There has been a fixture in Dani and I’s bedroom. For four years, two big brown cardboard boxes have taken up space next to a chest of drawers. Waiting… These strange boxes held water tanks that we ordered years ago. And there they sat, waiting for the day they’d be unwrapped and put to use. My my, how long they had to wait before their purpose was fufilled. But finally, over the labor day weekend, their time had come.

It’s strange removing a permanent fixture from your bedroom, but the time had come. We hauled them to the dock and stripped them of their cardboard sheaths, revealing the fresh and still shiny poly plastic material they are rotomolded out of.
Tate with the water tanks

And thus began the great fresh water plumbing project. Complete with half naked men in the bilge.
Tate in the bilge preparing for the water tanks

The main goals for this weekend were to install the spigot in the head and also to install the water tanks themselves. I opted for the most simple approach possible. I wanted a manifold to select which tank water would be drawn from, with this being the only valve(s) in the system. Most people have pressure water on boats but Dani and I decided that at least at first, we would attempt only pump water from the tanks. To facilitate this I built a simple manifold from parts from our local hardware store.
Water tanks manifold setup

Each valve simply turns on or off a tank from which water is drawn. The water is then pumped at the faucet at either the head or the galley. Not much to it, just a couple of valves and a couple of T-fittings.

I’ve run the vent line to a part of one of our lockers. Its pretty low in the boat boat but if water goes up over the locker I figure we’re in trouble anyway. I couldn’t find a good 1/2″ vent fitting so I used a 5/8 fitting with a step down between the typical 1/2″ line and the 5/8″ fitting.
Vent for the water tanks

I also finally installed a new spigot in the head. We went with a MKIV style hand pump. I know that foot pumps are better but the sloping floor of the head threw some hurtles at that idea, so instead we have a hand pump.
Head sink faucet

I attempted to install the head sink itself along with the drain but this didn’t work out like we hoped with the angle between the seacock and the tailpipe being very tight. I’ll have to work some more on it next weekend. After that, I’m looking forward to pumping our first water through the head sink!

To finish this project we also need to install the galley spigot + foot pump + water filter. And finally I need to install spacers between the water tanks which will prevent them from shifting around while sailing. We already have the metal straps that go over the tanks to keep them in place during a roll over (God forbid), but the old tanks we removed were longer and didn’t need spacers that I’ll have to make up to keep these guys in place. Feels good to be working on Sundowner again despite the heat. With the amount of sweating I did this weekend I fear I could have filled one of these 40 gallon tanks myself!

It’s a far cry from where we were way back in 2011
Bilge after original water tanks were removed back in 2011