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Old 01-18-2019, 08:42 AM   #1
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Winterizing in water

I've searched existing threads and there is some discussion about winterizing in water, but I didn't find quite what I was looking for. Winterizing is a very geographic issue and I'm interested in others experience.

I am in the Chesapeake Bay and am considering winterizing in-water in the future. We get enough cold weather that the water freezes over maybe a couple times in a 2 or 3 year period and then it freezes for maybe 4-7 days. Usually a freeze is enough to walk on a few feet from the shore, but no more than an inch of ice at the slip. So I need to be prepared to keep ice off the hull; but there are only a few "high risk" days each year that I would need to address.

I'm interested in peoples experience with bubblers or ice eaters. I know they work, but my concern more specifically is whether having an electric device hanging in the water creates a significant potential for stray current corrosion (my boat is aluminum, so that's a significant concern). It is a private dock with only my boat there and power is usually turned off at the dock, so stray current from neighbors boats is not an issue for me.

I'd appreciate any thoughts or experiences from others. Particularly regarding the stray current issue. Thanks!
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:00 AM   #2
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I hang an ice eater (motor thing with a propeller to keep the water stirred up-mine isn't the ice eater brand) over the side of the dock each winter. It doesn't need to be run a lot because we're in the lower portion of the bay where the salinity is higher but it's been at least 12 seasons & the zinc shaft anode has yet to be changed. Nor have I noticed any excessive deterioration of any of my boats zincs. I think they are pretty well isolated electrically so you should be good.
My biggest problem is the extreme winter low tides which really affect the water circulation around the dock & boat.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:02 AM   #3
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Thanks Shawn. I'm just north of you on the Little Wicomico, so we do have less salinity on the river than you do. We have the same winter low tide issue you have. How far below the surface of the water do you hang your ice eater?

On another subject, I understand NOT having to replace your zinc means you are over zinc'ed. Maybe I'm just paranoid because of my aluminum boat issue where over protecting is ALMOST as bad as under protection. But do you have concerns that your zinc is not wasting over several seasons?
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:28 AM   #4
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I kept a boat in the water in the Connecticut River one winter. The marina rotated ice eaters between slips and all it took was running it a day out of 3-4 during the coldest months.


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Old 01-18-2019, 12:39 PM   #5
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For the conditions you described I wouldn't even bother with the ice eater. Our boat has a glass hull, and we, along with everyone else here, get frozen in for a few days at a time each winter. Sounds like similar conditions to yours.
When we lived here on our steel hull I wouldn't hesitate to break ice to go out for the weekend, and some of the boats here fish year-round so there is movement in the marinas daily, which I think would be more likely to damage a hull than just sitting at the dock.
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:16 PM   #6
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Stripper, you may be right. But since I've got a fair amount of fetch and prevailing winds stack any ice up against my shore, plus we have commercial boats operating year round throwing large wakes when they pass, I'd rather avoid the risk of having 1 inch think ice abrading my hull.

I might be overly cautious, but I'm hardwired that way. This was the ice condition a couple years ago. Again, it only lasted a few days but it was enough ice I want to be cautious.

Photo credit to my wife.
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Old 02-05-2019, 04:19 AM   #7
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…….an electric device hanging in the water …….
is not necessary…...all you need is the bubbles.

I have a pond air pump [URL="https://www.aquadesign-store.de/en/product?info=474"]inside of my boat and 6 plain ordinary flexible plastic hoses of 6 mm diameter running down each side of the hull.
There are special "bubblers" fitted at the ends of the hoses which add some weight to prevent the hoses from floating on the water surface and keep them a few feet below the water surface.

So all it does is pumping air into the water keeping it in movement and at the same time allowing the warmer water on the ground being transported up by the bubbles against the hull.
Works great and there is no electricity nor Motor nor anything dangerous hanging in the water……

In the video there are only 4 hoses and these already prevent ice from approaching the hull. Now I have 6 of 'em which will keep ice even clearer off the aft part of the hull. Note that all other boats are frozen-in.....

