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Old 04-12-2010
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Winter and a water ballast

I know winter is about over, but this is something I am thinking about.

Has anyone tried dropping an aquarium heater down in the ballast tank for the winter?
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Old 04-12-2010
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Most boats don't have "ballast tanks". And I think an aquarium heater would be like trying to heat a house with a candle in a cold climate. Best to pump it out for the winter I'd guess. What kind of boat do you have?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Most boats don't have "ballast tanks". And I think an aquarium heater would be like trying to heat a house with a candle in a cold climate. Best to pump it out for the winter I'd guess. What kind of boat do you have?

It's a hunter 260. The water ballast holds 200 gal and I've seen heated aquariums that size.

Winters here are pretty mild but we'll get a few days of temps in the teens. It'll warm up to 50 or 60 then a few weeks later, drop into the 20's... that sort of thing.
I'm looking into a lift so I can empty the ballast without having to pull the entire boat out of the water (the boat has to come out of the water for it to drain). The marinas here want a one year contract and I'd rather not pay for several months of slip fees while the boat is on land.

Just thinking of different options.
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Old 04-12-2010
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Hey,

Why not just add some marine / rv antifreeze?

Barry
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Old 04-12-2010
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The problem is that you're not just heating the 200 gallons. All of the water on the other side of the 'glass is acting like a big heat sink, so you'd be effectively trying to heat the entire bay/lake/river. On the other hand, if the bay/lake/river doesn't normally freeze, neither will the ballast water.
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Quote:
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The problem is that you're not just heating the 200 gallons. All of the water on the other side of the 'glass is acting like a big heat sink, so you'd be effectively trying to heat the entire bay/lake/river. On the other hand, if the bay/lake/river doesn't normally freeze, neither will the ballast water.

And that makes sense to me. The manuals have me paranoid. They say over and over not to count on the fact that the water it's in hasn't frozen, that it'll still freeze. Where I am at, the lakes have never frozen over. I'd hate to total the boat because I was lazy, and I'll err on the side of caution for sure. But if I don't have to pull it out of the water (with reasonable comfort), then I don't want to.

It's looking more and more like a lift at the slip might be the best compromise.
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Old 04-12-2010
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Quote:
Why not just add some marine / rv antifreeze?
The tank is probably made for water, antifreeze might damage it?
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The tank is probably made for water, antifreeze might damage it?

Apparently the valve that keeps it shut leaks which would leak antifreeze into the water.
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Put a bucket of salt in it.
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Old 04-12-2010
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Non-Toxic anti-freeze wouldn't damage the tank AFAIK and would not be too much of a problem for the environment, within reason.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudia1002 View Post
Apparently the valve that keeps it shut leaks which would leak antifreeze into the water.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterSailer View Post
The tank is probably made for water, antifreeze might damage it?
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