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dakine929 11-21-2009 05:39 AM

Partial Winterization for Continued Sailing?
 
We have been sailing "First Light"every weekend (except last because of Ida fallout) and would like to keep going until a solid freeze begins. We are in the middle Chesapeake at Deltaville. First Light has a potable water system with water heater, engine heat exchanger, heat pump heat exchanger, and fresh water holding in the porta-potti. We have AGM batteries. What should I shutdown/winterize first-to-last? Can we sail on that 70 degree New Years day with partial re-commision?

pdqaltair 11-21-2009 05:19 PM

I spose you have noticed that there are sailors out there all winter?
 
In Chesapeake country, there are certainly ways to keep it going.

I winterize the potable system. Generally, I just blow the water out, but you have to be careful; glycol is more conservative. I could try to keep heat on, but it does not seem worth it. Carry water bottles and skip showers.

Bilge pumps are tricky. As long as there is NO CHECK VALVE the water should drain back into the bilge and not freeze. I doubt the water ever hits 32 in Deltaville.

Winterize the head and flush with a jug of weak (20%) antifreeze solution. Remember, this only protects the flush side; you will still need to put glycol in the intake side, according to the directions.

I have twin outboards, so lifting them out of the water is enough. If I had an in-board I would have to think of a short-cut method. You can use any wasted glycol to flush the head!

Batteries just need to be charged, like your car. No worry.

Keep some heat on the boat; some small heater with a frost-watch setting.

Check on the boat every 2 weeks. Be prepared to go to the boat to do more if real cold is coming.

captbillc 11-21-2009 06:05 PM

up here in minnesota at the western end of lake superior i have to drain the water tanks. i disconnect the fresh water hoses from the water heater & put them together with a short copper pipe so i don't have to pump the RV antifreeze through the heater. i drain the water out of the heater & pump RV antifreeze through the system using a hose from the water pump to the jug of antifreeze. i winterize the head by shutting the seacock & taking the inlet hose off at the head. i put a hose from the head inlet to the RV antifreeze jug & pump it through the head into the holding tank ( after the holding tank is pumped out ) this puts antifreeze through both sides of the head pump. if you closed the seacock, open it when the boat is hauled so it doesn't freeze.

dakine929 11-22-2009 06:25 AM

We went sailing Saturday and it was worth the effort to consider extending the season. At what point does saltwater freeze? I can flush and preserve the potable water system with RV antifreeze. The portipotti can be removed when not on the boat. The bilges remain dry. That leaves me with the heat-pump and engine cooling.

The heat-pump saltwater cooling system could be purged with low pressure air. It would be nice to have for camp-outs. I'm reading a book on sailboat diesel engines now.

The thing we noticed this weekend is how chilly it was on the water. Blue jeans won't cut it.

lapworth 11-22-2009 11:01 AM

I don't believe you need to worry untill we have a hard freeze for a few days. I only worry in Jan. and Feb.

pdqaltair 11-22-2009 11:33 AM

Me thinks you need "winterizing" too!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dakine929 (Post 544188)
The thing we noticed this weekend is how chilly it was on the water. Blue jeans won't cut it.

We sail all year. On out last boat, where the cockpit was open to the wind about January 1 ski goggles came out instead of sunglasses. Fleece socks. Windblocker fleece pants are great. A thin balakava under a thicker hat. Our new boat has a dodger, so less is required.

The freezing character of brackish water depend a lot on the location - the Bay itself very seldom gets ice, at least in the south, but creeks where the harbors are vary a great deal. Some are nearly fresh water. I would ask sailors who have been in your harbor whether it ices frequently. I know in Deale, the north fork of the harbor is often free while the south fork is solid.

Cheers!

nolatom 11-23-2009 12:26 PM

For whoever asked, Google says ocean water freezes at 28F.

I remember frostbiting in Interclubs up East, we kept rock salt in the bilge and dunked the mainsheet in the brine. Then it would stay flexible down to about 15F, at which point it would make "square corners" at each turning block if you didn't ease and trim frequently. Also it got slushy and slippery.

Besides, we didn't really want to race when it was colder than 15 anyway. Although bailing snow, and sailing in the stuff, was pretty cool.

I was younger then, as was my crew.

pdqaltair 11-23-2009 06:24 PM

Rock salt to keep the lines from freezing? Great story!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nolatom (Post 544618)
For whoever asked, Google says ocean water freezes at 28F.

I remember frostbiting in Interclubs up East, we kept rock salt in the bilge and dunked the mainsheet in the brine. Then it would stay flexible down to about 15F, at which point it would make "square corners" at each turning block if you didn't ease and trim frequently. Also it got slushy and slippery.

Besides, we didn't really want to race when it was colder than 15 anyway. Although bailing snow, and sailing in the stuff, was pretty cool.

I was younger then, as was my crew.

However, there is a better way in the 21st century.

Ice climbers water proof climbing ropes by treating them every 1-2 years with wash-in water replant treatment, as sold in outdoor stores for water replant treatment of coats. Both are polyester, and it prevents the rope from absorbing enough water to freeze. There is also a special-purpose product called "rope-proof".

The treatments make the rope a bit softer, a bit slipperier (no too much, or climbers couldn't use it!) and do not reduce the strength. MUCH better, even for summer use than the myth of using fabric softener to treat and older rope. Try it! I do my ice climbing ropes every fall.

dakine929 11-24-2009 04:32 AM

Lines and sheets freezing? Frostbite? Thank you for the wake-up. I enjoy getting out of the house on weekends but hard to explain frostbite on Monday morning. I will be one of those fairweather sailors and draw the line at 50f. It would be nice to have a short re-commision for those 70f days that crop up in the winter here.

From what I have been reading about diesels, the engine preparation is the most involved. The oil on mine looks like it could be changed soon along with the antifreeze. Need to get my Yanmar book and read it this weekend. How often does the diesel filter need to be cleaned?

dakine929 12-19-2009 03:20 PM

Winterization
 
Winterized the boat in the nick of time. Folks at Norton's gave some sage advice. Bought a case of RV Antifreeze (6 gallons).

1. Pulled the SW intake hose to the engine. Stuck the hose in a bucket and started filling the bucket with antifreeze. Had the missus start the engine and my son watch the SW discharge until he saw a steady stream of antifreeze being pumped out. Powered down and replaced the line on the seacock. Took two gallons.

2. Pumped out all the potable water. Turned the water heater off. Poured 4 gallons of RV Antifreeze in the potable water tank. pumped antifreeze through both hot an cold faucets in the kitchen and head sinks.

3. Pulled the overboard discharge on the AC/Heat SW cooling line. connected an air hose from 9V air compressor. Opened the intake line and started the compressor until a steady stream of air was flowing through the intake then shut the through-hull valve and re-attached the overboard discharge line.

4. Pulled the porta-potti from the boat.

Now to go sailing during a warmer day this winter I will just need 2 gallons of Antifreeze for the engine. $10 is cheap for a daysail.


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