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Old 14-01-2013, 09:35   #1
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Heater as a winterizing option?

Is it advisable to use a 110VAC heater in the engine compartment as an alternative to winterizing the engine and related components (intake, strainer, exhaust)? My plan would be to keep the boat in the water and have a thermostatically controlled 1000W heater that would maintain the ambient air temp in the 40's. The boat is located in the mid-Chesapeake where air temps can drop down to the 20's and occasionally in the 10's and the water in the marina can freeze. What else would I need to consider?
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Old 14-01-2013, 19:01   #2
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

Hum, So the power could go out, breaker trip, someone could unplug the shore power cable or it could drop out of the socket, or the heater could fail... Then life could get interesting.....
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Old 14-01-2013, 19:06   #3
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

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Hum, So the power could go out, breaker trip, someone could unplug the shore power cable or it could drop out of the socket, or the heater could fail... Then life could get interesting.....
What the Chic said.
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Old 14-01-2013, 19:13   #4
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

You don't even need that much heat to keep the engine compartment plenty warm considering the boat is sitting in water that will likely be well above freezing. I used to run a 110-volt light bulb in the engine room in Massachusetts when I lived aboard at a dock, but that was on a wooden boat with the engine mostly below the waterline. If the water can freeze hard you'll need a circulater anyway to keep the ice from damaging your boat, and that will also keep the water around your boat above freezing.
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Old 15-01-2013, 07:41   #5
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

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Originally Posted by FruiVita View Post
Is it advisable to use a 110VAC heater in the engine compartment as an alternative to winterizing the engine and related components (intake, strainer, exhaust)? My plan would be to keep the boat in the water and have a thermostatically controlled 1000W heater that would maintain the ambient air temp in the 40's. The boat is located in the mid-Chesapeake where air temps can drop down to the 20's and occasionally in the 10's and the water in the marina can freeze. What else would I need to consider?
You would need to consider whether or not there has ever been a power failure over the winter where you are, and whether or not you feel lucky.

Odds are reasonable that in the mid-Chesapeake area you would be OK in the water, but as I recall, parts are fresh to brackish rather than full salt and that must be kept in mind. Besides, it doesn't matter if the water OUTSIDE the boat freezes...just the water INSIDE the engine cooling circuit.

If you are really worried about this and for whatever reason don't want to do a full winterization (which really isn't a big deal), flush the pink stuff down the head and drain the block/blow out the system with compressed air. You may get some rust in the passages, but you won't crack the head.
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Old 16-01-2013, 14:40   #6
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FruiVita View Post
Is it advisable to use a 110VAC heater in the engine compartment as an alternative to winterizing the engine and related components (intake, strainer, exhaust)? My plan would be to keep the boat in the water and have a thermostatically controlled 1000W heater that would maintain the ambient air temp in the 40's. The boat is located in the mid-Chesapeake where air temps can drop down to the 20's and occasionally in the 10's and the water in the marina can freeze. What else would I need to consider?
I haven't winterized in 15 years. I spent a good bit of time in Occoquan (fresh water) with electric heat -- I think a 250 w heater. I was only an hour from the boat so I could check with the marina (hang-up calls on their answering machine) to see if they had power. I had a Mr. Buddy propane heater as back-up in case power failed.

Now I'm in Annapolis (brackish) and keep an oil-filled electric radiator running all the time. When I'm aboard I fire up my Espar diesel heater. The only thing I winterize is the stern shower.

If you are far from the boat or don't visit regularly you might want to be more conservative.
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Old 16-01-2013, 14:46   #7
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

winterizing is much easier when ye sail south...
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Old 16-01-2013, 15:06   #8
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

I keep a 250 watt light burning in the compartment. Seems to do just fine. But yeah! If there is a power outage then you're going to have to go to the boat if it's below freezing.

But I've discovered that the inside of my boat (w/o the light) stays at about the same temp as the sea water below. Your's maybe different.
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Old 16-01-2013, 15:12   #9
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

Winterizing the engine could probably be done in ten minutes. close seacock, remove hose, jam funnel in hose, have a friend hold funnel and dump 2-3 gallons of the pink stuff in while you start engine, watch for pink antifreeze in exhaust. Done, reclamp hose.
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Old 16-01-2013, 15:33   #10
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

What Sailorchic said. If you monitor it, a 100-150watt incandescent bulb will do the trick in the engine room down to may an occassional 15 degress or so....
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Old 16-01-2013, 15:59   #11
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

Instead of an electric light bulb why not install a block heater? They will keep the engine and room above freezing and you don't have to worry about the light bulb burning out.
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Old 16-01-2013, 16:02   #12
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

Good Idea. I keep a couple bulbs burning in the boat just to keep the dampness down, but a block heater in avery cold climate would be better.... there's still the "no electricity" problem I guess....
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Old 16-01-2013, 16:13   #13
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

Magnetic block / oilpan heaters are readily available in most car parts stores. 10 second install.
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Old 16-01-2013, 16:15   #14
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

Marine mechanics love electric heaters, job security for spring engine replacements. But then the power never goes out does it? And they say blonds are dumb
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Old 16-01-2013, 16:18   #15
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Re: Heater as a winterizing option?

Wouldnt doing it without power be the 100% solution and save the electric bill?
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