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  #1  
Old 10-18-2008
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Sailing in the winter in Long Island Sound

We have always just hauled the boat for the winter but the yard is offering wet storage cheaper than dry storage now.
We have had such mild winters the last couple of years. Last December for example we had several days in the 40's.
Assuming the harbors don't freeze what is involved in extending the season?

The head can be winterized and just not used.
The fresh water system can be winterized and not used.

I live about 20 minutes from the slip.
How cold does it have to get for how long before I have to worry?
Would a elect heater in the engine compartment be enough?
Maybe I could just get good enough at running anti-freeze though the engine every time I used it.
If I was willing to spend the 5 bucks every trip how would I go about it?

In other words until it just got too miserable so it wasn't fun anymore what can work and how do you do it?
And is anyone else a winter sailer around these parts?

I asked about this last year: Winter Sailing

but never did anything about it as we had hull problems last year. Any new advice.

Last edited by davidpm; 10-18-2008 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 10-18-2008
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We went out sailiing today. Beautiful, sunny, 17-knot breeze - it was delightful. Until we needed to head into the wind, which was blowing from the North and was at about 50ļ. The water was warmer than the air was, so the spray wasn't too bad. In December, however, the water will not be so nice to have spraying over you. Wearing ski clothes or drysuits might make it more comfortable, but sailing in winter is also more dangerous.
There are no other boats around help if you should need it. The water is cold! If you or one of your crew falls in - and your heavier clothing is going to make you clumsier - hypothermia begins in seconds, rather than minutes. Systems like your fuel pump, that worked happily in the warm summer months might decide that cold, thick diesel fuel was too much for it to put up with any more. Ditto batteries. It would be a shame to go out for a sail and not be able to re-start the engine to get back in before the sun set and it started to get even colder.
Some people do keep their boats in their slips and do go out on nice days during the winter. They tend to be quite careful, and plan thoroughly for any contingency. Your post is a good indication of the careful approach that should be taken to the subject.
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Old 10-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
The water is cold! If you or one of your crew falls in - and your heavier clothing is going to make you clumsier - hypothermia begins in seconds, rather than minutes. Systems like your fuel pump, that worked happily in the warm summer months might decide that cold, thick diesel fuel was too much for it to put up with any more. Ditto batteries. It would be a shame to go out for a sail and not be able to re-start the engine to get back in before the sun set and it started to get even colder.
Some people do keep their boats in their slips and do go out on nice days during the winter. They tend to be quite careful, and plan thoroughly for any contingency. Your post is a good indication of the careful approach that should be taken to the subject.
Exactly, I thought of those things too.
I have to triple check but I've heard that SeaTow operates during the winter but may have to launch their boat which can take an extra hour or more.
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Old 10-21-2008
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The way I understand it all you have to do is:
Shut off the through hull.
Remove the hose and put the end in a bucket of antifreeze.
Run engine until antifreeze comes out back of boat.
Put hose back on through hull.
The engine is now re-winterized assuming you changed the oil and freshwater anti-freeze at the beginning of the winter season.

If the hose is too short I suspect I can rig an extension hose with a barb fitting that will fit and can be clamped down?
The bucked can be on the cabin sole as the engine can suck up the liquid. IE it doesn't have to be squirted up?
Is this going to kill my impeller. It will be dry for a couple of seconds more than if seawater is being forced up the hose.

Last edited by davidpm; 10-21-2008 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 10-21-2008
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Running antifreeze overboard even low-tox is just not right and if you read the MSDS it is a haz-mat spill

STEPS TO BE TAKEN IN CASE MATERIAL IS SPILLED OR RELEASED: This liquid is biodegradable but large spills may contaminate public waters. Prevent flow to sewers/public waters. Restrict clean up water use. Notify water supply environment authorities. Impound/recover large land spills. Soak up small spills with absorbent material. Use suitable disposal containers. High biodegradability can stimulate algae growth. Dispose residue to reduce possible aquatic harm.
WASTE DISPOSAL METHOD: Consult with local sewer, municipal, state and/or federal agencies to determine appropriate current disposal option


And that is from no-tox


Most winter sailing is done in small boats with DRYSUITS and anything orginized will have a crash boat on hand

The big issue is what the winter will do to and uncovered boat ,water gets into all kind of places and freezes and cracks ,cockpit drains get ice dams and fillup ect
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Old 10-21-2008
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Where are you?

I'm lazy, so I didn't do any research to see where you are, but I have been sailing in the winter on the Potomac River for the last three years. I only day sail, so nothing is used but the engine, and that is winterized as you described by running non tox antifreeze through it. You should install a y valve near the raw water sea ****, and when you are finished sailing you simply flip the valve, put the free end of hose in the bucket of anti freeze, and run the engine for a few seconds. Very simple, and extends the season.
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Old 10-21-2008
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David, I keep my Boat north of New York city and the Hudson river. I used to keep my boat in over the winter. I did find out however, you will do little sailing in January and February. Something about the wind chill factor. I started debating with myself If it was worth the extra wear and tear on the sails and rigging to keep the boat in the water. My decision was to haul late and launch early and I found a marina 15 miles north of me who does accommodates that.
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Old 10-21-2008
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I'm with Bubb - haul in Dec and splash in March. Those crystal clear, breezy winter days of Dec-March, although tempting, are bitterly cold with the temps and the windchill. And once the sails are up and you're flying along on a nice beam reach, there's nothing to do but stand or sit; despite all the fiber and layering, you'll be awfully cold and numb after a while. And - as mentioned - if you fall in, you're dead.
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Old 10-21-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmalkin View Post
And - as mentioned - if you fall in, you're dead.

Point well taken. But at least you might have 15 minutes:
What you need to know about Hypothermia
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Old 10-21-2008
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You might have 15 minutes but your hands will be useless in 2 minutes
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