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Old 10-12-2014, 10:49 AM   #1
gar
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winterizing advice

Hi All, I am not able to take my trawler south this winter & will be storing at Atlantic Yacht Basin, Great Bridge VA-fresh water & under cover. I have never drained any thing on the boat before & am wondering what I should do for the climate in the Virginia Beach area. I am paying for electric service so I can keep the cruise air on a low temp & some heat for the engine room with a flood light. Is this going to be adequate & should I keep water tanks full (220 gal) or drain for the winter. Any input is appreciated. Gary
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:05 AM   #2
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My advice is a total winterize...the problem with the East Coast from below there to well north...ice storms are an issue and knock out power when you most need it.

Unless you can check the boat virtually every day or pay someone you trust to...it only takes one power outage and the wrong set of circumstances to be an issue.

In the big scheme of things...just winterizing the fresh water system should cost maybe about the same (at least cost enough to not worry) as running electricity for more than a couple months.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:24 AM   #3
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Agree with the above (post#2)
If you are not familiar with how to winterize the boat, hire a Pro.

This has been posted many times, search for old threads.

Many items to make ready for a big freeze:
1. Sea water side of engine cooling

2. Is the closed cooling system on the engine filled with the correct mix of good antifreeze?

3. AC system water pump, if equipped

4. Generator, if equipped, same as #1 and #2

5. Fresh water system, empty all tanks, open ALL faucets, blow out or drain all lines. Donít forget ice makers.

6. Remove any container with liquids that could freeze.

7. Any bilge pump hoses have drooping loops that would contain water?

8. Shower or sink sumps should be emptied and then filled with RV antifreeze.

9. Heads, pour a gallon of RV antifreeze into each head, pump most away, close sea valves.

10. Items I missed
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:47 AM   #4
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All of the above advice is good. I live on the water in Oriental, NC about 150 miles south of Great Bridge so our temps are close, maybe a deg warmer on average. The air temp there can get down to the mid teens at night and the water temp drops to the upper 30s.

At 40 deg water temp your Cruise-Air stops working, so don't rely on that. I use two electric heaters set at 40 degrees on the boat. One for the engine room and one for the cabin. No freezing problems.

But I live at the boat so I can check it every morning that the temps get really low. With those heaters I usually see inside temps of less than 40 on mornings in the upper teens, so it does get that cold inside. If you can't do that then winterize. A power outage or heater failure can freeze up your boat if you don't.

And FWIW the only reason I don't winterize is that we do get some great days of upper 60s temps in the middle of the winter and I like to take the boat out then.

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Old 10-12-2014, 03:20 PM   #5
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We left our boat at AYB last winter. We were happy that we did a complete winterization, no worries as we watched the temps dip into the low teens in Chesapeake. Never having winterized before, I asked James what the cost would be, almost choked when he said 7 to 8 hundred dollars. I was surprised at how easy it was, total cost was about $300 (including purchasing a pancake compressor to blow out water lines to tank and 24 gallons of pink antifreeze) and took a little over half a day. We followed directions in our equipment manuals, it is really very simple and does not require any special knowledge.
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Old 10-12-2014, 04:11 PM   #6
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We left our boat at AYB last winter. We were happy that we did a complete winterization, no worries as we watched the temps dip into the low teens in Chesapeake. Never having winterized before, I asked James what the cost would be, almost choked when he said 7 to 8 hundred dollars. I was surprised at how easy it was, total cost was about $300 (including purchasing a pancake compressor to blow out water lines to tank and 24 gallons of pink antifreeze) and took a little over half a day. We followed directions in our equipment manuals, it is really very simple and does not require any special knowledge.
Where did you get use almost a barrel of the stuff?
I mix 4 - 5 gallons of 30 - 50 % of antifreeze. This is for 2 mains, 1 generator, 2 shower sumps, 3 sink drains and 1 dish washer.

Installed a new dish washer last summer. Blew the fresh washer intake with compressed air as I did with the old one when preparing for winter. Turned out this Asko unit has a reservoir of sort in its basement that will not empty by air pressure. Cost me almost $200 to get a new one. When at it, I insulated this compartment and installed thermostat operated heating cable (what's the English words for this?) that will kick in at 5C/41F.
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:01 PM   #7
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There is RV antifreeze that costs about half what the engine antifreeze costs (not coolant). I think the difference is the engine anti-freeze has some anti coorisive stuff in it. WM reccomends the expensive stuff to winterize the raw water system of the engines. Why, the raw water part of the engines are in salt water all the time?

Opinions on the expensive stuff vs the cheap stuff.
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:09 PM   #8
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There's more margin in the expensive stuff. Just look in the truck of the mobile guys. They all use the cheap stuff around here. It's good to -40F.

