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Old 06-09-2012, 17:30   #1
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Winter Liveaboard Problem

Hi, I have a problem... or rather a question. I'm a liveaboard in Ontario Canada and I plan to bubble for the winter and I don't know how to winterize the inboard/outboard engine. Would having a heating source in the engine compartment be sufficient? Any thoughts or suggestions would be helpful. Thank you
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Old 06-09-2012, 17:36   #2
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Re: winter liveaboard problem

Welcome to the forum.

I'm assuming that when you say, "...I plan to bubble..." that you're talking about using an underwater areator to keep ice from forming around the boat. Yes?

And is it a stern-drive type engine?
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Old 06-09-2012, 17:41   #3
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Re: winter liveaboard problem

Correct. And it is a stern driven boat . Its a bayliner ciera 2550 (25 ft) 1986.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:20   #4
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Re: Winter Liveaboard Problem

Purchase a gallon or two of non toxic antifreeze, put it in a bucket. Shut off the raw water seacock. Disconnect the raw water hose from the strainer and put it in the bucket. Turn the engine over until the antifreeze circulates through the engine and appears at the exhaust. When spring comes, just hook up the hose, open the seacock and fire up the engine.

This will protect your engine block from freezing and possibly cracking in the spring thaw. Any plumbing that uses seawater seacocks for discharge (galley sink, head, etc.,) needs antifreeze in a cold snap. Fresh water sitting around a seacock ices up easily and can split the fitting in the spring thaw. Its happened to me.....a permanent leak...

How cold does it get up there? Are we talking hard ice over 1 inch thick? I found that in Boston, living aboard over winter with heat aboard kept the hull free from the 1/2 in. thin ice that formed and found that we didn't really need bubblers.
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Old 12-09-2012, 15:27   #5
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Thank you Terry, ice eaters or bubblers are mandatory for sure up here. Last year we had a very mild winter but sometimes I have witness it get to -45 degrees Celsius with the wind chill. Unsure what that would be in Fahrenheit. But darn cold. I've decided to get a sailboat for next winter. The harbour master says he's only known of one couple to liveaboard in a cabin cruiser during the winter, and only for one year..seems that a lot of people know something I don't..perhaps its because they don't sit as low in the water causing them to be harder to heat? Your help is much appreciated. Thanks again,
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:12   #6
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Re: Winter Liveaboard Problem

Hi Pyeguy,I live on my boat in Halifax hbr.Eastern Passage,should be down South right now but had some problems after I left and had to turn around.Then it got too late to leave safely,I Solo. Spent last winter in the Bahamas and Cuba.Here`s a few hints to keep you warmer,cover in your hatches with the blue or pink styrofoam insulation R-12 or higher,fit it on the inside.Also all your forward portlighs,I have mine on the outside but there is a weather ring that it fits in quite nicely when carved to fit.I know you don`t have this so you could tape yours in place and take it down on mild days.I put my own power pole up where I`m leasing a dock for the winter and have 2 1500 watt heaters,one on each end of the boat and it keeps me very comfortable.Hope this helps in some way.
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Old 06-12-2012, 19:44   #7
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Re: Winter Liveaboard Problem

A friend in Solomons, Maryland showed me how to use a sump pump instead of expensive bubblers. You put the pump down about 6 feet or so with a pipe that barely breaks the surface to the water. Gives you the same action, actually more, as a bubbler for a 1/3 of the price. He had learned it off a fellow liveaboard at the Gangplank in DC.
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:35   #8
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Re: Winter Liveaboard Problem

I am in a Bayliner 3988MY and I have lived aboard just east of Toronto for ten years.
I shrinkwrap the boat with a door and window to stop the wind from stripping the heat.
I put a 1 inch foam board under the mattress to stop condensation.
I have 300 watt block heaters on the diesels although I do winterize them as well.
There are 4 750 watt fan heaters thruout the boat and 400 watt convection heater in the head.
This marina drops the water lines down 2 feet in winter so I have a heated line to my water inlet and they have a travelling pumpout that comes right to the boat.
We have 40 boats here living aboard all winter.

I have hot showers and washroom all winter aboard with no reason to go to the shower house except for laundry. Cable and internet as well.
There is no real reason not to have all the amenities of summer in winter if you put your mind to it.

My ice eater is used about 30 days each winter.
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Old 07-12-2012, 14:08   #9
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Re: Winter Liveaboard Problem

If you are living aboard then you must be heating the interior...consequently, it seems like you would not need to winterize anything. Bubbling the boat would keep the water temperature around the hull at 0 C and the interior would be a least above 10 C so nothing would freeze.
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:20   #10
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Re: Winter Liveaboard Problem

That depends where things are at,my pump room is outside in a cockpit locker and my sanitation is under my V-Birth which will freeze solid,so I have a 25 watt light bulb in both places which does the trick,I also have one in my engine room and I run my engine every couple of days because I can.
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:57   #11
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Re: Winter Liveaboard Problem

I am lucky I live in a warmer climate but we still get freezing. I wonder about all this reliance on electric heaters, what happens if the power goes out? I know it is hard to winterize systems you are using but i would want to at least do the engines. I have a propane camp heater for emergencies (I would never sleep with it on) I am thinking of a forced air diesel heater but the price and installation has me holding back, but if I lived further North I think it would be a higher priority if only for backup. Just wonder what you all do if the power goes out?
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:32   #12
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Re: Winter Liveaboard Problem

I have an 8kw diesel generator that I can have on line in 5 minutes if the power goes out. In the last ten years I have had to use it only once for emergency winter power.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:53   #13
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Re: Winter Liveaboard Problem

Ihave a 9000 BTU propane Dickinson Heater that keeps the chill off but will not keep the boat warm on really cold nights
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Old 08-12-2012, 14:05   #14
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Re: Winter Liveaboard Problem

I know that I am showing my ignorance of boat systems but why "non-toxic" anti freeze in the motor ?
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Old 08-12-2012, 19:30   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duanecatman View Post
I know that I am showing my ignorance of boat systems but why "non-toxic" anti freeze in the motor ?
As to not destroy wildlife. It will pump out the muffler.
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