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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #61  
Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Extreme Cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearson796 View Post
I thought we were the only ones that suffered that problem. That's pretty aggravating.



When I fiberglass boat gets hard frozen in the ice, there is a possibility of stressing the hull, or at worse actually crushing it. While I don't know if this is valid fear or not, but it's very stressful to be frozen in.

If I can prevent it with a D-Icer, then I certainly want to.
I've left fiberglass boats in very thick ice for years. Mostly sailboats. Once I let a 30 ft powerboat freeze in, and my only fear was the trim tabs & swim platform hanging of the transom.

Never had an issue with ice crushing the hull, however, the water level (under the ice) can fluctuate. The biggest worry there, was when the water dropped a foot, and the 18 inches of solid ice above it, was clinging to the surrounding docks & seawall. The boat was literally hanging (suspended) above the water by the thick ice, that hadn't dropped. I solved that with a chainsaw, cutting around the entire hull, about a foot out from the boat. She settled nicely back into the water as I finished the cut.

Thru hull fittings are another story. Even though they're below the water line in the area of what you'd think would be save liquid water, They'll still freeze if the temp in the bilge drops below freezing. Unless you plan to baby sit the bilge temp 24/7, these need to be winterized for safety. If one pops, you'll sink real quick.

Surprisingly, most sinkings happen in the spring. The owner forgot or simply missed one of the thru hull fittings. It quickly freezes in the cold bilge. No problem till the weather gets warmer. That's when it begins to thaw out, and it's that thawing action that causes the ice within the fitting to expand. Subsequently cracking the fitting.

Plastic, brass, it don't matter. I've even seen the thawing ice force the lightly secured rubber hose, off an otherwise sound brass fitting. It's real hard to figure out the problem when your boat is sitting on the bottom. Even if it just goes down a few feet, those Pearson 30's usually have an inboard gasoline atomic 4 sitting low in the bilge. The water will cause the engine oil to be displaced, completely coating every interior surface with a 3 coating of oil. Fuel in the gas tank may even be displaced through vent fittings. It could become a HazMat situation in the marina with spill containment and Coast Guard involvement.

Deicers can give a feeling of comfort, as the boat rocks back and forth, but they don't help the thru hull fitting problem. The good ones are also pretty pricey at around $400-500, and they typically only last 4-5 years before needing an expensive rebuild. They're also not cheap to operate. If you're real diligent, you can purchase timers and thermal switches at additional cost, and keep them off when not needed. However, depending on where you're located, you spend between $300 - 600 on electricity for just 3-4 months of operation.

Some boats are designed for cold weather living aboard, like those that regularly cruise Alaskan waters, or the North Sea of Sweden. I guarantee a Pearson 30 is not one of these.

Summer living aboard is hard enough. With all the added cost, and inconvenience, I couldn't imagine anyone willfully doing it during a harsh winter.
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  #62  
Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Extreme Cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearson796 View Post
I thought we were the only ones that suffered that problem. That's pretty aggravating.



When I fiberglass boat gets hard frozen in the ice, there is a possibility of stressing the hull, or at worse actually crushing it. While I don't know if this is valid fear or not, but it's very stressful to be frozen in.

If I can prevent it with a D-Icer, then I certainly want to.
sorry, accidental double post
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  #63  
Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Extreme Cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightfoot View Post

Some boats are designed for cold weather living aboard, like those that regularly cruise Alaskan waters, or the North Sea of Sweden. I guarantee a Pearson 30 is not one of these.

Summer living aboard is hard enough. With all the added cost, and inconvenience, I couldn't imagine anyone willfully doing it during a harsh winter.
You can be sure I am not going to allow myself to be in this position again anytime soon. But, in my defense, it has been unseasonably cold this year and I had no way of knowing this was going to be such a bad winter.

I've been mildly concerned about my thru hull fittings.

