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Old 18-01-2016, 00:03   #1
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How cold is too cold?

So here we are, the yard completely botched a pretty straightforward bottom job and our baby is still languishing in the yard on the hard. They are trying to make it right but weather is not cooperating and she is not winterized, never thought we would be here this long. So the question is do we need to worry. The boat is in Charleston SC and the temps are forecast to drop into the twenties just for one night. We have a heater set up that comes on at 11pm and shuts off at 4am. The engine room panel is open all the doors inside are open, will this be good enough. We did not winterize the boat as we thought it would be back in the warm water and all would be good. We are not in near the boat and can't attend to her as closely as we would like.

Do y'all think we need to worry about frozen pipes etc. we have a monitoring system on board and can monitor the temps just not sure if we should get the yard to set the heater up for continuous operation.
Thanks in advance.

Will
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Old 18-01-2016, 06:52   #2
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How cold is too cold!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clipper4730 View Post
So here we are, the yard completely botched a pretty straightforward bottom job and our baby is still languishing in the yard on the hard. They are trying to make it right but weather is not cooperating and she is not winterized, never thought we would be here this long. So the question is do we need to worry. The boat is in Charleston SC and the temps are forecast to drop into the twenties just for one night. We have a heater set up that comes on at 11pm and shuts off at 4am. The engine room panel is open all the doors inside are open, will this be good enough. We did not winterize the boat as we thought it would be back in the warm water and all would be good. We are not in near the boat and can't attend to her as closely as we would like.



Do y'all think we need to worry about frozen pipes etc. we have a monitoring system on board and can monitor the temps just not sure if we should get the yard to set the heater up for continuous operation.

Thanks in advance.



Will

Yes, temps in the twenties should definitely get your attention when on the hard. While leaving the heat on through the coldest hours may be enough, I would indeed have the yard turn it on full time, and then start checking the boats temp throughout the day.

That should be sufficient for a relatively short period of time.
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Old 18-01-2016, 07:36   #3
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Re: How cold is too cold?

The "Cold Hours" are from an hour or two after dusk, until an hour or three after dawn. Plus a couple more hours on each end, when it's fully Winter. So it's something to definitely consider.

Also, you might see about nicely coercing the yard to either; properly winterize your boat, foot the heating bill, or both. Given that it's their error which has you stuck there for the extra time.
Ditto on using said lost playtime as "leverage" vs. your yard bill.

The latter may be a long shot, but you never know unless you try.
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Old 18-01-2016, 07:40   #4
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Why take the chance when $20 in RV antifreeze, $10 in engine AF, and a couple of hours would put your mind at rest. Drain the fresh water tank(s) completely, pour in a gallon of RV antifreeze and run the system pump(s) until it gets to each tap. Flood the toilet bowl and pump a few strokes to push AF into lines.

For the engine, open the inlet through hull and take the top off the raw water filter. Pour a bit of engine coolant in to flood the piping then close the through hull. With a gallon of engine coolant in hand, start the engine and keep pouring coolant into the raw water filter until it's spraying out the exhaust pipe and overboard.

Remember, hot air rises, so no matter what the heater is doing, the last place to get heat is the bilges, where your tanks are located. The yard should pump out the holding tank on their dime. Lastly dump some RV AF into the bilge and run the bilge pumps. Skip this if you're lucky enough to have a dry bilge.

One frozen and split water pump will cost you more money and effort to fix than all of the above.
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Old 18-01-2016, 08:21   #5
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dymaxion View Post
Why take the chance when $20 in RV antifreeze, $10 in engine AF, and a couple of hours would put your mind at rest. Drain the fresh water tank(s) completely, pour in a gallon of RV antifreeze and run the system pump(s) until it gets to each tap. Flood the toilet bowl and pump a few strokes to push AF into lines.

For the engine, open the inlet through hull and take the top off the raw water filter. Pour a bit of engine coolant in to flood the piping then close the through hull. With a gallon of engine coolant in hand, start the engine and keep pouring coolant into the raw water filter until it's spraying out the exhaust pipe and overboard.

Remember, hot air rises, so no matter what the heater is doing, the last place to get heat is the bilges, where your tanks are located. The yard should pump out the holding tank on their dime. Lastly dump some RV AF into the bilge and run the bilge pumps. Skip this if you're lucky enough to have a dry bilge.

One frozen and split water pump will cost you more money and effort to fix than all of the above.
^^^ This is your answer.
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Old 18-01-2016, 09:33   #6
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dymaxion View Post
Why take the chance when $20 in RV antifreeze, $10 in engine AF, and a couple of hours would put your mind at rest. Drain the fresh water tank(s) completely, pour in a gallon of RV antifreeze and run the system pump(s) until it gets to each tap. Flood the toilet bowl and pump a few strokes to push AF into lines.

For the engine, open the inlet through hull and take the top off the raw water filter. Pour a bit of engine coolant in to flood the piping then close the through hull. With a gallon of engine coolant in hand, start the engine and keep pouring coolant into the raw water filter until it's spraying out the exhaust pipe and overboard.

Remember, hot air rises, so no matter what the heater is doing, the last place to get heat is the bilges, where your tanks are located. The yard should pump out the holding tank on their dime. Lastly dump some RV AF into the bilge and run the bilge pumps. Skip this if you're lucky enough to have a dry bilge.

One frozen and split water pump will cost you more money and effort to fix than all of the above.

Right on!! except for head method. My Raritan PHII head requires removing the head intake hose & sucking RV AF thru the the manual pump. Pouring AF in the bowl & just flushing it doesn't accomplish this for some reason. That is why I instd a tee in the intake hose, installed a valve on the take-off & a length of hose to stick in a jug of RV AF.
Best not to fool around if interior temp could drop more than 2deg F ( 30F/ -1C ) below freezing for more than 4 hrs or so.

