Thanks for a great site. I got this from the Yahoo Starwind site:
Water absolutely WILL freeze at 17 degrees and can do a lot of damage in the process. Water expands in the path of least resistance and generally will expand into air space, however,while this is generally true, if there is a hairline crack in the hull anywhere, the water can get into that crack, freeze, expanding as it does, and cause stunning levels of damage. I have seen the results and they are anything but pretty.
Candidly..keeping the boat in the water over the northern winters is a recipe for disaster. I have seen the Ohio freeze before. The shoreline ( where your boat is probably docked) freezes first. While it is grand to have a boat to sail as you want, going down to the dock
to find your boat at the bottom, top of the mast
showing, is probably not a risk you want to take. You had her out of the water for 5 years. One more winter of working on her to resolve the leaking issues may save her from the landfill.
I live in the Pgh, PA area and there's not a single
boat (other than lived in houseboats) docked over the winters here for good reason. I have a friend from Barnegut Bay (NJ) who lived on a canal where his boats wintered directly behind his house. They ran bubblers 24/7, three for each 19' boat and they still came out one morning to find one at the bottom. Its just not worth the risk. The problem is.. there is moisture in every square inch of the boat.. moisture freezes and causes microscopic fissures which expand with each freeze/ thaw cycle. They grow before you notice them and by the time you do notice them, the boat is in trouble.
I worry for your safety
. I'm not cautioning you to be a meanie, I just know the "northern boat" drill. While you could put antifreeze in the bilge, how will you get antifreeze into the areas that are already leaking (fissures and cracks) that you can't locate ?
We are certainly taking it out of the water soon if not this weekend.
Thanks for a great site.