I recently replaced my Depth Sounder signal sender and it's scary how fast and how much pressure come through those fittings.
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  #64  
Old 02-02-2014
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Re: Extreme Cold

I have never had to use a wooden plug on a thru hull fitting. I am adding these tales for some insight on wooden plugs or the use of them. Does any one else have thoughts or tales ?
A man would need to use great care if you are below the water line and trying to drive a plug in. NO BOAT IS WORTH A LIFE. if you are miles from land risk factors change. The loss of the boat might be a huge loss and change the odds of making it. If you are at the dock the game is all about you. Maybe the dock lines would hold her up?
I can tell you as a pipefitter I have used a wooden plug to stop a 2" inch opening off an 8" pipe with glycol/water mix at about 40 psi the nipple was broken fitting off by a fork truck. The factory needed to run until shift change a cut and weld could be made.
The plug was drove into the hole with the pumps off. With the pumps off their was very little head pressure. I was expecting it to shoot out like a cannon and the mess to spread but it held.
I have changed a 3/4" inch thermal well at the basement three floors down on a 6" condenser water pipe. This was beyond wet No garden hose has that kind of pressure. It was chilling. I am still amazed that I was able to thread in a new one. If I failed on that one It would have cost a day or so but everyone new the risk. I would not have used a plug We had made the decision to open the main drain If I failed. Picked the day and did it.
If you had to have a reaction on a boat . I am not sure you would have time even if the plug was on a string next to the opening with a hammer at the ready.
Good day, Lou

Last edited by Lou452; 02-02-2014 at 12:32 AM. Reason: Spell Three
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  #65  
Old 02-02-2014
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Re: Extreme Cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
Rhapsody, but a heat pump - cool in summer, great heat source in the winter. Mine is a 17,000 BTU monster that really puts out the heat and cool air, but only draws about 15 amps. No condensation, constant circulation of air, and perfect climate control with just the touch of a thermostat. The price has really come down on these systems over the years - think about it.

Gary
We have the same heat pump type ac/heat on our power boat. We keep the boat in Lake Michigan and try to get it in as soon as the ice is off the lake and the marina will allow us (late Mar or early Apr).

The heat pump uses the lake water, so when the water temp is still in the 40's the heat pump hardly puts out any heat at all. Running it maxed out 24/7 on cold days/nights we are forced to supplement the heat pump with ceramic space heaters.

Our heat pump is 20+ year old technology so maybe today's are better???

On thing a heat pump does do is almost eliminate condensation. If we just run the space heaters we get water dripping from everywhere.

On a side note, I'd think a insulated boat would be better in any climate, hot or cold. The only reason I can figure most production boats are not insulted in the factory is cost.
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  #66  
Old 02-02-2014
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Re: Extreme Cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearson796 View Post
You can be sure I am not going to allow myself to be in this position again anytime soon. But, in my defense, it has been unseasonably cold this year and I had no way of knowing this was going to be such a bad winter.

I've been mildly concerned about my thru hull fittings.

I recently replaced my Depth Sounder signal sender and it's scary how fast and how much pressure come through those fittings.
I just realized your location says you're on Kentucky Lake. If that's still true, you have way less to worry about than I originally thought.

All my winter boating experiences have been up here in the Great Lakes area of northern Detroit suburb on Lk St Clair.

Our marina ice is about 18 inches thick at this time, and temps only rose above freezing just yesterday for only the 2nd time since the initial freeze in early December. (& each of those above freezing periods were only into the mid 30's & only lasted one day each time). We've had over a dozen days where the high didn't even reach 0, and night time lows were as low as 15 below. All that said, there's still a guy living aboard a C&C 25 that's bubbled in the marina next to my home. (burrrrr !!!!)
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  #67  
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Re: Extreme Cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightfoot View Post

All my winter boating experiences have been up here in the Great Lakes area of northern Detroit suburb on Lk St Clair.

