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Old 02-02-2016, 05:20 PM   #1
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Winter and marine electronics

I leave the boat for about 3 months during winter, part of winterizing all the systems is the removal of all displays and the FB VHF. I've always done this as part of leaving the boat unattended during winter, one reason is I figure being stored in a warmer stable temperature environment is better for them. The 2nd reason is theft prevention, the marina is in a rural area, it does have a security gate on the entrance where you drive in. There is almost zero problems with theft on the docks, in 6 years I lost a fishing rod out of my center console, very likely kids from the campground. No boats have been broken into and some are always left unlocked when the owners are away, even now during. What are other owners who leave their boats unattended during the winter months doing with your electronic displays, if you remove them is security the main reason or storing in a temperature controlled environment?


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Old 02-02-2016, 05:42 PM   #2
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I leave mine on board. No problems yet, but it has only been 20 years.
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:11 PM   #3
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Commercial boats leave hem on all winter...but the occasionally get use.


Yes a warm, very dry environment is better...but modern electronics tend to be pretty hardy.
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:22 PM   #4
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Take mine off the charter boat for the 6 months they're not getting used and store them in my heated (50 degrees ) garage. Partly for security and partly for a better environment. Pretty much everything removable lives in the garage for the winter. Warmer temperature and lower humidity certainly can't hurt.

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Old 02-02-2016, 07:40 PM   #5
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I leave them where they are. We use the boat periodically in the winter months.
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:57 PM   #6
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Remove & Leave

We remove the Furuno TZT MFDs only because its easy to do. Leave all other electronics.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:06 PM   #7
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What I do is leave my stereo on, sound muted. A little convection chimney, warms the air around the circuitry, keeps those goblins away. Condensation is the boater's worst enemy.
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:27 AM   #8
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I take mine home but I store them in the attic which is dry, but has pretty extreme temperature variations, not too much different than if they were outside.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:59 PM   #9
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I simply take mine home. Although our electronics are not particularly valuable they would be a major expense and inconvenience to replace if they were stolen. Not to mention the damage to the boat.

We used to leave all aboard because we used the boat all through the winter but no more.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:54 AM   #10
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Wifey B: Winter? What's that?
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:05 AM   #11
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:09 AM   #12
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:52 AM   #13
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I think there is a low temp storage limit for LCD TVs and chartplotters. Best check with the maker.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:19 PM   #14
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I think there is a low temp storage limit for LCD TVs and chartplotters. Best check with the maker.
Yes there is. LCD displays do not like sub freezing temperatures. Once left a computer in my car overnight. The screen froze. End of story.
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:40 PM   #15
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Thanks for the replies, I failed to mention I also brought the Sony flat screen home also I have no idea if it's a lcd or not. I'll continue to remove them during winter, it may not be necessary but it makes me feel better not worrying and that is necessary.


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Old 02-04-2016, 08:46 PM   #16
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The LCD raymarine displays and Furuno have survived the last 13 winters aboard the assistance towing boat I operated.


Last winter, temps dipped down to zero degrees F and was in the teens many times. Winters before that, maybe not zero, but often in the 20's and sometimes in the teens.


Can't say it's the smartest thing to do...but lower temps aren't always fatal...it may have something to do if the unit has any moisture in it.


I have heard/read that LCDs should avoid low temps...but my real world experience with those, my own and many others have proven the worry to be minimal to at least the teens.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:26 AM   #17
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Be careful removing VHF radios from the boat. I had a sailboat and removed all the electronics including the VHF radio. But I did not ground the coax center conductor. The ungrounded coil in the antenna took a static charge during a storm and a bolt of lightning blew the antenna off the mast onto the dock. If you remove your radios, ground the core conductor.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:35 PM   #18
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Be careful removing VHF radios from the boat. I had a sailboat and removed all the electronics including the VHF radio. But I did not ground the coax center conductor. The ungrounded coil in the antenna took a static charge during a storm and a bolt of lightning blew the antenna off the mast onto the dock. If you remove your radios, ground the core conductor.

Good information thanks for sharing, I'am in a covered slip so if lightening gets near I hope the slip would protect the boat.


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Old 02-08-2016, 12:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pgitug View Post
Be careful removing VHF radios from the boat. I had a sailboat and removed all the electronics including the VHF radio. But I did not ground the coax center conductor. The ungrounded coil in the antenna took a static charge during a storm and a bolt of lightning blew the antenna off the mast onto the dock. If you remove your radios, ground the core conductor.
Seems like you saved the radio and electronics by having them somewhere else. That's the best lightning protection.

Random thought would be to mount a bulkhead connector with a wire to the ground plate on the keel, so when you unhook the radio, you ground it by screwing the cable to the bulkhead connector.

Was the mast not grounded well? The are supposed to have 4 ought cable down to the mast ground plate if I recall ABYC correctly.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:58 PM   #20
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Seems like you saved the radio and electronics by having them somewhere else. That's the best lightning protection.



Random thought would be to mount a bulkhead connector with a wire to the ground plate on the keel, so when you unhook the radio, you ground it by screwing the cable to the bulkhead connector.



Was the mast not grounded well? The are supposed to have 4 ought cable down to the mast ground plate if I recall ABYC correctly.

The sailboat was a 2005 Hunter 41 Deck Salon. Hunter is one of the few production sailboat builders that grounds everything metal on deck to the lead keel. So the mast was grounded. The strike was isolated to just the coil at the base of the top of mast mount VHF ant. I am convinced that if I had taken a set of alligator clips and ground the center core wire the charge would not have built up in the coil and drew in the strike.
A friend of mine was sailing from Miami to the Bahamas. He had a fishing pole out while traveling. A thunderstorm came over them and a bolt of lightning hit the metal spoon at the end of the fishing line they were dragging. Metal pulled thru salt water creates a small static charge and the lightning found it.
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