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Old 21-12-2008, 16:01   #1
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Snow!!!! What do I need to check?

We have recently bought a 36' Cooper Prowler sun deck cruiser and have it at a government dock on Hornby Island in BC. It is a little tough to get to right now due to the 3 FEET! of snow that has fallen over the last week. Do I need to do anything special due to the snow? We have pancake heaters in the cabins and one in the engine room which should keep the temp up enough. Is there anything as to snow freezing on the decks or windows that I need to check? If the pressure switch is off for the fresh water system, and we used some after the switch was off, is there a possibility of freezing somewhere along the line?
Merry Christmas to you all!
Steve
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Old 21-12-2008, 16:09   #2
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As for the snow on the boat, no there's nothing you need to do. There is always a risk of waterlines and thruhulls to freeze, causing a water leak. Thruhulls are usually safe as long as they are below the water line and the water on the outside isn't frozen. you still have to keep the temperature inside the boat above the freezing point though. The same goes for the fresh water system and engine coolant.
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Old 21-12-2008, 16:55   #3
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Make sure there is no water standing in the head If it freezes it could break the bowl and anything else that has encapsulated water due to ice jacking.
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Old 22-12-2008, 03:37   #4
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This is an emergency!

You're going to need to purchase a case of Denman Island Chocolates, and sail south immediately. To Steveston. And deliver the chocolate to me...

No, seriously, it sounds like you're doing the right things. Sweep off the snow if you get a chance; be cautious while boarding, snow/ice on cold fibreglass can be amazingly slick. If the cabin is guaranteed to have heat - and electric shore heat is not a good guarantee, so be prepared to run to the dock if electricity goes out in this weather - you won't need to worry about the fresh water systems freezing. (You may want to open lockers, etc., if the freshwater plumbing is against the deck/topsides.)

It's okay to feel paranoid. Indulge it with nights aboard if it makes you feel better.
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Old 23-12-2008, 15:07   #5
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Thanks for the info - finally got to the boat and one of the 2 liveaboards at the dock had shovled the 36" of snow off the decks and the canvas on the flybridge - Guess I will have to get him some scotch for Christmas. Nothing frozen, nothing ripped. Amgine - Sorry but we aren't allowed to take Denman Island Chocolate off the Island - can't let just anyone have a taste of that good stuff .
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Old 23-12-2008, 15:17   #6
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Went over to Qaudra yesterday aft and shovelled the snow of my boat. Not quite as much as you got way down south. My biggest concerns are:
-rain on top of the snow, the weight could easily collapse the bimini
-electricity goes out (which it had) and freshwater pipes freezing in the minus 14C weather we had.
All was well.
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Old 23-12-2008, 16:45   #7
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Ahem>>>>Are you saying you don't winterize your freshwater lines?

If you have deck scuppers, make sure they are clear and the hoses that lead to the overboards don't have ice in them.
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Old 23-12-2008, 19:15   #8
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::Chuckle::

Cheng: the last time Xmas was this white and this cold was in the mid 1800s, according to at least one newscaster in Seattle. For us weather wimps, this is so outside the norm that we don't know what to do.

However, there hasn't been a drop of fresh water in my freshwater system since November, but I have to admit I didn't flush with antifreeze or anything... (we won't mention that I don't have a working freshwater system atm.)
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Old 07-01-2009, 15:30   #9
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If your not going to use the fresh water drain it or pump it dry and add in potable antifreeze, its available at CT.
Keep your Bimini top clear of snow or take it down, they do collapse once the snow gets heavy.
I would winterize the engine.
I find the humidity removing salt bucket products work well.
Follow a winterizing checklist (google it)
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Old 07-01-2009, 15:39   #10
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I agree with Cheif Engineer on the scuppers. You want to make sure that neither those or the drains have frozen solid and won't let the water drain. What is the temperature. If it is not much below fressing you won't have to worry too much about winterizing. Those heaters should keep the boat above freezing inside the boat. Winterizing won't hurt but typical BC winetrs aren't cold enough to freeze the waterlines.
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Old 07-01-2009, 17:26   #11
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You should first close every thru-hull. Then pour antifreeze into the drain lines such as the galley sink, head sink etc. Do this right now. If the lines freeze and crack the rubber hose they will leak when the temperature rises just a bit. Your boat could sink at the pier. Also, pour anti freeze into the head or drain the water out. A small amount is sufficient, say a half-cup.

Close the thru-hull to your engine. As noted above, the hose can freeze and split. I added a T fitting to the engin raw water intake on my boat. The T has a length of hose with a bilge strainer attached. In an emergency the engine can act as a bilge pump by pumping out the bilge. However, this modification is most useful for winterizing the engine. I put the bilge strainer in a bucket of water/antifreeze and start the engine. It sucks the bucket dry in a half a minute or so. Turn the engine off and you are done.

I would also rig a tent from bow to stern with a tarp and some old halyards. That should shed the snow and keep the deck more or less clear.
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