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Old 10-12-2014, 06:07 PM   #9
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I purchased 24 gallons of RV antifreeze at Ace Hardware for a net of $1.99 a gallon (after Ace Rewards discount) last week. This is -50 F blend for use in RV potable water systems and equipment, not for use as engine antifreeze but will work for heat exchangers.
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:14 PM   #10
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Engine antifreeze is mostly ethylene glycol with small amounts of anticorrosion and other additives. EG is extremely toxic. Don't ever, ever use it to winterize your boat's potable water system. And since it all gets dumped back into the ocean eventually, don't use it for anything other than your engine's coolant system.

RV/Boat antifreeze- the pink stuff is propylene glycol, water and a bit of additive- not sure what. PG is non toxic and is the same stuff that you drink before a colonoscopy!!!!

Use this for all winterization: engine raw water, potable water, air conditioner raw water, deck washdown raw water, etc.

It comes in two forms. By far the most common is prediluted gallon jugs that is good to a -50 burst temp. This means that it will start to freeze at that temp, get slushy, but won't expand and burst a pipe or fitting. I haven't checked the data for higher dilutions but I suspect that if you were to dilute this stuff 50/50 with water you would be ok to zero deg F.

The other form of RV/Boat antifreeze is typically sold in 30 oz containers (about 1/4 gallon) and is almost pure propylene glycol. You can and should dilute it with about 3/4 gallon of water to make the same as the common stuff before using.

When I use the prediluted -50 deg pink stuff, if I get a strong pink color out of the exhaust, faucet or whatever I believe I am good.

Boat yards do charge an astronomical sum to winterize your boat. I can do my engine; the potable water system with two sinks, showers- internal and external and ice maker; the air conditioner; all in about an hour or two with 5 gallons of antifreeze. At full yard rates of $100 per hour and WM pink stuff prices this comes to no more than $225, plus a few reusable hoses, buckets and fittings.

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Old 10-12-2014, 07:17 PM   #11
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Thanks David for that explanation. But isn't there a 3rd type, the one WM sells for twice as much as there RV pink stuff-PG. Or is it PG with anti coorisive's in it.

If so is it worth the extra money for the PG with anti-coorisive.
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Old 10-12-2014, 07:49 PM   #12
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West Marine sells two different brands of PG, -50 deg antifreeze. I can't imagine any meaningful difference.

They sell a -100 F and a -200 F superconcentrated antifreeze. I suspect that these are PG with less water and maybe the -200 deg stuff is almost pure PG like the 30 oz container stuff I mentioned above.

There can't be any meaningful additive differences among winterization antifreezes. They all get flushed out at the end of the season.

David
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:12 PM   #13
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As a northern boat/pool/summer cottage owner, I spend way too much time winterizing stuff. Can't wait to get the boat to Florida if the admiral gives in. My Albin 40 takes 8 gal of rv potable antifreeze ($3.49).
Run the fresh water tank dry. Drain and bypass the water heater. (After the first time you should have the hose and fittings already made). Put a hose from the fresh water pressure pump into a jug of af and fire up the pump. Go from faucet to faucet and open until it runs pink. Close and repeat with next faucet. Include the heads if fresh water supplied. Renew af jug as needed. Mine takes about 4 gal. Shut off pump and open all faucets
Engine and gen are treated through the strainers. I remove the covers, fill from the fresh water dock hose while running for a couple minutes. Then dump in 2 gal. antifreeze and when that's gone shut down the engine. Done and a few hundred $$$ in my pocket. Never had a problem with freeze damage. The expensive stuff has corrosion inhibitors for use inside the closed cooling system. Can't see the point on the raw water side.
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:13 PM   #14
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Greetings,
I would recommend using RV anti-freeze in ALL systems IF you're going to dump the anti-freeze from the engine in the waterway in the springtime. Meaning use the RV stuff for everything except the closed section of the engine cooling system.
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:18 PM   #15
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Greetings,
I would recommend using RV anti-freeze in ALL systems IF you're going to dump the anti-freeze from the engine in the waterway in the springtime. Meaning use the RV stuff for everything except the closed section of the engine cooling system.
What happened to the good old days when cheap vodka was the stuff to use on your water systems?
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:32 PM   #16
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I use it all the time when I'm here up north. Down south and in the islands rum works better.
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:03 PM   #17
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What happened to the good old days when cheap vodka was the stuff to use on your water systems?
I got a winterization quote from a marina that still does that.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:33 PM   #18
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winterizing advice

Down here our winterizing process goes like this: 1) Put sweatshirts on boat
2) Done!
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:13 AM   #19
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Down here our winterizing process goes like this: 1) Put sweatshirts on boat
2) Done!
One omission....turn off the air conditioner.
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:30 AM   #20
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One omission....turn off the air conditioner.

Shucks, thanks for the reminder!
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