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Split water tank

We have discovered a serious split in our plastic fresh water tank. In fact the top surface of the tank has actually burst off from the sides of the tank - perhaps due to the water tank freezing up in winter?. Questions please. (a) Is this something that might be repairable (welded / adhesive); (b) how complex is it to fit a new rigid plastic tank in view of space restrictions; (c) what are the benefits or detrements of a flexible tank?
Our boat is a share boat, and I have not actually observed the split, nor can really accurately comment on the space limitations under the fore deck.
I welcome any suggestions

Asked by: Richard Chappell  | 3.47pm, Sunday 23 May

WW says:

(a) Plastic water tanks are usually made by welding sheets of plastic together so, in theory, it may be possible to repair one in this way. It really depends on how badly damaged the tank is and how easy it is to get to the damaged part to repair it (see below).
(b) This will depend very much on the individual circumstances in the boat. If the builder has thoughtfully made the lower part of the front bulkhead and any furniture fixed to it easily demountable, it may not be too difficult to remove these to get to the tank. If, however, they are all firmly fixed with glue and screws, you have more of a problem. Once you can get to the tank, it should not be too difficult to have a replacement made and install it in the same way that the first was installed.
(c) Flexible tanks are obviously more prone to damage from sharp objects but, provided you make sure that it sits on a smooth surface and don't go near it with the end of a screwdriver, you should be OK. You should ideally provide support all round to keep it in shape. You may be able to do this by inserting it under the front deck, making all the connections and then building the fourth side just in front of where the front bulkhead goes. If not - or if you can't bear the thought of demolishing the TV cupboard - it may be necessary to cut a large hole in the front deck and work through that. This method was used by Michael Lee and the job was described in an article in WW in October 2007. Roger Noblett also installed a flexible tank on his boat and this was covered in WW in March 2010.
In both cases, the owners used tanks supplied by HCL Hovercraft Components (the material used is the same as the skirt of a hovercraft) 023 8087 1188 www.duratank.com.

Graham Booth  | 4.31PM, Monday 24 May

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