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Old 08-10-2010, 06:26   #1
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New Sailer: Questions on Winterizing

I purchased my Hunter 285 last spring and have had a great time learning the ins and outs of the boat (and sailing) over the summer.

The lake I sail on in North Carolina has an active sailing league during the winter that I would like to participate in. As a result, I intend to use a bilge and engine heater (Xtreme Heater) during the winter so that I don't have to winterize the Yanmar.

I have drained the freshwater from the holding tank but I am unsure if there is anything else that I need to do.

What do you recommend that I do with the hot water heater? If there is no water that comes from the faucets, does this mean that all the water is out of the hot water heater?

What do you recommend I do with the head? I know that others on my lake use their heads in the winter time. Is there risk to the waste holding tank if the waste freezes?

Any other advice that you could give me?

Thanks for your help - you guys have really made this an excellent website and source for information.

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Old 08-10-2010, 06:39   #2
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Location: Oriental, NC
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Depending on where you are in NC you may not need to do anything. It never got cold enough, long enough to freeze the interior of my boat at Hilton Head. Does the lake ever freeze? If so definitely winterize.

In any case get a copy of Nigel Calders book on mechanical systems. It has a good article on winterizing. Briefly you have to pump pink propylene glycol antifreeze through your boat's raw water system, the fresh water sytem (drain and bypass the water heater) and the head.


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Old 08-10-2010, 06:53   #3
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Fortunately, the lake never freezes. It also helps that there is a nuclear plant about a mile from my marina that keeps the water warmer than it would otherwise be.

Does the hot water heater have to be bypassed if I choose not to put the antifreeze in the freshwater lines? If no water comes out of the sink's faucet because the freshwater holding tank is empty, does it mean that the hot water heater is empty?

Thanks again for the response.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:27   #4
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I would not assume the hot water tank is empty if the freshwater tank is. Without the inflow of water pressure, the water in the hot tank will not be forced out.

To winterize I drain the hot water tank after the freshwater tank is empty and then put a couple of gallons of RV/Boat antifreeze in the fresh water tank. Then rig a temporary bypass for the water heater and turn on all faucets one at a time until the pink antifreeze is flowing. Turn on all the washdowns (if any) in the same fashion. In the spring I hook the water heater hoses back up. You use less antifreeze if you do the faucets that are farthest from the pump first, then work your way back. Also, make sure the flow is the same color as the antifreeze in the jug to make sure you flushed the water that was in the hoses.

For the head we get a final pump out and then pour the antifreeze into the head and pump it through. You only need about a half gallon.

For the engine, drain the muffler and then take the raw water feed hose off of the through haul. Put a couple of gallons of antifreeze in a bucket, put the raw water feed hose into the bucket and start the engine. Watch for pink antifreeze to some out of the engine exhaust port, then let it run for a few more minutes (but don't let the bucket of antifreeze run dry), then hook the hose back up to the through haul.

I am not sure if the air temperature gets below freezing where you are so I can't comment on whether you need to winterize the systems or not. If you need to, this is how we do it every year.
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