Originally Posted by Stu Jackson
I read the SailboatOwners.com link provided by Stu.
I was surprised by some of the comments questioning? MainSails method-mostly from folks living outside of the "normal" freezeup areas.
This past winter certainly expanded freezeup to non-traditional areas & going by some posts I saw this winter,perhaps it's time that folks in those areas learned how to winterize.
If done by owner at haulout,it is very cheap
2-4 gal. of RV (pink) non-toxic antifreeze
@ $5/gal will do the avg boat systems.
This RV antifreeze is NON-TOXIC,& is put in RV systems & left there for the winter(after air blowing the fresh water out).
On a boat,it is even easier.No need to air blow existing water out.Your raw water pumps will do that for you,as they suck pure antifreeze from the jug.
Here is how I've done it for years without any problems.(same principals as MaineSail)
Engine-(1) Remove hose from seacock & insert it in jug of RV antifreeze.
Run engine @12-1500 until water coming out exhaust thru hull
is all pink.Takes maybe 10-20seconds.
This method leaves pure -40-50F antifreeze throughout your block,heat exchanger,water pump,piping & exhaust system-nothing to freeze.It protects your system from rust & corrosion
that could happen in a "drained" system full of air(oxygen)
If you wish to do a fresh water flush first,then place a garden hose in a pail,suck from pail as long as you want,& then change to sucking from RV A/F jug.
( 2) Remove impeller from RW pump to keep it from taking a "set" over winter.
( 3)Leave seacock open,in case there is any residual plain water in it.
In Spring-Re-install impeller with new gasket
(or install a Speedseal Kit)
Launch as is or pre-run engine by sucking from hose & pail.
Re-install hose on seacock.
Note: I made it even easier on my boat by installing a bronze tee just before the Groco RW strainer,with bronze ball valve on T & a length of suction hose with strainer that reaches my bilge
This allows me to close seacock & suck from my bilge in an emergency
,BUT mainly,it allows me to winterize by closing seacock,opening T valve,inserting bilge hose in water bucket &/or RV A/F jug.-eliminates removing & re-installing seacock hose.(I'm lazy)
Head-Many heads are not properly winterized by pouring A/F in bowl & pumping it overboard
You must remove the raw water intake(small) hose,stick it in a gal. of RV A/F, & pump it through.Better still-install a tee & valve in the intake hose,with a length of hose for this purpose.You can even use this hose to suck or add deoderant,vinegar,etc.
Domestic water- (1)Drain all tanks
(2) Pour a gal. of NON TOXIC RV antifreeze into each tank.
(3) Turn on Hot & Cold taps,one at a time,starting farthest away from tank(s).Each tap turned on long enough to get pure pink a/f.(This also a/f's your drain traps).
Spring-Turn on taps & pump A/F out of system.Re-fill with water as normal.
,A/C- Not familiar with these systems,but if they pump raw water,I'm sure a similar approach will work.
I suggest any boat that is stored on the hard,& definitely any "freezable" boat, have a bronze garboard drain plug
,left open all winter,to prevent rain/snow melt from accumulating & freezing in bilge. Covers can leak or blow off.
General boat- Trapped water & some products will freeze & will expand. Empty all containers & take freezable goods home.Check boat well for any pocket that could hold water.Save a nasty mess in Spring.
Hope these ideas help.