Installing a Raritan holding tank in a newer A30

Mounting the tank

The next problem is to keep the tank from moving around. I certainly don't want it to slam into anything when the boat falls off a wave--it might split wide open!

My solution was to hem the tank in with braces--fore and aft, and to put a clamp over the top. I mocked up these pieces out of foam board and trimmed them to fit. The sides of the tank are not straight, so the cuts have to be curved to fit.

The top piece holds the tank down, and holds it at the angle leaning outboard.

I then duplicated all of the pieces in pine two-by. I didn't even worry about using pressure-treated. If this area of the boat stays wet enough to rot the wood, I've got bigger problems than that.

I cut out a slot in the cleat that supports the V-berth plywood so that the top piece can slide down into place. The fore and aft boards are just screwed down to the fiberglass with self-tapping screws, but the top board is designed to be removeable.

At each end of the top board, I drilled a one-inch hole with a hole saw. I also took one of the plugs from drilling these holes, and cut it in half. The board is held in place by a #10 machine screw inserted from each end, through the half-round plug and held with a nut in the one-inch cutout.

The half-round cutout on top is because the board happened to land right below the finger hole of the V-berth plywood.

Special thanks to Mike Lehman of Gilleleje, #505, and Jim Mennucci of Quest, #433, who blazed the trail with the Kracor tank.

Offshore Sailing book cover Offshore Sailing by Bill Seifert with Daniel Spurr

We went to a Windjammers lecture to hear Bill Seifert and I was impressed enough to buy the book on the spot. I've heard a lot of people talk about ways to improve a boat, but I've never heard one person suggest so many good ideas that I hadn't considered. Part of the charm is the specificity of the suggestions. Everyone says you should secure your floorboards, hatchboards and batteries. Bill shows good suggestions on how to do so.

The suggestions are very practical for the do-it-yourselfer, too. Many show how to make or adapt inexpensive solutions. Tip #12 on closing the deck blower vents is one that will pay off for me without ever going offshore. I'll implement that one to stop the wintertime storms from finding their way belowdecks.

Besides modifications, the book also includes advice for operating offshore, cooking, boat selection, dealing with bureaucracy, and more.

Bill Seifert has worked at Tartan, TPI, and Alden Yachts. He's a veteran of many Marion-Bermuda races and now runs his own yacht management company. His tips are born of experience--not of book-learning--and it shows. He obviously knows his stuff.

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