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Old 11-05-2014, 08:37 PM   #1
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Winter Questions

What are the pros and cons of keeping your boat in the water for the winter around Norfolk, VA versus hauling and storing on the hard?

Where is a good place in the Tidewater area to store a 40ish foot boat for the winter?

Is there any inside heated storage in this area?

Thanks!
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:13 AM   #2
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IF you screw up the winterization the boat wont sink.

The pipes could be cracked the water tank and hw heater trashed and the FW system need replacing.

The bilge pump trashed and the engine cracked or rusted solid , but you wont SINK.
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:04 AM   #3
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winterization

A friend leaves his boat in to take advantage of those nice days in December and January. I think you can give up on February! He winterizes his boat, uses a bubbler system and if he uses his boat he re-winterizes the engine. Of course he doesn't use the fresh water or the head.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:26 PM   #4
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To me it's all a matter of how much you'll use it and how close to it are you to keep a check. Also, can you use a heater to protect it. Norfolk typically only has the temperatures to be scared of the last week or so of December and January and February. The true winter is very short. March typically has highs in the mid 50's and lows in the upper 30's and low 40's. Today it's 67 degrees there. When we lived in a colder climate we used our boat year round. But one huge advantage we had was the boat was docked at our home. So we could easily keep a check on it daily. Our main worry was an ice storm and loss of power.
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Old 11-06-2014, 04:43 PM   #5
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To me it's all a matter of how much you'll use it and how close to it are you to keep a check. Also, can you use a heater to protect it. Norfolk typically only has the temperatures to be scared of the last week or so of December and January and February. The true winter is very short. March typically has highs in the mid 50's and lows in the upper 30's and low 40's. Today it's 67 degrees there. When we lived in a colder climate we used our boat year round. But one huge advantage we had was the boat was docked at our home. So we could easily keep a check on it daily. Our main worry was an ice storm and loss of power.

It will be new to us, so we'd like to have access to do some work over the winter. We'll be about 45 minutes away.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:08 PM   #6
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Mike, we have the boat behind the house and I would not hesitate to keep it in the water in your environment if you had it behind the house or near by. 45 minutes is doable, but I would want to have some sort of onboard warning system for things like, bilge pumps, temps in various areas, and so on and have it tied to your cell phone. Also a way of heating it if power went out....That way if anything goes wrong you get notified right away and can head over there. I remember someone on here had that kind of system and it was not that expensive. Certainly less than pulling the boat. I think it came from one of our Alaskan members but not sure. Hopefully they are monitoring and can chime in.
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:45 PM   #7
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I added this system to our boat last year.

The Simple to Use Water Alarm | Sump Pump Alarm System | Basement Flood Alert System

It gives you the option of different sensors when you buy the unit. Power loss is built in and I added a high water sensor and a high/low temp alarm. If you have cell coverage where the boat is you can get a text on up to 3 phones when an alarm hits. This was a great piece of mind last year as the boat was only 30 minutes from the house. Now the boat is 4 hours away so the service is even more important to me. We run block heaters all winter so would still have plenty of time to get there in a power outage, high water would require a look-see from the marina a bit sooner.

I believe the set up cost is a bit over $200 but after that it's a $30 a year cell charge. Worth every penny in my opinion.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:00 PM   #8
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What are the pros and cons of keeping your boat in the water for the winter around Norfolk, VA versus hauling and storing on the hard?

Where is a good place in the Tidewater area to store a 40ish foot boat for the winter?

Is there any inside heated storage in this area?

Thanks!
Where do you keep it now? Marina? Private dock? No place, you are bringing it from somewhere else?

I would check around and see what other boaters in that area do. I would think you are pretty much on the border of where boats are hauled or stay in the water.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:05 PM   #9
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We keep our boat behind our house in Oriental, NC which is about 150 or so miles south of Norfolk. The creeks rarely freeze and the water temp stays above freezing a foot or so below the surface even if it does freeze, so no worries about thru hulls freezing.