Cheers

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Old 02-05-2019, 10:06 AM   #8
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So all it does is pumping air into the water keeping it in movement and at the same time allowing the warmer water on the ground being transported up by the bubbles against the hull.
Works great and there is no electricity nor Motor nor anything dangerous hanging in the water……
Hmmm...I've certainly heard of bubblers, but I never really realized how they worked. This might be a great solution - I'll look into those further.

Thank you.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:10 AM   #9
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The video did not come through to my browser. Can you repost the link?
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:15 AM   #10
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The video did not come through to my browser. Can you repost the link?
in my browser it says "This video is currently processing…".


I suppose it is in the process of being formatted and will show eventually after some time.....

I'll check back and will repost if it does not appear shortly...
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:19 AM   #11
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.....I'll look into those further…..

Thank you.
definately worth a try. another advantage over the water pump is that there are no moving parts or diaphragms that can break or get clogged when submerged…..
AND it consumes a lot less energy that way (mine is rated at 60 watts on 220V)
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:02 PM   #12
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The video did not come through to my browser. Can you repost the link?
Ok, it seems that this has not worked the first time.

I'll give it another try now…..

Edit:
strange, I get the same message for the attachment.

I did as described in the posting rules and the file size (90 MB) is way below the max allowed 500 MB for mp4.....

I have no clue for this…….

Can anyone help?
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:41 PM   #13
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I use one of these Kasco de icers and it works like a charm. 110volt. I hang it from the bow with it angled toward the stern. The last time I used it I didn't put it in the water until there was about 1.5" of ice in the marina. Within an hour the slip was ice free.




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Old 02-05-2019, 05:48 PM   #14
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I use one of these Kasco de icers and it works like a charm. 110volt. I hang it from the bow with it angled toward the stern. The last time I used it I didn't put it in the water until there was about 1.5" of ice in the marina. Within an hour the slip was ice free.






What are your usual ambient and water temps?
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:03 PM   #15
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We kept our Grand Banks in the water on Glebe Creek, behind Lewisetta. Ice would sometimes form on the creek but in 10 years never saw more than an inch, if that much. I winterized the usual systems and put an electric heater between the engines. The heater is an oil filled radiator, mounted so that it could not tip over and would stay away from any wiring. Set it on 50 and it kept 8-12 inches around the boat free of ice. We don't have much fetch and are protected from wave action (I've seen bigger waves in the bath tub).
When the power went out, and it did but never for more than a day, the open water did not close. I kept the boat plugged in to the power pedestal and had a small fan circulating air in the saloon. All of the above seemed to work well.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:37 AM   #16
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Are you planning on leaving the ice eater in the water all winter, or only on the occaisional days when it might be necessary ?
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:39 AM   #17
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Bkay: You said you're the only boat there on a private dock and usually the power is turned off. So how would you get power??....Is this dock in front of your home?

Here are the bubblers running at my marina. The funny thing is that it was 55 degrees yesterday and close to 60 on Monday. My boat is at the 45 second mark on the video.

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Old 02-06-2019, 07:00 AM   #18
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For an out of service a bubbler is fine to protect the boat , and the close pilings.


But for a liveaboard the bubble noise might drive one crazy .
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:45 AM   #19
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bubble noise might drive one crazy
I believe that the Kasco is far more powerful than my setup (minimum 600 watts for the weakest unit against my pod pump with 60 watts) and therefore stirs the water quiet a bit more.
The bubbling noise inside of my boat is just barely noticeable.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:40 AM   #20
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Are you planning on leaving the ice eater in the water all winter, or only on the occaisional days when it might be necessary ?
If I did an ice eater I'd take it out of the water if I didn't expect to use it in the upcoming week or so just to keep things off of it and extend the life.

I would only keep it in the water if we had an extended period where I expected ice and would only turn it on when things started icing. Some years it might never go in the water and other more extreme years it might go in twice or thrice for a few days to a week.

For a bubbler (which I'm just now starting to investigate) it looks like I'd keep the compressor unit in the boat house under cover and lay the hose down to the slip and that would stay in the water all winter. But I would only turn it on when things started icing over.
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