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  #21  
Old 01-27-2014
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Re: Ice in my bilge

Provisional steps, YMMV:

Stop the leaks letting water in.

Wrap the boat in black plastic ---> absorb & hold heat.

Get as many battery/solar-powered (or any other kind of) fans as you can find room for and keep the air moving through the bilge. Even on cold days, some of the ice will sublimate -- evaporate without becoming liquid first -- it won't be fast, it may not be much, but it's a start until you can get some power & time to apply to the problem.

.....unless it's a steel hull, in which case build a nice fire under it and go lobstering until the bilge comes to a nice boil.
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  #22  
Old 01-27-2014
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Re: Ice in my bilge

Hey guys thanks for all the advice....here's what I have done over the last few days to remedy the issue... Please leave all criticisms to yourselves as this is my first sailboat and I'm not as experienced as some, that said I'm sure I took a path less traveled by but got great results.

I bought a ten pound bag if salt and put half of it in my bilge (the ice was a few inches from my floor boards) and let it sit for 24hrs.... I came back today and saw that it melted the ice all the way through to the floor of the bilge but then refroze in this crazy cold weather so I had about 3-4 inches of solid ice. I used a wood bit in my cordless and drilled several holes being careful not to hit the hull. I chiseled the remaining ice out until I got down to liquid salt brine (not very pleasant). Then used a cup to scoop out all the water into a bucket and had great success in getting a majority of the ice n water out. I'm going to go back with a shop vac to suck out all the salt n water over the weekend and refill the bilge with antifreeze. It appears there is a decent leak from my portholes that must be a result of the cold so I will have to reseat the portholes in the spring. Any additional advice for taking care or port lights and portholes would be appreciated.
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Old 01-27-2014
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Re: Ice in my bilge

Calcium chloride works at lower temperatures than conventional salt, so if you're going that way, forget the regular salt.

I'd take a masonry chisel and a maul and dig out the bulk of the ice. Or a mattock. THEN worry about adding stuff to help melt out the rest, because that could be a slow process.
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Old 01-27-2014
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Re: Ice in my bilge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grampian1989 View Post

{snip}

It appears there is a decent leak from my portholes that must be a result of the cold so I will have to reseat the portholes in the spring. Any additional advice for taking care or port lights and portholes would be appreciated.
Maine Sail is your answer:

How much Butyl tape is needed for one port light?

Bedding Deck Hardware With Butyl Tape

EDIT: Could you use something like this:

Beckson - Thirsty-Mate Manual Bilge Pumps - 136 Series

Might be handy to have a manual pump aboard, for odd jobs & just in case the electric goes toes-up.

${std-disclaimer}
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Last edited by manatee; 01-27-2014 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 01-27-2014
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Re: Ice in my bilge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grampian1989 View Post
I'm going to go back with a shop vac to suck out all the salt n water over the weekend and refill the bilge with antifreeze. It appears there is a decent leak from my portholes that must be a result of the cold so I will have to reseat the portholes in the spring. Any additional advice for taking care or port lights and portholes would be appreciated.
Perfect. Good on ya! Great solution. Sealing that leak in any way you can right now is important. Do it right in the Spring. Butyl works great. On our previous Grampian we actually replaced all the old portlights with opening ports. A huge job, but great results. But that's for later...

And just one thing, don't "fill" the bilge. Once you get it dry and seal the leak as best you can, a gallon or two is all you need.
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Old 01-27-2014
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Re: Ice in my bilge

As Mike said, try to seal it as best you can. Even if it means a big sheet of heavy-duty plastic that gets (very well) taped to the hull. You may have tape residue clean-up in the spring, but I think that's better than some other consequences.
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Old 01-28-2014
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Re: Ice in my bilge

My previous boat had a deck stepped mast. Bilge was always dry. Current boat is keel stepped and there is always water in the bilge. Impossible to prevent at least a little water from getting in. First winter (bought the boat in fall and put her into directly into winter storage) the mast boot was in poor shape and got a LOT of water in the bilge. It froze solid, but did no damage. Now I only get a bit in from time to time and with a hand pump and bucket, remove any that gets in during a warm spell.
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Old 01-28-2014
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Re: Ice in my bilge

Good to hear you got most of it out. While it sounds really tacky, (sorry about the bad pun) if you know what ports it is that are leaking gorilla tape my last till spring. Tough stuff.

As a side note if you happen to be in Kingston on the 9th the Clearwater is going to have an "open boat" on the Roundout. I am sure since Pete Seeger just passed it will likely be a real celebration of his life.
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