I keep a couple of heaters set at 40 degrees or so, one in the main cabin and one in the engine room. I check the boat in the morning after a cold snap, ie 15 or so degrees. I don't winterize but I might if I were a long way away from the boat.

If we were to have a power outage longer than a few hours after or during a real cold snap, I would start the engine and the genset, warm everything up nicely, shut down and wait for the power to come back on. I might have to repeat that if the power were still out the next morning, but power has never been off for more than a few hours in the winter. Hurricanes are another story.

Norfolk gets a little colder, but not much. I doubt if you really need a bubbler.

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Old 11-07-2014, 12:21 AM   #10
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but I would want to have some sort of onboard warning system for things like, bilge pumps, temps in various areas, and so on and have it tied to your cell phone. Also a way of heating it if power went out....That way if anything goes wrong you get notified right away and can head over there. I remember someone on here had that kind of system and it was not that expensive. Certainly less than pulling the boat. I think it came from one of our Alaskan members but not sure. Hopefully they are monitoring and can chime in.
I'm the Alaska member

Our boat is in the water. Since the harbor is pretty much full I'd have to say thats the norm up here.

AS far as monitoring...We monitor for:
  • High bilge water on both sides of our watertight engine room bulkhead.
  • Shore power
  • Inverter power
  • DC battery voltage
  • Engine Room temperature
  • Cabin Temperature

In addition to this we have cameras:
  • Engine room
  • Salon
  • Pilothouse
  • Cockpit

If anything goes into alarm I get a email and a text message on my cell.

The cameras are viewable from a computer, or my phone, or Ipad.

If the cellular system goes out, the system automatically uses the high speed satellite backup link.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:11 PM   #11
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I'm the Alaska member

Our boat is in the water. Since the harbor is pretty much full I'd have to say thats the norm up here.

AS far as monitoring...We monitor for:
  • High bilge water on both sides of our watertight engine room bulkhead.
  • Shore power
  • Inverter power
  • DC battery voltage
  • Engine Room temperature
  • Cabin Temperature

In addition to this we have cameras:
  • Engine room
  • Salon
  • Pilothouse
  • Cockpit

If anything goes into alarm I get a email and a text message on my cell.

The cameras are viewable from a computer, or my phone, or Ipad.

If the cellular system goes out, the system automatically uses the high speed satellite backup link.
If you don't mind sharing, what system do you use to monitor?

Thanks,
Evan
Prairie 29 Coastal Cruiser
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:12 PM   #12
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The boat will be new to us. Bringing her from Maryland...probably to Hampton (Salt Ponds Marina) to avoid Norfolk personal property tax. We live in Virginia Beach and have no personal property tax but our marinas are about twice the cost of others in the area.

Seems like most people leave their boats in the water here so we will probably do the same. Having some form of monitoring sounds like a good idea since we will be 30 miles away.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:36 PM   #13
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The boat will be new to us. Bringing her from Maryland...probably to Hampton (Salt Ponds Marina) to avoid Norfolk personal property tax. We live in Virginia Beach and have no personal property tax but our marinas are about twice the cost of others in the area.

Seems like most people leave their boats in the water here so we will probably do the same. Having some form of monitoring sounds like a good idea since we will be 30 miles away.
You are close to the coast and the ocean. This keeps it warmer than further inland. I doubt the water will freeze around your boat.

Talk to the marina manager and other boaters at your marina about what to do for winter.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:49 PM   #14
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If you don't mind sharing, what system do you use to monitor?

Thanks,
Evan
Prairie 29 Coastal Cruiser
Willow B
Sensaphone Web 600

Sensaphone Remote Monitoring Solutions

Dlink for the cameras

Cradlepoint for the network
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:06 PM   #15
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Sensaphone Web 600

Sensaphone Remote Monitoring Solutions

Dlink for the cameras

Cradlepoint for the network
Thank you Sir.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:45 PM   #16
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I have minimal experience since I am in the Chicago area and haul out annually.

That being said, I have a diesel furnace I have set to work at at a lower temperature than the dockside electric heat. Just in case the electricity goes off for a while. The assumption for me is that the electricity will come back on or I will be notified in time by the marina before I have an issue.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:32 PM   #17
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I added this system to our boat last year.

