Practical Sailor drops, drags, and dissects three flexible potable-water tanks.
One product succumbs to Practical Sailorís water tank torture, but the other two are fit for duty at sea.
Unlike their rigid counterparts, small flexible tanks make adding small stores of drinking water aboard a cruising boat relatively easy. But not all flexible tanks are equal in terms of ability to withstand wear and tear. Practical Sailorís testers evaluated popular models from Vetus www.vetus.com, Nauta Imtra Corp., www.imtra.com, and Plastimo Navimo USA, www.navimousa.com. The Vetus and Nauta tanks are rated to hold 14.5 gallons (55 liters), while the Plastimo tank holds 13.2 gallons. Testers took note of each tankís flexibility, weight, construction, seams, tie-down grommets or straps, valves, exterior and internal materials, capacity, and other characteristics. The smell and taste of the stored water were evaluated. The tanks also faced abrasion, seam strength, and drop testsóand thatís what separated the weak from the winners in the water storage arena.