Date: Tue Sep 25, 2001 11:21 am

My SW II has a holding tank (supposedly 40 gallons) under the v-berth. Was this a factory option, or was it added later? I have thought about removing it someday. I noticed that Pickpocket had one under the starboard settee, near the head bulkhead. I was hoping to someday install a Marine Air style airconditioner, and apparently the most suitable place would be under the v-berth. Any information or suggestions would be appreciated.

Date: Tue Sep 25, 2001 12:23 pm

An earlier buyer backed out from my Pianissimo when he could not ascertain that the tank had never been used for its intended purpose, as he wanted to use it for fresh water going offshore..

[Re: drinking water, I and many offshore cruisers find that bottled water is reasonably cheap, better tasting and safer, and easily storable anywhere in the ususal liter or 1.5l plastic bottle, which allows light gaseified preferred by some crew: anything that simply pleases the good passage crew is precious! I had, and still have, some of it in 2.5-4 gal or more, not in round containers, which act as reserve, but many cruiisers don't bother.]

What are you going to use for holding human wastes? Rhode Island has practically outlawed anything else...

Even if you don't plan to use the head, eg, use a rounded rim pail as of old, or a Y valve for going offshore (will have to be sealed in many areas inshore US), you cut yourself off from several US cruising areas, the number of which may grow further.

Think twice about putting extra weight that far forward, anyway. Plus the power burden, and another hole in "keep it simple"... I never missed an A/C in the tropics, anchorage are breezy, most harbors have air conditioned or shaded breezy places.

Date: Tue Sep 25, 2001 3:17 pm

You will probably hear from several owners regarding the success of tanks mounted in this area, most are likely not favorable reports. Tanks mounted under the V have been used for additional water storage, as was my own, aux. fuel tanks and a few for sanitary holding.

If the mounting is dependent upon any security from the actual hull itself it probably has almost certain problems due to a predictable degree of normal flexing in this area. Gerry Smith, previous owner of my boat had installed a fiberglass water tank there, a factory installation I believe, and it soon became prone to leakage due to this flexibility. He soon lined it with a bladder and found that too to become a problem. Initially, I rerouted my anchor chain into the tank by opening the entire top panel but have completely abandoned the tank now in favor of lighter weight bulk stowage..

My suspicion is that the area under the V would be incapable of any tank capacity of 40 gallons and would seriously consider that 40 gallons at an average of 8.25 pounds per gallon the approximate 320 pound burden would seriously affect the sailing characteristics. But the measurements seem to support a possibility for 12-18 gallons capacity with some reserves for your air-conditioner should you consign yourself to the idea of sleeping just above a sanitary tank and its related and distasteful ramifications.

If you are seeking to deal with regulations regarding No Discharge Zones (NDZ) there are no options other than sanitary holding. However, by installing the Lectra-San unit from Raritan you may successfully and quite effectively treat any effluent before discharge. I have eliminated two of the drawers in my starboard settee in favor of the more voluminous "bin" stowage and have mounted the Lectra-San unit quite successfully under the starboard settee in less space than one original drawer.

I do however suggest that to satisfy the regulations for NDZ's that a small holding tank be installed forward under the starboard settee. Another option I have considered is another Raritan holding-tank product that actually installs on the head platform and has a small 5-gallon capacity tank that surrounds the head on two sides for those occasions where prudence is the better part of valor.

Date: Tue Sep 25, 2001 8:02 pm

Galadriel (k12) had a plastic 25 gallon tank, made by Kraco, Its still make and I can give you the part number if you need it. I removed mine and replaced it because the outlet fitting on the tank had cracked. I replaced it with a flexible tank, but after 2 years it has started to smell. I think I will replace it with a Stainless steel tank similar to the plastic one I remove.

In regard to the Lecsan system. I am sure they work as advertised, but in a No-Discharge zone you can't use them. This includes the Great Lakes and unfortunately, an increasing number of places on the east coast. The Canadian's are particularly sensitive to this on the Great Lakes. Even Portapotties are technically illegal.

Date: Wed Sep 26, 2001 12:08 pm

Removing the holding tank would likely be a good choice if Congress passes the bill that would allow Type 1 Marine Treatment units to be used in all areas. However if that fails to pass, likely there will be areas that the holding tank would be of great value. We replaced our 25 gallon tank which leaked and had only held water with another specially made from glass and epoxy. This tank has given excellent service now for over 10 years and remains in excellent condition.

In Marina's without any facilities (Florida) its especially welcome at all times.


Date: Wed Sep 26, 2001 8:02 pm

My SW II also has a built in (plastic) holding tank under the stbd v-berth. It has a small crack in the vent tube fitting but doesn't laek (yet). She is hull 113...


Apr 9, 2002

I plan to replace the holding tank under my v-birth. It appears to be fiberglassed in position. Has anyone had to do this before? It looks like I might have to cut it out.


1778 Apr 9, 2002


I replaced mine last year. It is still produced and you should be able to read the numbers and model, If not I can get them for you. It is not glassed in but there is a tab of matting and resin on both sides. It snaps off easily. The tank sits in a bed of expanded urethane foam which can be scraped out or left in depending on the smell.

Once all of the screws are removed from the V-Berth plywood bottom and you pull it out you’ll see what I mean. If you have any questions please ask.