The Simple to Use Water Alarm | Sump Pump Alarm System | Basement Flood Alert System

It gives you the option of different sensors when you buy the unit. Power loss is built in and I added a high water sensor and a high/low temp alarm. If you have cell coverage where the boat is you can get a text on up to 3 phones when an alarm hits. This was a great piece of mind last year as the boat was only 30 minutes from the house. Now the boat is 4 hours away so the service is even more important to me. We run block heaters all winter so would still have plenty of time to get there in a power outage, high water would require a look-see from the marina a bit sooner.

I believe the set up cost is a bit over $200 but after that it's a $30 a year cell charge. Worth every penny in my opinion.
This is what I have been looking for...

Thanks
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:11 AM   #18
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We are just north of you in DC, and we keep the boat in all year long. Our insurance covers ice damage, but we can't leave the dock in Jan and Feb. We could remove that restriction, but those two months are not very good for boating. Our marina shut down the water and pump out just after Veterans Day, so we emptied the holding tank and filled the water tank, as we will use the boat until the end of December (head is only used for emergencies during winter and we flush with the pink antifreeze). We will winterize the AC/reverse cycle heat when the water gets below 40 degrees, as the system doesn't really work at those temps. At that point, we resort to small electric heaters for nights we stay on board (which is quite often even in winter). At the end of december, we will drain the water tanks and water heater, fill the lines with the pink stuff, and also winterize the engine and generator. We use bilge heaters, so this is really just belts and suspenders in the event the power goes out at the marina (which has happened due to ice storms). We also have a block heater on a thermostat so that it turns on if the block gets below 37 degrees. We don't use a bubbler, but some around us do. Our marina is on a river with a pretty constant flow, so it only ices over when really, really cold, and even then is only about an inch thick. We start her again on March 1. We've never had a problem, knock on wood. We have however had a few boats sink in the winter, almost alwasy due to failure to close thru-hulls and winterize the block.
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:29 AM   #19
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We are just north of you in DC, and we keep the boat in all year long. Our insurance covers ice damage, but we can't leave the dock in Jan and Feb. We could remove that restriction, but those two months are not very good for boating. Our marina shut down the water and pump out just after Veterans Day, so we emptied the holding tank and filled the water tank, as we will use the boat until the end of December (head is only used for emergencies during winter and we flush with the pink antifreeze). We will winterize the AC/reverse cycle heat when the water gets below 40 degrees, as the system doesn't really work at those temps. At that point, we resort to small electric heaters for nights we stay on board (which is quite often even in winter). At the end of december, we will drain the water tanks and water heater, fill the lines with the pink stuff, and also winterize the engine and generator. We use bilge heaters, so this is really just belts and suspenders in the event the power goes out at the marina (which has happened due to ice storms). We also have a block heater on a thermostat so that it turns on if the block gets below 37 degrees. We don't use a bubbler, but some around us do. Our marina is on a river with a pretty constant flow, so it only ices over when really, really cold, and even then is only about an inch thick. We start her again on March 1. We've never had a problem, knock on wood. We have however had a few boats sink in the winter, almost alwasy due to failure to close thru-hulls and winterize the block.

Thanks for the info. The water temp at this end of the bay stays above 40 degrees, so I am told we could get away without winterizing...assuming the power stays on...but our insurance doesn't allow that, nor would I be comfortable doing it. But that is what we are relying on right now since the boat is still near Annapolis. We'll bring her down early next month. We could sure do without this cold weather right now.
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Old 11-22-2014, 10:48 AM   #20
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I'm in pretty much the same situation....In Washington NC right near Norfolk Temp wise. I just ordered a small, Inexpensive engine compartment heater from Defender. Caframo Pali brand and should cover any cold snaps we may experience. Kicks on automatically at 41 degrees. Covers up to 80 cubic feet at -4 F (-20 C) outside ambient temperature. My Compartment is well insulated and sealed so this should do the trick..

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