SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, seems I have run into another problem. I recently found after a month long vacation over seas that there i have a full bilge and it's frozen solid. I have about three inches of space left before the bilge flows into the cabin. What should I do to remedy this??? I heard rock salt...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,781 Posts
We've had the same issue. Get some antifreeze (pink stuff) and pour it in. The problem with a frozen bilge is that the ice, because it expands, might create problems with the keel and hull joints. We've had a warm session with rain, followed by a week of temperatures well below freezing, so when I went to pump the bilge (we're on the hard) it wasn't cooperating much. I pumped what I could and added more antifreeze.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Yeah that's the issue... Bilge is frozen solid and won't pump. I need to find a way to melt the ice. It seems like rock salt plus antifreeze might be the only remedy as a heater would take days with no real results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
765 Posts
ICE in yer bilge? REALLY? Are you sure you live on the same planet as me and perhaps might live on Mars? Next you'll be telling me the water around the boat freezes, suuuuuuuure....................
 

·
Tundra Down
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
Yeah that's the issue... Bilge is frozen solid and won't pump. I need to find a way to melt the ice. It seems like rock salt plus antifreeze might be the only remedy as a heater would take days with no real results.
Add the "RV" antifreeze! A couple of gallons. This problem can cause structural damage! If it is possible, add a layer of "insulation" to the outside of the keel to reduce the cold air's impact during the thawing. A couple of layers of plastic taped to the hull would help. The af should find its way into the bilge around the ice mass. Freeing up the ice block from the hull will reduce the chances of structural damage.

Then do this! Add a garboard plug!











Now any water that gets into the boat can exit. I also added another cockpit drain that has a shutoff valve and a hose bib. I attach a hose and open the valve during storage. The hose runs directly to the garboard plug opening to prevent water from filling the cockpit and spilling into the boat. This drain also allows us to collect rain water if we need it when cruising.

I had the same problem once but got to the boat before it could freeze hard. We had a "warm" February coastal storm and I "discovered" that because my cockpit drain hoses cross there were low spots that could freeze and prevent it from draining. The cockpit filled to the companionway and spilled into the bilge. When I got there, that night, the floorboards were floating. I could and did pump it out. If I had been away It would have frozen solid and probably caused serious damage.

Now, as part of my winterizing, I pour af into the cockpit drains and the bilge. Left unattended for weeks that is not a solution either if rain can flush it out. It will work for the first drainage issue but then it needs to be re applied.

There are storage yards that require a garboard plug of all boats they store for just this reason.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Down
 

·
Old soul
Joined
·
4,917 Posts
Yes, get some heat in there if you can. Use antifreeze to raise the melting point. You should also try and stop the water ingress.

I always dump a bunch of pink antifreeze into my bilge as part of the winterizing procedure. I've never been able to keep all the water out. The antifreeze keeps the water from freezing (and our water always freezes up here at the top of Lake Superior).

I assume you own a Grampian. My previous boat a Grampian 34. We managed to get into the same situation as yours one year. Came back to the boat after a long absence and found a nearly-full bilge, frozen solid (and that boat has a BIG bilge). Had to wait until spring before it thawed. In the end there was no damage done -- no cracks or expansions, no keel bolt problems, nothing.

Grampians were so well built you will likely be OK. You should definitely get the water melted asap, and you should avoid the situation in the future, but don't panic. You've got a tough boat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,181 Posts
I would use antifreeze and not rock salt. Rock salt is extremely corrosive. And installing a drain plug makes a lot of sense.
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,407 Posts
There have been a couple of threads this season about this issue.

The solution that has been recommended is to pour 1 gallon of Peak Sierra Full Strength AntiFreeze into the bilge after haul-out as protection from this issue.


Ecotoxicity: This material is expected to be non-hazardous to aquatic species.

Environmental Fate: Propylene glycol is expected to degrade rapidly in the vapor phase by reaction with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals. It has an estimated half-life of 32 hours in an average ambient atmosphere. Propylene glycol is expected to degrade relatively rapidly via biodegradation in water. It is not expected to be susceptible to hydrolysis, oxidation, volatilization, bioconcentration and adsorption to sediments. Propylene glycol is expected to degrade relatively rapidly via biodegradation in soil. Degradation in soil does not appear to be inhibited by high glycol concentrations or by subfreezing temperatures. Due to its high mobility and low adsorptivity, propylene glycol is susceptible to leaching. However, concurrent biodegradation may be rapid enough to diminish the significance of leaching. Evaporation from dry (but not moist) soil surfaces is likely to occur.

Bioaccumulation: Based on the octanol/water partition coefficient, the bioconcentration factor is estimated to be < 1.

Biodegradation: This material is expected to be readily biodegradable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
Where do you get rock salt? Or do you mean calcium chloride ice melt? I would not use either one. Add AntiFreeze and just to think outside the box...hot rocks onto the ice to melt it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
Not sure what the condition of your pump is right now, but you might disconnect the power in case it tries to come on while it's half frozen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
A few winters back, after a huge snow storm, the cockpit filled with snow, the water in the scuppers froze, which cracked the scupper hoses, which allowed the cockpit full of snow to freeze AFTER it had drained into the bilge.
Zee is right, a large kerosene heater will allow you to work in shirtsleeves, make the ceiling toasty warm, but won't melt bilge ice. Ended up with a hammer and chisel, broke up small pieces and tossed overboard. After that the garboard drains were installed. In the spring I epoxy over them, avoiding the nightmares about plugs falling out. Labor intensive but a lot less work than cutting up ice.
 

·
Old enough to know better
Joined
·
4,345 Posts
I would get a MR Heat portable propane heater, good to have even for cool spring and fall days anyway, so it is not something that you will never use. It is going to be pretty warm today if you can get out there today. Once you get it defrosted you need to get the water out. Then put in some antifreeze into the bilge. I don't remember what marina you are in, assuming it is still in Kingston, I would check with the marina staff and see what they recommend. My guess is they have a torpedo type Kero heater that will warm up the boat in like twenty min. I have a kerosene heater if you want to use it for a few days to get it defrosted but it is one of the big vertical units and may be to bulky. It sounds like we are going to get cold tomorrow, and stay that way till the weekend.

I would be worried about damage to the hull, and the bulge pumps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,026 Posts
I had ice in my bilge last winter, and do again this winter. I don't think it's a big deal unless it reaches the cabin sole.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top