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Old 09-29-2017, 01:24 PM   #1
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Dave_E's Avatar
City: La Conner, WA
Vessel Name: Agnus Dei
Vessel Model: 36' Shin Shing
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 276
Winterizing in Puget Sound

Hi All,

My sailboats water tank was an integral fiberglass tank in the bow of the boat, which was near and below the water line. Never worried about it freezing with our year round 53 degree water here in Puget Sound. Now that I have the trawler with (2) 75 gallon stainless steel tanks in the lazerette well above the water line, should I be doing any winterizing? The boat is of course in the water year round and we intend to use it year round.

What do you folks who sail Puget Sound do? Thanks.

GOD, Family, career
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:47 PM   #2
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City: Concrete Washington State
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 18,720
Hi Dave,
Yes but very little.
Put one or two mid sized goldenrods in the laz and engine compartment.
Watch the weather a bit so you know in advance of temps below the low 20's. Then turn on a 750watt electric heater. If the temps go below 20 turn up the heaters to 1500w. Most have a 750w and 1500w position on the switch.
This is if your boat has little or no insulation like mine. Make sure Kody (HM) has your e-mail and check often for power outages. Other than that check your boat often. If you live quite far away have someone (like me (I'm at LaConner (B8))) check on your boat.
Also those very low watt heaters that are designed to lower humidity are excellent. Very safe and consume very little power.
PM me if you wish.

North Western Washington State USA
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Old 09-29-2017, 03:38 PM   #3
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City: Saltspring Island
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,607
I too have a pair of 75 gal water tanks high above the waterline in the laz. Also another pair under the bed in the aft cabin. I leave them full.
I have had this boat 23 winters. My winterizing has never been seriously tested by Vancouver weather.
I have a pair of 1500 watt heaters. one in the aft cabin, one in the fwd cabin. I set them on the lowest possible setting, so they should only come on when it gets really cold. In the coldest weather, the YC needs to cut power and everybody has more heaters on than the system can tolerate, so I allow them to turn them off They usually have the power reduction for only a day or two at a time.
I also leave the charger and the HW tank on, so the ER is usually warm. In conservation mode, I allow them to turn off the HW tank.
That is all I do.
I have never had a problem.
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Old 09-29-2017, 04:00 PM   #4
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City: PNW
Vessel Model: 1976 Californian Tricabin LRC
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,860
In the PNW, If the boat is not in the saltwater, then you have to winterize.

In the salon is a different story even in the water. I turn off the pump and open all the sink valves, so they drain down during the cold periods. Last winter I forgot to take 6 cans of diet pop out of the fridge. All 6 froze and popped. 2 cans of regular coke didn't. I guess the sugar in them dropped the freezing point just enough to protect them.

The gallon jug of distilled water for the batteries in the engine room never freezes during the coldest weather. Even with no heat, other than Zantrex charger running on standby, which is nothing.
Larry B
Careful . . .I Have a Generator and I'm not afraid to use it !
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Old 09-29-2017, 04:03 PM   #5
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City: Between Oregon and Alaska
Vessel Name: Charlie Harper
Vessel Model: Wheeler Shipyard 83'
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,980
Some hopefully helpful info, I have a recording thermometer I set in non heated areas of my boat in winter. Mostly in the bilge areas and engineroom. My concern was almost all of my plumbing runs thru the bilge. My water tanks are next to the engineroom.
The lowest temps I recorded was 34°F in weather as low as zero, sometimes lasting for a week. This was in bilge areas below unheated cabins. Engineroom and unheated cabins never went below 45°F. I should have measured the water temps. Readings were between East Vancouver Island and the coastal Columbia River.
I live aboard, wood boat, at that time I heated with wood. Since then I have developed several options for heat (diesel stove, wood, pellets, engine and electric all tied to a diesel boiler) with pellets about half the cost of the next cheapest. All this started when diesel was $4/gallon. Now I heat unused cabins to 50° and bilges stay above 45°.
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Old 09-29-2017, 07:54 PM   #6
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City: Seattle
Vessel Name: AZZURRA
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 54
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 4,124
If you are moored in saltwater, just about any heat source will be good enough. The golden rods are a great suggestion.

I have always kept Two 750w heat sources (one in bow, one in aft) going all winter. This is more of a condensation mold issue than a freezing issue but it solves both problems.
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Old 09-29-2017, 09:07 PM   #7
dhays's Avatar
City: Gig Harbor
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 9,045
I have used the low wattage dehumidifying type of heater with a slow moving rotating fan in them for years. They work great at circulating the air and keeping it from getting two cold. The simple low wattage hot plate encased in a plastic case also work really well. I kept one of the latter in the ER to keep it above freezing.

Last year I installed an oil pan heater on the engine. 250 watts if I recall. I leave it plugged in all the time and leave it on unless we are anchored out. It warms the oil pan to 116 degrees and the top of the engine to about 60 degrees in the coldest winter weather here in the PNW. I really like it. A large Diesel engine at 60-116 degrees radiates a lot of heat to the surrounding areas.

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Old 10-04-2017, 12:25 PM   #8
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City: Anacortes
Vessel Name: Adelante
Vessel Model: Shin Shing, Eagle 35'
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 154
Dave, same off the water tanks and don't worry about it. Ours have not frozen past the two fillers in the aft and that was only a little bit of ice. The tanks never came close. And yeah, they had shut the water off on the dock as it was freezing.
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