Cheers from 45deg N.
/ Len
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Old 18-01-2016, 10:19   #7
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dymaxion View Post
Why take the chance when $20 in RV antifreeze, $10 in engine AF, and a couple of hours would put your mind at rest. Drain the fresh water tank(s) completely, pour in a gallon of RV antifreeze and run the system pump(s) until it gets to each tap. Flood the toilet bowl and pump a few strokes to push AF into lines.

For the engine, open the inlet through hull and take the top off the raw water filter. Pour a bit of engine coolant in to flood the piping then close the through hull. With a gallon of engine coolant in hand, start the engine and keep pouring coolant into the raw water filter until it's spraying out the exhaust pipe and overboard.

Remember, hot air rises, so no matter what the heater is doing, the last place to get heat is the bilges, where your tanks are located. The yard should pump out the holding tank on their dime. Lastly dump some RV AF into the bilge and run the bilge pumps. Skip this if you're lucky enough to have a dry bilge.

One frozen and split water pump will cost you more money and effort to fix than all of the above.
+1.

Whatever the reason, you cannot negotiate with physics or nature. Get that AF in the pipes. It is very cheap insurance against tons of damage.

But since you are into "shortcuts"...consider a dipstick oil heater to keep the engine block warm. Its safer to leave unattended than a space heater. And at least you might have a running engine next spring.
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Old 18-01-2016, 10:52   #8
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Get a few heater /driers and leave them on 24/7. Open everything inside the boat, including engine room with one in there. Of course 150 watt incandescent bulbs will work too, but you don't know when they will fail. couple of space heaters on low may work, but they trip breakers etc leaving you unprotected.
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Old 18-01-2016, 10:55   #9
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clipper4730 View Post
...Do y'all think we need to worry about frozen pipes etc...
...Yes...
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Old 18-01-2016, 10:56   #10
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Re: How cold is too cold?

[QUOTE=deblen;2019639Pouring AF in the bowl & just flushing it doesn't accomplish this for some reason.[/QUOTE]

Same reason as this:

Head Pumps 101 Why just pouring water into the bowl is NOT a good idea Head Sea Water Shutoff Valve & Antisiphon question
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Old 18-01-2016, 11:18   #11
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Re: How cold is too cold?

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Originally Posted by Clipper4730 View Post
So here we are, the yard completely botched a pretty straightforward bottom job and our baby is still languishing in the yard on the hard. They are trying to make it right but weather is not cooperating and she is not winterized, never thought we would be here this long. So the question is do we need to worry. The boat is in Charleston SC and the temps are forecast to drop into the twenties just for one night. We have a heater set up that comes on at 11pm and shuts off at 4am. The engine room panel is open all the doors inside are open, will this be good enough. We did not winterize the boat as we thought it would be back in the warm water and all would be good. We are not in near the boat and can't attend to her as closely as we would like.

Do y'all think we need to worry about frozen pipes etc. we have a monitoring system on board and can monitor the temps just not sure if we should get the yard to set the heater up for continuous operation.
Thanks in advance.

Will
And if the power in the yard goes off even for a day or two, you could have major problems. Heating a boat out of water in severe cold is extremely difficult at best...
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Old 18-01-2016, 11:25   #12
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Honestly, with 55 for the high the day before (the boat will be warmer due to solar heating) and 44 the next day, and then right up into the 50s and 60s, I wouldn't worry at all about a low of 25. It just won't cool that fast. Remember also that it has to freeze solid to break. I know that here in MD I put off winterizing every year later than that. The ONLY risk might be a transom shower, but nothing deep in the cabin.

And if the heater tips, the boat can burn. Most yards (any yard you should have your boat in) will NOT allow unattended heaters.

On the other hand, if the yard will do something for free (they should), ask. Of course, they will probably botch it.
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Old 18-01-2016, 12:08   #13
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Re: How cold is too cold?

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Honestly, with 55 for the high the day before (the boat will be warmer due to solar heating) and 44 the next day, and then right up into the 50s and 60s, I wouldn't worry at all about a low of 25. It just won't cool that fast. Remember also that it has to freeze solid to break. I know that here in MD I put off winterizing every year later than that. The ONLY risk might be a transom shower, but nothing deep in the cabin.

And if the heater tips, the boat can burn. Most yards (any yard you should have your boat in) will NOT allow unattended heaters.

On the other hand, if the yard will do something for free (they should), ask. Of course, they will probably botch it.

Well, in the Southern Cheapeake, at a very well known marina/yard, things were taking much too long and we faced a similar situation of a very brief spell of nights that dipped below freezing. The yard put heaters in the engine rooms but something happened....I believe the power went off during the night. Everything survived, except the watermaker. Almost every component had to be replaced and the damage to the membrane housing was such that Spectra stated they had never seen similar. Ice is a formidable force.
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Old 18-01-2016, 12:30   #14
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Re: How cold is too cold?

consider getting some of the plastic carpet protecter that they put on the floor of houses for sale when expecting a lot of traffic for an open house and put it over the engine room vents and any place else that cold air can get in with a breeze blowing.
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Old 18-01-2016, 12:48   #15
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Re: How cold is too cold?

I don't have any experience with freezing weather but as far as heaters go, the hardware store CLAIMS to sell heaters that can't start fires -they are not very powerful, they don't concentrate the heat much, have internal circuit breakers and turn off if tipped over - and I think have thermostats - primitive ones but good enough to know if it's above freezing.

Seems to me it would be better to have that than heaters on a timer. Would those Goldenrod things that are marketed here for mildew prevention be enough to keep the engine above 32? I would think so.

Anyway, that is all academic, bad yard or not, you should get someone on the boat dumping in some antifreeze.
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