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caberg 12-23-2012 01:09 PM

Frozen Bilge
I was up to check on the boat this morning (on the hard) and found the bilge filled with about 6 inches of liquid and frozen. I think I'm OK for now, as only the top inch or so was frozen and I was able to break it up and manually pump it out, and then I poured in a gallon of anti-freeze and pumped some of that through the system. In October I had done the same, and I think that's what kept the bilge from freezing solid as a rock. Obviously, water is getting in somewhere, but that's not something I can investigate and fix now.

My question is, if the bilge freezes through solid, what do you do, and how much of a problem is that? Is the expansion of the ice going to cause issues? The only thing in the bilge is the hose from the manual bilge pump, otherwise it's just an empty fiberglass hole.

dtwofoot 12-23-2012 01:22 PM

Re: Frozen Bilge
It could blow out the sole and/or but less likely a bulkhead. That happened to a boat i bought (reason I got it cheap)

chucklesR 12-23-2012 01:42 PM

Re: Frozen Bilge
As long as you don't let it fill with water and therefore allow room to expand it won't break anything.
Leave the covers off and the bilge pump powered (provided you have a recharge method).

CorvetteGuy 12-23-2012 01:43 PM

Re: Frozen Bilge
Have you ever seen a broken icecube tray?? Just need a bigger glass and more rum:laugher

caberg 12-23-2012 02:20 PM

Re: Frozen Bilge
OK, good points. I don't think I'll have a problem with it filling all the way, and I do leave the cover off. Hopefully, we starting geting snow anyway, instead of rain followed by cold weather.

On a brighter note, my tarp job has held up nicely, despite wind gusts approaching 70 mph this past Friday. (We had a wind gust of 125 mph on Mt. Mansfield!)

smurphny 12-23-2012 02:34 PM

Re: Frozen Bilge
Back in the wood boat days we used to put rock salt in the bilge. I don't know if that would be healthy for a glass hull but it would probably work if it did not chemically damage the glass. Keeping the water out in the first place is a better idea.

msmith10 12-23-2012 03:53 PM

Re: Frozen Bilge
I think all boats should have garboard drains. My last boat had one but my current boat doesn't-- yet.

Faster 12-23-2012 04:02 PM

Re: Frozen Bilge
Not clear why you cant look for/address the source of the water now???

Water freezing in an enclosed space can quickly generate incredible pressure.. but in a bilge it's like, as mentioned, a 'big ice cube tray.. as long as there's space for the expansion you should be fine. But I'd be looking to stop the leak!

btw did you know that water is the only substance that expands (and loses density) when turning from liquid to solid??

Rockter 12-23-2012 05:47 PM

Re: Frozen Bilge
Insofar as it has space to expand upward, I don't see there being a problem.

AdamLein 12-23-2012 06:19 PM


Originally Posted by Faster:965993
btw did you know that water is the only substance that expands (and loses density) when turning from liquid to solid??



Originally Posted by wikipedia
Other substances that expand on freezing are silicon, gallium, germanium, antimony, bismuth, plutonium and also chemical compounds that form spacious crystal lattices with tetrahedral coordination.

Under no circumstances should you allow your bilge to fill with liquid plutonium.

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