Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
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Re: Going to have some winterizing questions.
This is going to be long.....
Winterizing a typical cruising boat is pretty easy. It will take some time, especially the first time you do it, but nothing is (or should be) that complicated.
There are 4 things you need to worry about: Engine, domestic cold water, domestic hot water, Head and holding tank. First note there is BIG difference between ANTIFREEZE and COOLANT. COOLANT is what is inside your car engine (and your boat engine too if it is fresh water cooled [not raw water cooled]). ANTIFREEZE is what you use in an RV, Boat, or cbin to prevent the domestic water system from freezing and bursting lines. On a boat, antifreeze is used to winterize the raw water side of the engine. COOLANT may be diluted 50/50, ANTIFREEZE never is (at least none I have ever seen).
For the engine, assuming it is fresh water cooled with a heat exchanger, you need to run antifreeze through the raw water system. If the boat is hauled, you open the seacock, remove the hose from the raw water pump OR seacock (whichever is easier) and then run antifreeze through the engine. On MY boat, I remove the sea water hose from the raw water input side of the pump and drain it by hold it up. Any seatwater just runs out the through hull. I take a gallon jug of antfreeze, place a hose in it, and connect the hose to the raw water input side of the sea water pump. I start the engine and let is suck the antifreeze through the pump, then heat exchanger, then water lift muffler, then out the back of the boat. Since the hose from the through hull to the engine has nothing but air in it, I reconnect it to the water pump.
Assuming your engine coolant is in good shape, the engine is now winterized.
For the domestic water system, I drain the water tanks (disconnect output hose and let water drain into the bilge). I used to run antifreeze through the lines, pressure pump and faucets. Now I just use compressed air to blow the lines out. I drain the water heater, disconnect the output hose and use air to blow all the water out of the lines. If you don't have access to compressed air, then you can pour antifreeze into the water tank and pump it through all the plumbing lines and out the faucets. Be sure to do both hot and cold. Note that if you don't disconnect and bypass the water heater, you will need many gallons of antifreeze to completely fill the water heater. And then in the spring you need to get all that antifreeze out of the heater. That's why I drain my water heater and disconnect the output and blow it dry.
For sinks, head, holding tanks, I pour some antifreeze into the sink and let drain. I leave the seacocks open. For the head I pour antifreeze into the bowl and then pump it through the lines and into the holding tank.
Note that before I start on the water lines I first change the engine oil and oil filter and empty the holding tank.
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY
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