Aluminum vs Stainless water tanks - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 03-17-2010
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Aluminum vs Stainless water tanks

I have stainless water tanks, 30 years old with broken baffles and beginning crevice corrosion. Repairing the broken baffles is going to run $600 per tank. That still leaves me with old thin-wall tanks with some evidence of corrosion and noticeable oil-canning issues.

So, I am thinking about replacements. Custom rotomolded tanks are the most expensive--the molds are the biggest expense. Would sure be nice though. But I will not consider welded seam plastic tanks. Too many reports of split seams.

New Stainless tanks are going to be above $4000.

I would like to hear opinions on using 3/16" 5052 aluminum tanks for water. How much does the chlorine in municipal water accelerate corrosion in aluminum? What other "gotchas" do I need to be aware of?
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Old 03-17-2010
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We had aluminum tanks in our previous boat, we owned it 12 years and it was 10 years old when we bought it... no significant issues. We did periodically muck the tanks out (some crusty white 'nodules' cropped up from time to time) but we never had any serious issues. AFAIK they are still going strong 5 years on.

Whatever way you go try to be sure to have good cleaning access to all baffled compartments!
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Old 03-17-2010
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How many tanks? How large? $4000 seems expensive to me based on the stainless fuel tank I had custom made for $500. Possibly standard size rotomolded tanks will work.
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Old 03-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I33 View Post
Custom rotomolded tanks are the most expensive--the molds are the biggest expense. Would sure be nice though. But I will not consider welded seam plastic tanks. Too many reports of split seams.

New Stainless tanks are going to be above $4000.
Gil,

I had a 40-Gallon ss tank with baffles custom welded in Annapolis in 2001 for $500. It is hard to believe that inflation has run that rampant since.

wrt your plastic tank idea. Sounds like you have done some homework. But have you checked out the non-custom Ronco marine tanks? They have a long list of seamless tanks for which someone else has paid the non-recurring cost. Here is a catalog .pdf link http://www.ronco-plastics.com/newRon...anks_2010_.pdf
If you could adapt one or more of these to fit your space - it would save thousands and provide first rate water storage.
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Last edited by wwilson; 03-17-2010 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 03-17-2010
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I would recommend going with the Ronco tanks as well.

As for the aluminum tanks, the white encrustations are aluminum corrosion byproducts from the tank being exposed to chlorinated water.
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Old 03-17-2010
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I hunted around salvage places till I found a good used plastic than that fit. After cleaning it works fine. I had an aluminum fuel tank built. Need to be careful on mounting aluminum so there's no place where you can have eawater water up against the tank for a prolonged time. I sat the tank down poly strakes to avoid this.
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Old 03-18-2010
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Not sure about aluminium for drinking water,isnt there some connection between aluminium cooking utensels and altsiemers ? or is it just me cant remember .K
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Old 03-22-2010
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What bunk!

When I was a airplane fixer upper in the early 60's they told us to be very worried about cuts and alum. poisoning and one other thing, something to do with fires and landing gears. I remember now, the seals in the strut were made from Teflon and when burned it produced a poisonous gas.

When wine makers start using plastic and alum. then I might think about it.

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Not sure about aluminium for drinking water,isnt there some connection between aluminium cooking utensels and altsiemers ? or is it just me cant remember .K
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Old 06-12-2010
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Aluminum Fresh Water Tank

Faster & SailDog,
I am looking into an aluminum water tank, but I can't decide whether to paint the inside or leave it bare.

Corrosion (an little white globs) is the chief concern, but I think that using distilled water and maybe an annode in the tank might be sufficient to resist corrosion.

What do you think?

I don't want to drink bad water and then ...
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Old 06-12-2010
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Anode protection of aluminium? Have you considered anodizing the tank instead? Might be a hazzle to get the cathode inside, but other than that, it should do the trick.
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