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Old 10-26-2006
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Winter Storage in the water?

Looking for some pointers about keeping a boat in the water over the winter (Chesapeake Bay Area).

I have never done this before and am considering it this year for the first time. Tips on what to do or not to do. Is keeping a heater on board all winter a bad idea?

Thanks
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Old 10-26-2006
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Keeping a heater going will obviously create the possibility of an electrical fire alhtough that deson't seem to dissuade some folks from doing just that.
Just make sure all the thru-hulls are closed, the systems properly winterized as you would on the hard and a bubbler system is working at the dock to preclude ice buildup in the water around the hull.

You should obviously cover the boat as you would anywhere else and be prepared to check periodically throughout the winter that the bilge pump is operating properly and batteries are charged.

Some folks are learly of in-water storage but it's not a real problem.

You should verify with your insurance underwritter that the boat is insured for damage due to ice, a common exclusion, but most underwriters will endorse the policy for damage for minimal or no additional cost.
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Thanks. ]

What do you do about that bilge water, in the hose, pump, and bilge?
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Old 10-26-2006
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frozen seacocks can sink your boat!!

If the seacock is in the closed position, and there's water in it, and the water freezes, it has no where to go when it expands ... except to burst the seacock! We saw this happen to a boat that was on a mooring near Annapolis 2 winters ago. You'll need to either drain it, add antifreeze (use a standpipe) or keep it open.

If you're keeping the boat heated, why would you need to winterize it? As long as you have a backup plan for if the power goes out (like a neighbor watching the boat and propane backup heat). You can look for a marinized electric heater with a tip-over safety cutoff; these may also have a setting that only comes on if the temp is less than about 35 degrees. They cost about $50 compared to $15 for your basic hardware store electric heater, there's a reason for that ... :-)
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Old 10-26-2006
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Sorry to hijack this thread a bit, but we'll be storing our boat on the hard in Annapolis for the Winter. I thought it was more temperate down there. I need to winterize the boat? This is a boat currently on the hard that we're finalizing the paperwork for purchase on next week. We took her out for a sea trial this week so she definitely has water in a variety of hoses, pipes, etc.
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Yes, winterize the boat or you'll have a few interesting problems come spring.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Yes, winterize the boat or you'll have a few interesting problems come spring.
Cool! Another reason to go back down to Annapolis to visit my boat And the wife can't argue! I thought it was far enough south that I wouldn't have to worry about it. Now I have to search the net for a winterization guide so I don't miss anything.
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Find a professional to winterize your boat. Watch him do it, if you can.

The weather in the Chesapeake DEFINITELY requires winterization, unless you're planning on living aboard and/or keeping substantial heat on the boat all winter.

If the boat is on the hard, and you're not living aboard, just winterize it and forget about heat. Not required.

I've never winterized my boats over more than 20 years in the water in the Chesapeake area. BUT, I either lived aboard or checked the boat every day, kept substantial heat aboard, used ice-eaters during harsh winters, ran my engines and generator periodically, modified oil-filled electric heaters to eliminate any possibility of a spark or fire, and happened to be in a marina on an exceptionally reliable electrical grid.

BUT, you can't just do this half-heartedly. I saw a big ketch sink at our docks one very bad winter. The absentee owner had "winterized" his boat by putting a bare 100W lightbulb near his water intake seacock. The bulb burned out, and the boat sank. Tragic!

Bottom line in your situation: get a professional to winterize the boat. Don't worry about heat. But, by all means, visit often to "check the boat"....works with most admirals :-))

Bill
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