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Old 16-02-2006, 08:08   #1
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Jim H's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: London, UK
Boat: '67 Cal 20, Aurora and "73 Rival 34, Southern Rival
Posts: 162
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Preparing for a "Big Freeze"

Here in Portland, Oregon, things normally don't get too cold in the winter, and when they do they don't stay cold too long. As a result, most of us leave our boats in the water.

Ever few years, however, we get some arctic air and temps drop into the 20s or teens for awhile. It's in the twenties this morning and might go into the low teens tonight. The days normally get above freezing, but tomorrow the temp might only get to 30.

Now, my boat's in the water, and I pumped a gallon of anti-freeze into the block of my Atomic 4 raw water cooled engine a couple of days ago. I've put a healthy dose of pink antifreeze into the head and pumped some through into the holding tank. The freshwater tank is drained and dry.

I have a 90 watt air dryer running off shore power, and I added a 60 watt bulb last night to add more heat into the boat.

I'm returning to the boat at lunch to check on the light, etc. Anything else to consider for keeping the boat safe for the next few days. By Sunday, this should pass. The thru hulls are closed on the water intake for the head and engine, and I'm tempted to temporarily close them on other thru hulls as well (although some are quite stiff).

Jim H in London, UK, sailing Southern Rival, a '73 Rival 34. In Oregon, sails Aurora, a '67 Cal 20.
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Old 16-02-2006, 08:16   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vanuatu
Boat: Whiting 29' extended "Nightcap"
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Know how you feel Jim
As an aside, did you know that you aren't supposed to store undiluted glycol anti-feeze below zero.
It only attains its anti-freeze when mixed with water and storing "straight" below 0 degC will ruin it.

Positively, socially deviant.
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Old 16-02-2006, 09:47   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Gabriola BC
Boat: Viking 33 Tanzer 8.5m Tanzer 22
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My boat stays in the puddle during the winter, has done since 1979. I drain the engine which is quite simple with a Yanmar.
Some folks run fresh water tank anti freeze through their engines. If you use regular anti freeze through the system and run the engine it will go out the exhaust and pollute, and you could be in trouble with the harbour master. Put a small ceramic heater in front of the engine, or one of the small oil filled heaters. Ceramics use about 1200 to 1500 watts the oil filled can be as small as 500 watts.
Minus 15 here at 0730, plus 10 at 0930. That is a bigger change in two hours than Auckland NZ gets in a year.
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