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Old 02-01-2018, 08:29   #1
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Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

I am a new absentee owner. Our "baby" (a Morgan 44CC) is lying in Hampton right now - and I am watching the forecast from a couple thousand miles away - which calls for about 7 continuous days below freezing. They are into Day 2 right now, I think and it was about 13 deg F last night.

I winterized her myself - including all machinery - but she lies in the water in a marina slip. I left a small electric space heater near the open engine room door and opened another engine room panel.

I left all the thru hulls (and there are many) closed except two - which are large scupper drains that I did not want to leave closed.

Obviously I was hoping Hampton was an ice-free port (from the USCG Coast Pilot), but this winter seems to be a serious statistical outlier.

Q: is anyone local in Hampton or Norfolk who might report on the ice situation or their past experiences with these conditions?

Thanks in advance,
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:02   #2
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

Hello,
I've gone through two winters in the Norfolk, VA area, using an electric oil filled radiator heater. All water tanks empty with lines drained, hot water heater emptied, opened engine hatch, sea cocks closed, opened any cabinets and air spaces so that the heated air could mix for areas that are usually closed spaces. Didn't drain sea strainer line and engine cooling chambers as usually run engine periodically.

Checked on boat yesterday, morning temp at 16F, found cabin area temp at 46F. Last winter did not have the current weather such as more than a week below freezing. Sounds like you did what you needed to protect her while gone. For me, I get solace being close to home and able to check on my boat periodically.

Check out the NOAA Chesapeake Bay buoys for current water temps and water freezing temps; the buoy data may offer some consolation. There is an App avialable via Google Play Store named NOAA Chesapeak Bay Interpretive Buoy System (android).

https://buoybay.noaa.gov/observations/mobile-apps
https://buoybay.noaa.gov/
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:20   #3
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

I have lived in the area over 30 years and have absolutely no concerns about leaving my boat inher slip over winter. Most of my fears revolve around interior plumbing etc. which you seem to have covered.
I do remember one time approximately 20 years ago in which part of the Lafayette river froze fairly solid. When kayaking The ice was too thick to get your paddle in the water or break under the weight of my kayak but much too thin to walk on. I believe this is the same year that the Chesapeake Bay was frozen in the vicinity of Tangier Island and a naval vessel was used to open a channel. Our local newspaper recently published pictures of the Virginia Beach oceanfront frozen solid approximately 1928. This was one of three times on record.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:29   #4
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

My boat is in a slip in Little Creek, Norfolk, VA

The water around the boat hasn't frozen yet. I'm down there daily.

Yesterday afternoon the temperature inside the boat was about 34 degrees. Outside it was about 25 degrees on the drive over. (I didn't check the temp at the dock)

This am it was 17 degrees about one mile from the boat in Virginia Beach along Shore Drive

I have water onboard (bottled)

The temp is suppose to come up into the 30's tomorrow and Thursday. It's 26 degrees now
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Old 02-01-2018, 13:55   #5
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

Thanks very much for the info.

Guess I will try to quit worrying about it.

Hope it warms up there soon.
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Old 02-01-2018, 14:04   #6
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydro2 View Post
Hello,
I've gone through two winters in the Norfolk, VA area, using an electric oil filled radiator heater. All water tanks empty with lines drained, hot water heater emptied, opened engine hatch, sea cocks closed, opened any cabinets and air spaces so that the heated air could mix for areas that are usually closed spaces. Didn't drain sea strainer line and engine cooling chambers as usually run engine periodically.

Checked on boat yesterday, morning temp at 16F, found cabin area temp at 46F. Last winter did not have the current weather such as more than a week below freezing. Sounds like you did what you needed to protect her while gone. For me, I get solace being close to home and able to check on my boat periodically.

Check out the NOAA Chesapeake Bay buoys for current water temps and water freezing temps; the buoy data may offer some consolation. There is an App avialable via Google Play Store named NOAA Chesapeak Bay Interpretive Buoy System (android).

https://buoybay.noaa.gov/observations/mobile-apps
https://buoybay.noaa.gov/
Thanks for the links. Jamestown buoy is pretty cold ... 37.5 deg F water temp and dropping fast.
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Old 02-01-2018, 15:31   #7
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

The boat was still at about 34 degrees inside this afternoon. All bottled water in the boat was still not frozen

There was no ice around the boat, but there was ice near shore.
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Old 02-01-2018, 15:53   #8
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

I highly doubt Hampton would freeze over with more than slush.

My boats docked south of the Great Bridge locks on the ICW around MM20. The marina (fresh water) is froze solid with about 2-3" of ice already. The Intercoastal water level is also down about 3' from the north winds blowing the water out.
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Old 02-01-2018, 16:07   #9
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

I bet the ICW is getting in bad shape. My sister is a liveaboard in Willoughby, no ice yet. I use this text file for the port. With the salinity up, the freeze point should be about around 29F. Most stations reporting 36-39F. Good site for temp, wind, tides in the port.

https://co-ops.nos.noaa.gov/ports/te....shtml?port=cs
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:02   #10
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

I'm in Little Creek...liveaboard. Last night was 14 degrees. No ice yet. Bilge pump froze but will heat up. Other than that, all's good...waiting for the warmth.
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:23   #11
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

no ice in Annapolis either
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:25   #12
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

I am frozen at anchor in the pasquotank river north carolina. The river is 1/10th nmi wide here, it is well after the canal cuts. It is probably frozen in the dismal swamp canals. I was breaking ice there sailing through 2 days ago.
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:28   #13
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

Just a general note... I always make sure the thru-hull seacocks either have antifreeze or air in them before closing them off for the winter months. That's to avoid any expansion from freezing and possibly cracking.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:10   #14
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

Latest forecast is for 4"- 8" of snow from here in Va Beach down to Elizabeth City, NC with strong winds to around 35 knots or so depending on where you are

The good news is that we are suppose to have a high of 57 degrees on Monday.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:59   #15
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Re: Ice reports - Hampton, Norfolk area?

I live in Alaska. Boats freeze in the seawater marina all the time. Whats the big deal? They never seem to sink.
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