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Old 09-11-2014, 08:58 AM   #1
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Winter Preparation

Just bought my boat this summer, Marine Trader 34 with Ford Lehman 120. The PO kept the boat in Fla. in the winter so there is no antifreeze in the engine. I will be keeping it at Little River SC this winter. Do I need to drain the engine and add antifreeze? How difficult is it to drain the water out? I would think having antifreeze in the engine would be a good thing even if not in freezing weather. Also what other things should I do to make sure the boat survives the winter without harm.

As always, thanks for the help.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:10 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr./Ms. PR. By all means add AF regardless of where you're keeping it. AF not only provides freeze protection it raises the boiling point of your coolant and I suspect minimizes internal rusting. I am assuming a Ford Lehman so draining is accomplished by a valve on the side of the engine block. Easy.
I am berthed north of you and I've had no problems in the last 5 years. Harbor never freezes over. I DO drain my potable water system and blow out the lines and keep my batteries topped up (both charge and water).
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:13 AM   #3
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Until this past winter I would have thought you didn't need to worry, but after departing Georgia this past winter heading south leaving docks frozen and with broken water pipes, I would have concerns. Unless you have a sealed system there is no need to drain, just flush the anti-freeze through the system, using the non-toxic marine/RV version of course. Don't forget to blow out or run anti-freeze through water systems, AC unit, deck washdown, etc and drain your hot water tank. You might want to add a bypass to the heater tank if you are going to run anti-freeze through the water system.

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Old 09-11-2014, 03:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppyR View Post
Just bought my boat this summer, Marine Trader 34 with Ford Lehman 120. The PO kept the boat in Fla. in the winter so there is no antifreeze in the engine. I will be keeping it at Little River SC this winter. Do I need to drain the engine and add antifreeze? How difficult is it to drain the water out? I would think having antifreeze in the engine would be a good thing even if not in freezing weather. Also what other things should I do to make sure the boat survives the winter without harm.

As always, thanks for the help.
Winter prep?Whazat?We live in SC.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:04 PM   #5
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Can't believe somebody would run an engine with just plain water in the cooling system. AF not only lowers the freezing point, but, as Firefly mentioned, it also raises the boiling point. It also provides corrosion protection and water pump lubrication.

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Old 09-11-2014, 06:29 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr, BH. I suspect ex blow boater-cheap.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:16 PM   #7
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Install antifreeze for , as pointed out, freeze protection , corrosion protection and it will raise the boiling point.

Use distilled water and a good grade of low silicate DIESEL rated a.f.

The p.o may have been using a corrosion inhibitor or the system would be quite rusty. In guaranteed no freeze areas that may be ok. Do NOT take the chance.

Where you are may not freeze often but it only takes once and the engine could suffer serious damage. Not just the engine.
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Old 09-12-2014, 07:01 AM   #8
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it also raises the boiling point

Which is useless with most boats having a 2-4 lb pressure cap.

Antifreez is NOT as efficient only 3/5 as good as water , so a 1/3 mix does not hurt heat transfer too much and does give the anti corrosive desired.
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Old 09-12-2014, 07:18 AM   #9
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Apart from flushing the cooling system and adding coolant, you need to flush the seawater side of your heat exchanger with pink RV antifreeze. Your engine may simply suck this through from your inlet strainer (inlet closed). Do not forget other seawater systems such as AC units. Flush these also with antifreeze. Then do all freshwater lines including ice maker lines (not the icemaker itself), windshield washers, washing machine, etc etc!!! Usually takes us a few hours and 16 gallons of antifreeze. On last tip is do not put antifreeze in water tanks or water heater. You will never get rid of the smell/taste. Just detach lines and bypass the heater. Drain the freshwater tank, just do the lines, and flush well on start-up in the Spring.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by PuppyR View Post
Just bought my boat this summer, Marine Trader 34 with Ford Lehman 120. The PO kept the boat in Fla. in the winter so there is no antifreeze in the engine. I will be keeping it at Little River SC this winter. Do I need to drain the engine and add antifreeze? How difficult is it to drain the water out? I would think having antifreeze in the engine would be a good thing even if not in freezing weather. Also what other things should I do to make sure the boat survives the winter without harm.

As always, thanks for the help.
The PO was a fool. The proper name is "coolant", not antifreeze, and just like in your car, it should be used year round in your engine. Fine the engine owners manual and use what they recommend in the concentration that they recommend. Engine coolant does far more than just provide freeze protection.

If the boat will be kept in the water with electrical power, I don't think you need to winterize the potable water system with the possible exception of a transom shower (because it's outside of the boat). The sea water in your area will not freeze and the air temperature seldom stays below freezing for long. Keep the heat on in the boat set to 55 degrees or so and you'll be fine.
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Old 09-12-2014, 10:45 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the input. I will be adding coolant in the next few weeks.
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Old 09-12-2014, 06:33 PM   #12
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Just a word of caution. We left our trawler in South Carolina a few years ago for 2 months over Thanksgiving/Christmas. Was told "don't bother to winterize". From New England, we did it anyway. Damned glad I did it all, including freshwater systems!!!
It was pretty cold, must be global warming!!! It actually snowed in January when we continued our trip south.
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Old 09-12-2014, 06:55 PM   #13
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Just a word of caution. We left our trawler in South Carolina a few years ago for 2 months over Thanksgiving/Christmas. Was told "don't bother to winterize". From New England, we did it anyway. Damned glad I did it all, including freshwater systems!!!
It was pretty cold, must be global warming!!! It actually snowed in January when we continued our trip south.
I don't winterize mine in Charleston. None of the folks at my marina who keep their boats in the water do. Some of the folks who keep their boats in outside storage racks have them put in the water for the occasional cold spell.
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Old 09-12-2014, 07:02 PM   #14
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The PO was a fool. The proper name is "coolant", not antifreeze, and just like in your car, it should be used year round in your engine. Fine the engine owners manual and use what they recommend in the concentration that they recommend.
As one example, the manual for my GM 3-71 says to use pure distilled water.
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:12 PM   #15
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Winterizing a boat is somewhat about it's design.

Some boats have cockpits and water tanks there...even in the water a cold snap "might" do damage there as opposed to the bilge which usually remains a little warmer...especially if you plug the air intakes.

Boat like sailboats usually never need it...but it's YOUR boat design that matters and where the fresh water lies within the hull.

Simple procedures and little in the way of cost prevent possible damage.
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