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Old 25-08-2020, 14:31   #1
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Winterizing in the Chesapeake

Were live aboards in RI for our first winter season. Looking to maybe head south and friends and other attractions are leading us to Baltimore. We know its not SC and it can get nasty but its not the northeast either. Its a new Beneteau 41.1 with heating system. Well get bubblers of course. The question-a technical one is, what would need to be done to winterize? Since we will be living on board Im assuming the plumbing will be ok since well be using. Will running the engine take care of it? How about sails? Roller furling both headsail & main do they need to come off and store indoors? What other procedures and safeguarding need to take place? Or-forget it and keep heading south? Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 25-08-2020, 14:51   #2
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Re: Winterizing in the Chesapeake

We are Cheseapeake weather refugees and lived aboard there summers. The challenge is the reverse cycle heating is a challenge once the water goes below 50F, 45F is a significant challenge. Assuming you are on the dock, an engine room heater and an electric oil heater with a dehumidifier should do the trick. We use an Ecoseb dessicant dehumidifier that works well.

To dos:
- Winterize the transom shower. We took the hose in the lazarette off and capped it.
- Clear any snow or ice from the boat as soon as possible.
- Shovel the dock as soon as possible and before you walk on it.
- Remove canvas before snow/ice storm.
- Check with the marina regarding availability of water and pumpout over the winter. Most turn off water in November.

We did our first Winter South in Charleston. They had the biggest snow in 20 years. We had the only snow shovel in the marina.

Cheers, RickG
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Old 25-08-2020, 15:31   #3
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Re: Winterizing in the Chesapeake

Dock power goes out frequently in winter storms, so unless you have a jenny, you need to go a little further south than Bal'more
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Old 25-08-2020, 15:51   #4
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Re: Winterizing in the Chesapeake

Thanks we have a few options of on-land support if things get really bad.
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Old 25-08-2020, 15:56   #5
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Re: Winterizing in the Chesapeake

Chesapeake resident here. RickG nailed it. Any water system not in common use should be winterized. We leave the sails on the boat unless they are going out for maintenance. Reverse cycle heater system is usually good until end of December.

There will be a few weeks in January and February that will be cold. It is common for the sheltered creeks to freeze over lightly. By mid February we are usually warming up a bit. Around Baltimore sailing season is April to November, but lots of us push that.
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Old 25-08-2020, 16:16   #6
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Re: Winterizing in the Chesapeake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolt View Post
Thanks we have a few options of on-land support if things get really bad.
That could be but if the boat power goes out and you are on land you will need to make sure your engine, generator, heads, fresh and saltwater systems, and anything else with water in it are all winterized.

Baltimore can be every bit as cold as New England.

When we left the middle Chesapeake on December 1st many years ago to head south, our boat was pushing ice out of the way. It only got colder. Dock water and dock side fueling gets shut off. Lots of marinas have shore side showers and bathrooms that are vented to the outside and are barely heated if at all.
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Old 26-08-2020, 08:15   #7
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Re: Winterizing in the Chesapeake

Lived on-board at Hartge's in the West River, a little South of Annapolis for several years. Had a catalytic heater for the cabin, and used the yard facilities for everything else. Pump-out, water and power were on all the time as far as I recall. Didn't do anything with the engine other than run it occasionally - going for short trips. Didn't have an external shower but draining that would seem like a good idea.
Some folk here are being somewhat negative IMO. Snow isn't that frequent in the area, and rarely very heavy. Worst storm I saw between 1995 and 2002 was less than a foot on the Bay. Left sails on - used them on sunny winter days!
Good advice about clearing dock. Also keep some snowmelt to hand.
Lots of great little restaurants around that area as well.
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Old 26-08-2020, 08:27   #8
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Re: Winterizing in the Chesapeake

I recommend winterizing the raw water side of the engine. Running it is not a good option. At a bare minimum, if you can do this with your set up, drain all the raw water from the system. What little water remains might not be a problem since this area doesn't get "hard" freezes.

I typically am willing to go through a freeze or two counting on ER heaters to keep things in check. But before we get to the really cold weather with several days of sub freezing highs, I'll go ahead and winterize the engine just to cover myself.
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Old 28-08-2020, 11:34   #9
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Re: Winterizing in the Chesapeake

I'm on a creek off the Rappahannock River (south of the Potomac), I usually leave my boats in the water with the sails on (roller furler headsail and main and mizzen with covers. The creek does freeze, but I've never had a problem in fifteen years and don't use a bubbler.
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Old 28-08-2020, 13:28   #10
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Re: Winterizing in the Chesapeake

thanks very much win-good info
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