Our marina ice is about 18 inches thick at this time, and temps only rose above freezing just yesterday for only the 2nd time since the initial freeze in early December. (& each of those above freezing periods were only into the mid 30's & only lasted one day each time). We've had over a dozen days where the high didn't even reach 0, and night time lows were as low as 15 below. All that said, there's still a guy living aboard a C&C 25 that's bubbled in the marina next to my home. (burrrrr !!!!)
You have people living year round on boats on the Great Lakes? I'm from the Detroit area originally and I don't remember seeing boats still in the water in the winter.
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  #68  
Old 02-02-2014
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Re: Extreme Cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearson796 View Post
You have people living year round on boats on the Great Lakes? I'm from the Detroit area originally and I don't remember seeing boats still in the water in the winter.
We boat out of the south tip of Lake Michigan and almost every year there's one of 2 boats that have year round live aboard s. It might be hard to find them. They usually move the boat as close to the marina office as they can.
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  #69  
Old 02-02-2014
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Re: Extreme Cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhapsody-NS27 View Post
Forget a dehumidifier that you have to plug in. I remember Alan, barefootnavigator, did THIS POST, to show a product that absorbed moisture that you would then have to heat up in an oven or a hot pan on the stove to "reset" it and use again. The product comes from H2Out and it looks like something that would be good to consider.
FYI, Just did a search on where you can buy the H2Out products and saw some
Amazon.com: H2Out Space Dryers - SD300 Series: Sports & Outdoors Amazon.com: H2Out Space Dryers - SD300 Series: Sports & Outdoors


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Old 02-02-2014
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Re: Extreme Cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightfoot View Post
I've left fiberglass boats in very thick ice for years. Mostly sailboats. Once I let a 30 ft powerboat freeze in, and my only fear was the trim tabs & swim platform hanging of the transom.

Never had an issue with ice crushing the hull, however, the water level (under the ice) can fluctuate. The biggest worry there, was when the water dropped a foot, and the 18 inches of solid ice above it, was clinging to the surrounding docks & seawall. The boat was literally hanging (suspended) above the water by the thick ice, that hadn't dropped. I solved that with a chainsaw, cutting around the entire hull, about a foot out from the boat. She settled nicely back into the water as I finished the cut.
Another problem being, trapped in the ice is when wind get the ice moving, have seen boats squeezed into / under the dock by moving ice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightfoot View Post
Thru hull fittings are another story. Even though they're below the water line in the area of what you'd think would be save liquid water, They'll still freeze if the temp in the bilge drops below freezing. Unless you plan to baby sit the bilge temp 24/7, these need to be winterized for safety. If one pops, you'll sink real quick.
There are two options
  • Fill the sea cocks with antifreeze
  • Leave them open so the water can expand when it freezes

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightfoot View Post
Surprisingly, most sinkings happen in the spring. The owner forgot or simply missed one of the thru hull fittings. It quickly freezes in the cold bilge. No problem till the weather gets warmer. That's when it begins to thaw out, and it's that thawing action that causes the ice within the fitting to expand. Subsequently cracking the fitting.
Wrong..
It's the freezing that cracks the fitting, but ice will effectively plug the crack until it is thawing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightfoot View Post
Plastic, brass, it don't matter. I've even seen the thawing ice force the lightly secured rubber hose, off an otherwise sound brass fitting. It's real hard to figure out the problem when your boat is sitting on the bottom. Even if it just goes down a few feet, those Pearson 30's usually have an inboard gasoline atomic 4 sitting low in the bilge. The water will cause the engine oil to be displaced, completely coating every interior surface with a 3 coating of oil. Fuel in the gas tank may even be displaced through vent fittings. It could become a HazMat situation in the marina with spill containment and Coast Guard involvement.

Deicers can give a feeling of comfort, as the boat rocks back and forth, but they don't help the thru hull fitting problem. The good ones are also pretty pricey at around $400-500, and they typically only last 4-5 years before needing an expensive rebuild. They're also not cheap to operate. If you're real diligent, you can purchase timers and thermal switches at additional cost, and keep them off when not needed. However, depending on where you're located, you spend between $300 - 600 on electricity for just 3-4 months of operation.
Wonder why we use deicers around here?
It will in fact increase the water temperature a little bit around the boat since the purpose if a deicer or compressed air as we have in our marina is to bring warmer water from the deeper layers to the surface.
Water have it's max density at 4°C = 39.2°F

Heating tubes like these can do wonders in preventing seacocks from freezing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightfoot View Post
Some boats are designed for cold weather living aboard, like those that regularly cruise Alaskan waters, or the North Sea of Sweden. I guarantee a Pearson 30 is not one of these.
Sweden is not by the North sea, but the Baltic, Skagerrak and Kattegat.
But Baltic can be even colder than the North Sea.

And I can assure you that sailboats in Norway, Sweden and Denmark is built the same way as boats in the US.
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Last edited by knuterikt; 02-02-2014 at 04:58 PM.
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