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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Winterizing Fresh Water Tanks
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Thread: Winterizing Fresh Water Tanks Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-12-2010 07:25 AM
eherlihy A couple of these in your tanks should keep it from freezing;


Could make the winter more interesting too...
11-12-2010 06:29 AM
CliffL Great ideas...heat tape, wrap, keep water moving...
11-11-2010 03:28 PM
Minnewaska No experience with this. How about a fish tank heater (not bubbler).

Although, there must be commercial water tank heaters.
11-11-2010 10:40 AM
RichH For 'outside' storage, I suggest that you:
1. apply 'heat trace' wiring to the INLET line of the tank(s) or to the connection to the 'bottom' of the tank - home depot stuff. The small amount of heat from the 'tracing' will thermo-siphon into the tank, especially if the traced line is LOWER (in altitude) than the tank.
2. always keep the water 'flowing' when the temp is 'severe' .... just a few drops / cc's-per-minute of flow, and routed 'back' to the tank will help prevent a total blockage of ice.

Also applies to 'inside' tanks when the weather is extreme - just keep the water constantly flowing and 'dribbling' back to the tank. For bilge tanks the ambient outside water temp (under the ice) will be ~4°C (39°F) and if you keep the tank 'slightly stirred up' (slight 'recirculation' by 'dribbling back to the tank(s)) you wont freeze. If the tanks are touching walls where the ice is in contact, then you need to 'warm' the tanks.
11-11-2010 10:21 AM
MacGyverRI
Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffL View Post
Thanks for the advice thus far. My fresh water tanks are in a locker in front (outside) the boat...catamaran. There's no heat there from inside the boat. I'm going to live aboard, so need the water. If the tanks were inside, no problem, they'd stay warm...this is a different case.

Cliff
Then you really need the stick on heater I suggested. It doesn't take much to keep a tank warm. you could also put them on a timer, 4 on / 4 off around the clock for a start and adjust as needed.

Can you drape a black tarp over the area to generate a bit of Solar during the day?

Can you insulate the locker area a bit? Those foam pipe wrap tubes for house plumbing along w/ some "heat tape" for pipes running along the lines should do it and not kill you in elec. charges.
11-11-2010 09:37 AM
CliffL Thanks for the advice thus far. My fresh water tanks are in a locker in front (outside) the boat...catamaran. There's no heat there from inside the boat. I'm going to live aboard, so need the water. If the tanks were inside, no problem, they'd stay warm...this is a different case.

Cliff
11-11-2010 09:31 AM
WanderingStar Brad, I'd love to. Pm or call me whenever.
11-10-2010 08:50 PM
Bene505
Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingStar View Post
Brad, I don't heat the engine room. I run the nontoxic antifreeze into the raw water part of the cooling system, and shut the seacock. When I want to sail I just repeat after. I find that the engine starts without preheating (no glow plugs) after a couple of spins to warm it. If it's reluctant, I use both batteries and turn it faster. Of course, I rarely try to start her below freezing, I don't want to sail then. I also find it takes a long cold time before the temp inside the boat falls below freezing.
WS,

Last winter your gave me a much needed fix of sailing. Are you going to let me reciprocate and go for a sail on our boat this winter?

Regards,
Brad
11-10-2010 07:50 PM
MacGyverRI In 0 F weather the water here in Rhode Island only goes down to around 35 F, I have a propane heater for the cabins and keep it 72+. If you're in a heavy ice area, YMMV. Never break the ice from around a keel boat, it will cradle fine, powerboats wont...

If you have 24/7 heat onboard, your tanks should be fine. (mine always are)


This is a 150 watt stick on silicone heater (stick on a lower part of tank), cheap insurance @ $26.99. 150 watts would never burn a tank.
Kat's 150 Watt Silicone Pad Heater — Model# 24150 | Electric Heaters | Northern Tool + Equipment
11-10-2010 04:47 PM
WanderingStar Brad, I don't heat the engine room. I run the nontoxic antifreeze into the raw water part of the cooling system, and shut the seacock. When I want to sail I just repeat after. I find that the engine starts without preheating (no glow plugs) after a couple of spins to warm it. If it's reluctant, I use both batteries and turn it faster. Of course, I rarely try to start her below freezing, I don't want to sail then. I also find it takes a long cold time before the temp inside the boat falls below freezing.
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