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davidpm 11-05-2007 11:42 PM

Winter Sailing
 
I sail a boat on Long Island Sound that has a Universal M-18. We would like to extend our season as long as possible. The winters the last couple of years have been very warm. We still had jellyfish in the water last week end. Fresh water and head we can just winterize and not use.
The engine of course is a different problem. We need the engine to get to and from our doc. I live only 15 minutes from the doc so babysitting is no problem.
What can we do to be ready to sail on the warm days and not ruin the engine on the cold days?
Changing the oil and filters is easy enough.
The raw water is a problem. Is there an easy to way to rig an instant (after every sail) winterize.
A heater in the right place?
Maybe a circulator that runs all the time?
I could easily check on the boat every two three days but I'm not living aboard.
If it turns really cold jan, feb of course we would do the regular winterize.
Just trying to see how far we can push it safely.

BarryL 11-06-2007 10:48 AM

Hello,

It has to be pretty cold for salt water to freeze.

What I would do is keep a gallon bottle of marine / RV antifreeze and a hose on the boat. If it gets cold enough for you to worry about salt water freezing, (say 32F to be safe) close the raw water seacock, take the hose off the raw water pump (or off the seacock if it is easy) and stick the hose on the antifreeze. Run the engine until you see the antifreeze come out the exhaust. Put the raw water hose back on.

If you remove the hose from the waterpump, make sure to get some antifreeze into the hose (maybe by opening the strainer).

When it gets warm enough to sail just go for it. Next time it gets cold, repeat.

With practice, it would take only a few minutes to protect the engine, and I get you use only a few gallons of antifreeze.

My real worry about boats in the water over a long island winter is the storms. There are frequent, nasty storms. Last year my boat was in the water all year. I thought I would go out a few times, but I only did twice. And I almost lost my boat in one the late winter storms.

If you do leave your boat in, and want some company on a winter sail, let me know! I would love to get out for some winter sailing.

Barry

sailingdog 11-06-2007 11:16 AM

If you're serious about this..it might be worth while to put a diverter valve into the raw water line on your boat, so that you can add antifreeze to it very easily, by sticking the hose from the diverter valve into a bucket or bottle of antifreeze, and then running the engine each time you come back to the dock. It'd be far less wear and tear on your boat than removing the hose each time IMHO, and less strain on the seacock fitting for the raw water intake.

SVAuspicious 11-06-2007 11:26 AM

Do you plug in at the dock? Does you water heater share space with the engine? It takes a while for the outside water temp to drop. It takes longer for the water inside the boat to drop in temp.

You may find that a 100W work light left on in the engine space will make a big difference in temperature.

TrueBlue 11-06-2007 11:29 AM

I haven't done this (yet), but a few sailors on my dock have installed a diverter Y-valve, similar to what sd mentioned. I was inspecting an installation just this past weekend on a friend's boat - simple to do.

http://www.defender.com/images/500392.jpg

He actually uses his to divert flow from the seawater pickup to an attached hose leading to a bucket filled with freash water. If sitting at dock for a while, he flushes seawater from his raw water section, replacing with fresh. This increases the life of the engine, heat exchanger and pencil zinc, which he claims to change only once every 2 years.

Of course, using a 50/50 anti-freeze & water mix in the bucket would be just as easy to do.

Idiens 11-06-2007 11:36 AM

I keep a thermostatically controlled 800W heater in the boat, plugged into shore power. It is set to trigger at +2 C, as it is not in the coldest part of the boat. A min-max recording electronic thermometer suggests that temperature rarely drops to threatening.

TrueBlue 11-07-2007 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickBowman (Post 218875)
TB,
Where would the 50/50 mixture be added and what does it consist of?

Rick, Is this a trick question?

Anti-freeze is only effective when mixed in a 50% solution with water. It's of course, used in the closed fresh water cooling section; but during winter layup, I prefer to run it through the raw water section as well.

As you clearly pointed out in your previous post, sea water does freeze and there's no assurance all can be drained from the system. The anti-corrosion additives also help protect the c.i. engine components from rusting.

haffiman37 11-07-2007 07:55 AM

1 Attachment(s)
As long as the water UNDER the boat does not freeze to ice, it is normally no problem. The engine room is insulated on top and sides, but not towards the bottom. Not likely that the water in the engine will get colder than the water outside. What normally frezze up is a thin layer of fresh-water on top, the salt water stays without problem. Have had boats lying in ice, including my own without any problem. But if the hull starts getting 'stuck' watch out. Another thing is the 'heat' that will be transferred by the keel. The deeper You get, the 'warmer' the water.

sailingdog 11-07-2007 09:11 AM

TB—

IIRC, the pink non-toxic antifreeze isn't supposed to be diluted with water, as that would raise its freezing point, not lower it. IIRC, it is supposed to be used straight out of the bottle. If you're talking the toxi anti-freeze, yes, it should be diluted 1:1 with water, but IMHO shouldn't be used in the raw water side of a boat's cooling system, since it will discharge to the ocean.
Quote:

Originally Posted by TrueBlue (Post 218881)
Rick, Is this a trick question?

Anti-freeze is only effective when mixed in a 50% solution with water. It's of course, used in the closed fresh water cooling section; but during winter layup, I prefer to run it through the raw water section as well.

As you clearly pointed out in your previous post, sea water does freeze and there's no assurance all can be drained from the system. The anti-corrosion additives also help protect the c.i. engine components from rusting.


TrueBlue 11-07-2007 09:28 AM

SD,
I understand there are environmental and legal controls regarding this, but prefer the internal engine conservation properties of ethylene glycol over propylene glycol. To comply with these restrictions, I start my diesel before Spring commissioning on the hard - after using the engine's water pump to draw fresh water out of a 5 gallon onboard bucket - indirectly filled by a garden hose.

I collect the green exhaust liquid to a bucket by way of a hose inserted to the wet exhaust outlet. I remove the hose when the liquid turns clear and then dispose of the liquid at the marina's toxic substance collection shed.

I do also realize though, that this thread concerns winter sailing while the boat's in the water. So, do not use the toxic stuff in this instance.


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