Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario
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Re: Ice damage
It depends on many factors. Impact could range from none at all to quite serious. It depends on the shape of the bilge, the speed at which the water froze, the build quality of the boat, and probably a few other factors I'm not thinking of.
I've had this happen to me. Never had any damage. In my case the bilge was big and wide, and freeze happened slowly. Ice damages by expanding while it freezes, so as long as the water has an easy dimension to expand into the odds of damage is small(er). I now always dump a bunch of antifreeze (plumbers) into the bilge as part of my winterizing process.
I would want to get the water out. Melt it with heat if you can. Salt or antifreeze would help as well. And I would examine the bilge, keel, and hull very closely in the Spring. As others have said, I would want to know how the water got into the bilge. Could be a sign of serious problems with deck, thru hulls, or hull in general.
Why go fast, when you can go slow.