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Old 30-11-2016, 12:18   #16
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Location: Courtenay BC
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Re: Freezing temps in Puget Sound

You remind me of - well - me 12 years ago when we purchased our (first) boat. We're moored in Campbell River at the northern end of the Strait of Georgia, perhaps a 100 miles north of you and significantly colder. I've learned a lot of what has been said already in this thread over time, and chill out much more easily now as winter approaches. Even up here, water temp is 48 deg F today. I use those West Marine pancake heaters (2 of them in fore/aft cabins) all winter (Oct through March) and supplement them with a thermostatically controlled Caframo heater for colder snaps. Don't use just any cheap heater - you might have cause to worry about it if you do. Moisture will be your biggest problem - I use 2 Drizair humidifier bowls emptied every 2 weeks or less - and the West Marine heaters both move a little air (important) and heat the air enough to retain a bit more moisture - they don't really heat the boat much as you've discovered. Decent ventilation is very important. I do drain my water tank by November though for reasons already stated.
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Old 30-11-2016, 15:30   #17
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Re: Freezing temps in Puget Sound

I had a Bowman heat exchanger freeze in Tacoma Wa. The salt water side froze and broke the special nut on the shaft that holds the whole thing together,that includes the oil cooler which made a very ugly mess to clean up. The electric power was off for three days and the temp inside the boat fell to the temp outside.
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:53   #18
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Re: Freezing temps in Puget Sound

welcome to area, I use a 110v dehumidifier and a small oil filled heater, it kicks up my electric bill but all mold problems are in past. If ever we get winter with artic express and below 0 temp I buy cheap bottle of vodka making sure it is in pressure pump with some flow fair winds
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Old 01-12-2016, 14:46   #19
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Re: Freezing temps in Puget Sound

Occasional freezing nights are not a problem when your boat is in water. That huge mass of water keeps it warm enough.
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Old 01-12-2016, 15:05   #20
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Re: Freezing temps in Puget Sound

I am also in the Puget Sound and have been a full time liveaboard since '01. Please remember that one of the biggest source of boat fires is due to high resistance electrical loads melting down your wires and connections. Any space or oil filled heater is a resistance load.

I have switched to a Smart Plug and moved away form the Marinco shore power adapters. They have poor connections and a little bit of corrosion will dramatically increase the resistance and heat generated melting down the plug and boat side fitting. I lost 2 cords and connectors before switching over to the Smart Plug. No problems since then. You may also want to consider coating the plug connectors with dielectric grease to reduce corrosion.

My boat is not well insulated and never have I seen a cold snap sharp enough or long enough to freeze up water lines. I am in Seattle and it does get a bit colder in B'Ham. Your mileage may vary.

A small dehumidifier and an oil heater on the low setting will keep things in good shape. Just don't run them on high settings to keep your power consumption down.

In our part of the world I have seen a few boats in BC go down just form the wet snow load on the cabin top. That may be a bigger concern.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:18   #21
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Re: Freezing temps in Puget Sound

This is my first year with a boat in Seattle area as well. Like others already mentioned, not much concern at/below waterline. Above it I've received advice to open faucets and turn off water pump during the few really cold days we get to avoid bursting lines for the sinks/showers etc.
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Old 04-12-2016, 21:13   #22
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Re: Freezing temps in Puget Sound

In the old days, we would leave a 100w lightbulb burning in the boat. Now a days I leave an electric heater (the kind that turns off when tipped over) on low. I prefer the oil filled radiator, just seems safer. I turn the potable water pump off when I'm leaving the boat and release the pressure from the lines.

I live aboard during the winter, except when I'm in the mountains skiing, but you might want to drop by the boat every few days for a few minutes of quiet relaxation, turn on the heat, and check things out. Make sure your through hulls are shut to avoid sucking water in...
__________________ Jim K.
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Old 04-12-2016, 21:37   #23
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Re: Freezing temps in Puget Sound

Now living in the High Sierras, I recall living aboard my Ingrid 38 in Reed Point marina east of Vancouver for about 20+years. Summer time was balmy but I worked tugs and commercial fish boats back in the50's, 60's and 70's and had a large diesel stove running 24/7 to keep us warm.
In the winter, however, a 110 volt 100watt incandescent bulb kept all the fresh water lines from freezing all through the winter months, even during herring season when I was gone a fair bit. The ambient temp of the salt water also helps avoid those hard freezes.
I don't think you will have much of a problem... phil
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