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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With our deep freeze in the Northeast, I've been wondering about winterizing procedures this year and how we and our friends at the marina will make out. We always freeze, but its been very common to get a thaw in the daylight and refreeze at night. That's a very different profile from the weeks of 24/7 deep freeze, some below 0F, we've had this year.

Thankfully, I fully charged all our batteries just prior to the hard freeze, so they should be protected. I know at least one buddy who charged in his slip and not since. Just letting the parasitic drain of the bilge pump, sitting there for a week to be hauled, will leave his batts vulnerable, I'm afraid.

I have also been compulsive about using -100F deg antifreeze and I came within an inch of trying to save money and using more traditional -50F deg this year.

The problem is that neither prevent freezing to those temperatures, they are only rated to prevent bursting at those temps and that's dependent on what they may burst. The -50F actually freezes at +15F degs and that assumes absolutely zero water you were displacing in the first place was mixed in! Those temperatures quickly go up, if diluted at all. Actually, if you have temps below -10F, even the manufacturers recommend you move beyond the -50F protection. Odd, isn't it. We've had temps that low this year.

Even the -100F deg will freeze at -60F, but that's a temp we've never seen. Particularly when you run it through your engine, it just has to mix with water, so some dilution should still leave solid protection. You would have to run twice as much to truly flush all signs of water in all the little passages out. This winter is a reminder to never try to save money on less protection for the motor.

I'm beginning to wonder whether there is going to be some freezing damage for those that were less diligent, given our relatively mild winters these past few years. I hope I'm not on that list.
 

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Do most people down your way winter their boats in the water, or do they haul? Obviously, sitting on the hard is where when proper winterizing becomes most important. Up here on the north shore of Lake Superior we know all about winterizing. Best way to know what you've got in your engine's cooling system is to test the outflow. Run the coolant until it is flowing well, and then test it with a hydrometer. I aim for about -60C.

Down your way, I bet the biggest risk for most boaters will be threats to pumps, hoses and tanks.
 

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Always prepare the boat in fall for the coldest conditions theoretically possible in your locale. You can't predict in November what December to March will look like. Taking less precautions for winterizing because past winters were mild, is a bad strategy to take.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Most winter on the hard here, which is much more harsh that in temperate water, by comparison. I agree, you should prepare for the worst, but stats and human nature would suggest some didn't.

I'm glad I've stayed with -100f antifreeze, although, -50f is the standard for 90% of the boats around here.

Even if you measure the effectiveness of the exhaust water, you still can't be sure that every nook and cranny has been thoroughly flushed and not mixed to some degree. Again, why I always use -100f for the motor. I've been tempted to use lesser quality in sumps and heads.
 

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Hey,

This is the coldest winter I can remember in the 10 years I have owned boats.

This year I'm lucky because I have two boats to worry about. The new boat is hauled, winterized, and shrinkwrapped. I haven't been aboard since the first week of December. I hope to get on board soon just to look around.

The old boat is still in the water. It's been winterized and covered and I'm aboard at least once a week. I was on board Tuesday and the boat was fine. Some snow in the cockpit, a little bit of ice in the bilge. The docklines are all fine.

I'm way more worried about the boat in the water. The slip is protected from the N and E, where most of the real bad weather comes from. I have extra docklines on to protect from the W (and that wind will try to blow the boat out of the slip).

I winterize with the cheap west marine -50 stuff. I blow out the domestic water lines, then run a little antifreeze though the water pumps and then drain again. I am careful to entry the holding tank, then pump AF through the head.

For the engine I close the raw water seacock, remove the hose, drain, and re-install. I am careful to suck two gallons of AF through the engine, heat exchanger, and exhaust. I then drain the intake line and raw water pump. I meant to drain the heat exchanger but haven't got around to it.

On Tuesday the boat looked fine. The AF sitting in the head was not liquid but not a frozen solid. It was 'mooshy' to the touch. I don't care if the AF freezes as long as it remains pliable.

Boy I am tired of winter already.

Barry
 

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EVERY spring I deal with freeze damage on boats. Why? People use too little antifreeze and winterize improperly... Been harping on this now for the better part of 15-20 years but the message seems to go in one ear and out the other.......

I am sure this spring will be the same as we have already had two days that hit -11F..
 
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