Rare hard freeze- what to do? - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-01-2011 Thread Starter
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Rare hard freeze- what to do?

Living in the subtropics, I never expected to need to learn about winterizing a boat. However, they are predicting a hard freeze tonight, with temperatures going down to 25 and a high tomorrow of 37. Snow is possible.

What do I need to do?


1997 Catalina 380
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-01-2011
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Is your boat in the water/ocean. If so, I wouldn't worry too much as the sea water will remain quite warm and keep the boat relatively warm. If you are on the hard or in fresh water, I'd at least drain the water tanks/lines and head. If it is going to be an extended hard freeze and you are on the hard, open up your water pump to your motor and the drain plug on your muffler. That way nearly all of the water will drain out of the engine block.

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post #3 of 9 Old 02-01-2011
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Wear and how long and whats the water temp

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post #4 of 9 Old 02-01-2011
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I am assuming the boat is in the water. Is your engine fresh water cooled or raw water cooled. If FWC you are probably fine, especially if the water has only a thin crust of ice or no ice on it. The water temp is high enough to prevent freezing of through hulls and the antifreeze in the FWC system will protect your engine block.

If raw water cooled then it is probably not needed for only one cold night but you can run antifreeze (pink stuff) through your engine. The easiest way to do this is to fill a 5 gal bucket with 3-4 gallons of antifreeze, close you water intake, remove the hose from the valve, place the hose in the valve and start the engine. Run the engine until you see pink coming out of your exhaust.

I would look at your fresh water system. Empty it out as much as you can. Then fill the tank with a few handles of cheap vodka. Run/pump your faucets until you smell the vodka. The reason I use vodka is the pink antifreeze imparts a nasty taste to the fresh water lines and tank. The vodka is much more pleasant.

Finally I would pump out your holding tank, close your head through hull, remove the hose and put the end into an antifreeze bottle or bucket of antifreeze, and pump the head until you see pink in the bowl. Then empty the bowl into the holding tank.

It takes me only about 4 hours to winterize my entire boat.
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Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 07:22 AM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-01-2011 Thread Starter
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The boat is docked in brackish water.

Water temperature is currently 58-60.

Lows will be in the mid twenties and the highs in the mid to upper thirties for the next three days. Snow possible Thursday.

1997 Catalina 380

Last edited by GCsailor; 02-01-2011 at 11:28 AM. Reason: clarification
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-01-2011
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up here on the western end of lake superior it gets way below zero F . i have antifreeze in the engine cooling system, so don't have to worry about that. i drain the sea water cooled exhaust manifold, water lift muffler, sea water strainer & hot water tank . i by pass the tank with a short copper pipe. then i remove & drain the water pump on the 2 cyl yanmar. i drain the water tanks and connect a hose to the fresh water pump & pump RV antifreeze through the system. i never have a bad taste in the water after i flush the system with fresh water in the spring. i also put a hose on the head intake & pump RV antifreeze through the head & into the empty holding tank. i have had no problems with this since i got the boat in 2003 and it was 25 below zero this winter.

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post #7 of 9 Old 02-01-2011
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If the water temp is that high I wouldn't worry about it. We have water temp below 50 and don't have problems in a short freeze.
58 - 60 is downright balmy.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-01-2011
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You should be fine. Anything below the water line will not freeze over night and the temps return above freezing the next morning. If you remain nervous, put an electric space heater in the center of the cabin and let it run on full.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-01-2011
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Freeze Oh what to do

GC

58 - 60 water temp your still swimming and sailing i hope . If your worried take a couple drop lights with 60 - 70 watt bulbs put one in engine compartment and one in the head. Get a small plastic snow shovel to clear the decks on Saturday and go sailing. We have 2-3 ft on most of the boats here in Ct. every weekend its time to clear it off ready for the next storm

Peter
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