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Old 09-13-2022, 07:28 AM   #1
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PNW winterizing

Silverton 34 with twin gas engines. She sits in Port Orchard, Wa on the water. I use a pancake style dehumidifier in the engine room. P.O. didn't go through draining water tanks or hot water heater (both in engine compartment). This seems a little thin in regards to protection to me, but I go the whole nine yards when I winterize my RV which obviously sits on land. He did put a space heater in the salon. I am filling both fuel tanks adding sea foam (1oz/gal). Do I need the antifreeze for my water system?

What do you PNW boat owners do?
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Old 09-13-2022, 08:24 AM   #2
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No anti-freeze. Full water and fuel tanks. Block off engine room vents with 4" foam insulation pipes. Open all water valves, and detach cockpit shower spray head. Leave fridge/freezer and cabinet doors open. Pull mattresses a few inches away from hull sides. Cover windshields and pull down window shades. Dehumidifier sitting and draining in galley sink. Two Caframo True North heaters on low settings, one in the main berth, one in the galley area. Turn off all power except bilge pumps and 110V to outlets and battery charging. Has worked for my NT37 for six winters so far.
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Old 09-13-2022, 08:54 AM   #3
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In Oriental, NC which has a tougher climate than yours, with my boat in the water I put a small heater in the bilge set on about 40 F and a Caframo heater in the main salon with the head compartment doors open. That kept it fine.

But when I pulled it out on the hard to sell it later, I definitely antifreezed the plumbing. Don't fill the hot water tank with antifreeze. Drain and bypass it.

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Old 09-13-2022, 09:14 AM   #4
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PNW covers a large area, but the Salish sea covers Puget sound. The sea temp is around 50*F. As long as the boat sits in the water it is heated by 50* water. Why the concern for freezing?
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Old 09-13-2022, 09:34 AM   #5
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We cruise all year in the PNW and donít winterize our boat at all. But we do have at least one sustained cold snap each year so I leave the diesel furnace thermostat on low all winter on my NT 37 as insurance against freezing and to keep back the damp. The amount of fuel it uses over a season is negligible. I donít like to count on space heaters due to the risk of power outages when you need them most, and dehumidifiers donít have a place to drain in the sleeping cabins where they are needed most. I do throw a fresh damp rid tub in each of the bilge compartments to help keep things dry down there and put a hanging bag with a dessicating agent in each of the lockers. Lastly, I put a pancake heater under the engine oil pan to make cold starts easier. Keeps the boat fresh as a daisy and cozy as home.
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Old 09-13-2022, 09:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchhound View Post
Silverton 34 with twin gas engines. She sits in Port Orchard, Wa on the water. I use a pancake style dehumidifier in the engine room. P.O. didn't go through draining water tanks or hot water heater (both in engine compartment). This seems a little thin in regards to protection to me, but I go the whole nine yards when I winterize my RV which obviously sits on land. He did put a space heater in the salon. I am filling both fuel tanks adding sea foam (1oz/gal). Do I need the antifreeze for my water system?



What do you PNW boat owners do?

Only a short few miles North of you, in SW BC.
Even in winters that are cold enough to have ice around my boat in its shelter in Vancouver BC, this works:
plugged in
water heater left on, heats the ER
heater in the aft cabin on lowest setting
tiny heater in fwd cabin (little heat, but moves the air)
charger left on, adds heat in the ER
29th winter coming, nothing else planned.
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Old 09-13-2022, 10:07 AM   #7
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The Bellingham area gets an arctic NE wind from BC that most other WA locations don't get, so I add a few steps. Blow out potable and washdown water lines with compressed air. Flush potable AF down the toilets. Hot water tank drained. Block off engine room vents. Three Caframo warm air circulators throughout the living spaces. Compressor-type dehumidifier draining into the galley sink. Engine block heaters on timers that keep the ER 20 degrees above ambient, which I turn on in cold weather. All canvas removed except window covers.
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Old 09-13-2022, 10:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sababa View Post
We cruise all year in the PNW and donít winterize our boat at all. But we do have at least one sustained cold snap each year so I leave the diesel furnace thermostat on low all winter on my NT 37 as insurance against freezing and to keep back the damp. The amount of fuel it uses over a season is negligible.
One of the reasons I got rid of the Espar D7L was that it wouldn't come on when the ambient temp fell too low, so as a safe backup for freezing weather it wasn't useful. Seems it needed the fuel to be warm first.
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Old 09-13-2022, 10:50 AM   #9
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Last December in La Conner. Got down to 10F briefly that morning.

