Here .. Pull this
Join Date: Jan 2007
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If your boat is going to be subjected to freeze/thaw cycles and if you want to sail a seaworthy boat, you have two options:
a) Ensure that the temperature of your boat never gets to the freezing point which is almost impossible unless you have four or five heaters in there all the time - from the forepeak to the lazarette.
b) Winterize it...and when you winterize it - Dry off the topsides and the deck and COVER IT. If you don't, water will work it's way through tiny crevices you aren't even aware of. When it freezes, it will expand. This will tear the fibres and core of your boat and weaken it. When it warms up again, the ice will return to water, and take up less space in the little pocket it has created. The next time it rains (and note we are not talking about seawater here) more water will get in there, and it will freeze again and the damage will worsen. In just a few short years your boat will turn into a big, messy problem and be worth zilch on resale.
If you leave the water inside the structure, it will start to dissolve the resins that hold your boat together, unless your boat is built of epoxy (in which case you have too much money - send me some).
But, if you dry your boat off and cover it, the water that is in there will dry out somewhat over the season, and no more will get in until you uncover it in warmer weather again.
This is not a "could happen in a really badly built boat" scenario. This WILL happen to your boat if you don't take care of it.
This is in addition to fogging your engine, blowing out all your hoses, unhooking your batteries and emptying all of your tanks completely.
Every few years, you should take off the deck fittings, allow the holes to dry out and examine the core to ensure that it is not rotting.