water tank into the fuel tank area, I replaced my fuel tank last season, you would need to remove the fuel tank then cut out the bulkhead between the water tank and fuel tank and then after repair the bulkhead. I would be tempted to check out trying to remove it by going forward - less repair if doable compared to the fuel tank route.

I will have a quick look at mine tomorrow and see if I have any other thoughts. Is there a Beckson port in the rear of the storage box formed by the bottom step? I think there might be. Could check in there - might provide some clues.
 

dstarok

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#3
Re: 1989 Sailfish anyone know how to remove fresh water tank

Thanks for the reply. I'm not in a cold climate and the tank just started leaking this year. I too removed the access panel to get to the hoses on the bait well, and don't believe it can be removed that way. I do have the access plate under the stairs, I can see the hose connection that goes from the water tank to the pump through that beckson plate, and that's not leaking. Where ever the leak is, it does make it wet under the tank in that area, but like I said the tank only leaks down partially. Your info about the bulkhead between the gas tank and the water tank helps. Good to know. Also, I'll look at possibility of sliding it out towards the bow. The panel behind the stairs has been water damaged from the tank leaking, I'm going to have to think about replacing the whole panel between the helm and the cabin with new starboard eventually I think.
Thanks again for the reply.
 

JeffN

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#4
Re: 1989 Sailfish anyone know how to remove fresh water tank

I just got home from work and looked at my boat. I have had the section of bulkhead behind the stairs off but it was several years ago and don't remember what it looked like back there. That piece of bulkhead on my boat is one piece from the head partition to the quarter berth, thinking about it earlier I was afraid that to remove it you would be looking at getting into the head compartment wood work. Not the case at least on mine. I opened the beckson port and like yours I can feel the tank connection. It feels like the bottom of the water tank is above or at least even with the cabin floor. Thinking that the width of the tank is more narrow than the deck space side to side so I would think there is a pretty good chance the tank would slide out forward. Perhaps the tank is just held in place with blocking side to side and wedges like my fuel tank was.

Think the plastic tank is still available from the original supplier? You could always find something that would fit and mod it for hose connections.

Starboard would be an easy fix for the panel behind the stair, do you think it would be strong enough to hold the load on the step? Probably. I built the panel at the rear of the cockpit behind the motor box (I/O) out of marine ply coated with WEST system then painted it with a good marine paint, still looks new. The Starboard would be quicker for sure. At some point like you I will be looking to replace the bulkheads to the left and right of the companion way, I would probably go the coated plywood route for that. Lighter than the Starboard.

These old boats a interesting when trying to accomplish this type of project.

Let me know how you make out.
 

Rangoonb

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#5
Re: 1989 Sailfish anyone know how to remove fresh water tank

They sure weren't made to easily replace. You may want to consider installing a new one forward in a space that you can easily get to. You'll lose a bit of storage but it will be so much easier snaking a new hose through than cutting and replacing fiberglass.
 

dstarok

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#6
Re: 1989 Sailfish anyone know how to remove fresh water tank

Rangoonb said:
They sure weren't made to easily replace. You may want to consider installing a new one forward in a space that you can easily get to. You'll lose a bit of storage but it will be so much easier snaking a new hose through than cutting and replacing fiberglass.
that might be a good idea.
 

dstarok

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#7
Re: 1989 Sailfish anyone know how to remove fresh water tank

Well, if anyone needs to know, I got the tank out by removing the panel that the steps into the cabin are mounted to. Looks like Grady put a screw into the aft wall of the tank to stabilize it and the screw came out/ tank shifted forward, leaving a 1/4" hole about halfway up the aft wall of the tank. So when cruising, water would come out the hole. It was never completely empty, but after filling it, knew most of the water was leaking out somewhere. Put a 5/16 stainless bolt with plenty of 5200 on the threads into the hole and I'm sure it's good for another 28 years lol.
 

JeffN

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#8
Re: 1989 Sailfish anyone know how to remove fresh water tank

Hey glad that worked out. So it did slide out forward, looking at mine I thought that might be the answer. Good to know if I ever have to tackle that project. Hope I don't ever need to. Where was the head of the offending screw located, at the forward end of the fuel tank compartment or somewhere else?
 

dstarok

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#9
Re: 1989 Sailfish anyone know how to remove fresh water tank

Never did actually see the "offending screw", I figure it came in through the forward wall of the fuel tank coffin. Tank fits so tight in there I'm not going to worry about it sliding, although I suppose it could slide forward an inch or so. As an afterthought, maybe I should have put some 5200 under it, but what's done is done.
 

JeffN

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#10
Re: 1989 Sailfish anyone know how to remove fresh water tank

Is there room to put a wood block or blocks in front of the tank but behind the panel the steps are mounted on? Put them tight against the front of the tank to hold it from sliding forward? Have to remove the face panel but not the tank. Just a thought.