Join Date: Sep 2006
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Re: Heat lamps for temporary freeze protection
For my fellow boat owners that have a raw-water-cooled motor like the Volvo MD17c or MD11 (or earlier), do not let it freeze.
It does not take long to cause the most awful damage... 4 lovely big cracks in the aftmost barrel, one of which was leaking.
Although mine happened after a long free-up, I am reminded that one single night of freezing will do it.
The forces are simply terrible. Ice takes no prisoners. Ice just loves cracking castings and they are very difficult to repair indeed.
So don't learn it the way I did.
It is now fixed (a replacement barrel), and I drain the motor each time I leave it in winter.
With practice, I can drain the motor, and gearbox, and water strainer in 10 minutes. We checked it against the clock last time.
Another point, if you don't cycle your drain plug valves, they will sieze up, and if you only use them once a decade, they will shear off flush when you try to use them (and you will say a rude word when it happens), so cycling them and putting some grease on the threads is not a bad idea from time to time. Used annually, and lubricated, they will work perfectly.