Had 2 small electric heaters going, maybe 2000 watts. All interior cabinet doors open. Fired up the diesel stove and the cabin went up to 74F.

Flybridge drains froze solid but no damage.

Blow down water systems, make sure all deck drains are clear of debris. Some safe electric heaters with good connections all around.
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Old 09-13-2022, 11:14 AM   #10
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I tried the electric heaters and crystal drip bucket gadgets years ago. My present boat had both on board when I purchased, plus fans and extension cords to run them. I got rid of all of them, fortunately without spilling the drip bucket thing which will make a huge mess (read The Cat in the Hat to get the basic idea). I was able to sell the (3) heaters on Ebay, so their popularity continues despite being unnecessary in the PNW. In fact, they tend to heat the air above the dew point such that when the air finally contacts a cold surface it can form condensation and mold.

Actually, mold/mildew doesn't need dripping condensation, only a high enough humidity at a certain temperature. The higher the heat (and we're only talking >60F), the less humidity needed. And the higher the heat, the more likely you will have high humidity (condensation) on colder surfaces, like under seat cushions and mattresses. Hence you will likely need a way to lower humidity if a heat source is used. One way to minimize cold spots is to open lockers and raise cushions. That is also effective (maybe more effective) if heat is not used.

A simpler and more effective solution is straight ventilation. Lots of it. Unfortunately, many boats aren't designed for a lot of ventilation in the rain, and in the PNW this is important. If you have covered moorage, most of the problem is solved. If not, you may need to provide additional rain coverage for your various vents. Window screens might be required if vermin is present (ask the marina dock help, not the main office). Probably a bigger consideration is break-ins. So proper ventilation in the PNW does take some effort. But I have found that ventilation is more effective (both cost and mildew) than gadgets. There are no fuses to trip, rendering your anti-mildew system inoperable. Plus, ventilation has never caused a marina fire.
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Old 09-13-2022, 12:14 PM   #11
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My boat winters in Port Orchard.

Granted, in a boathouse, but that has little to do with the ambient air temp.

Always fill the fuel tanks to the top (diesel). Gas is a different animal as it rots when the corn syrup separates - assumes ethanol.

I empty water tanks & water lines to all locations simply by running the water pump until it is dry.

I usually drain out the engine raw water side by pulling the plug in the strainer - this especially needed as I utilize a fresh water flush at season end.

One 90w bulb is on in the engine compartment when below 40 degrees.

As Marco stated, lots of ventilation throughout the boat with a small fan runing 24/7. open lockers and strategic ports to promote good circulation.


These methods have worked flawlessly since 2002.

Good luck
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Old 09-13-2022, 12:42 PM   #12
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I keep my boat in Olympia and I have had gas and diesel over the years. Because of the water temp I no longer do anything except run fans and several of the small air dryers as made by Davis and/or Cafrano. My tri cabin pilot house lay out is a bit chopped up so I need to use more of each than I otherwise would.
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Old 09-13-2022, 02:03 PM   #13
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Only problem I had last winter was the dribble from the dehumidifier into the sink froze up at the thru hull for the sink. Ice berg hanging on exterior, beat that back with a boat hook.
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Old 09-13-2022, 06:43 PM   #14
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Many NW boaters (BC and Wash) boat year round and therefore, do very little to "winterize", and few seem to have (big) problems.
I did not use the boat during the winter, so in the interest of an abundance of caution, I did winterize in the following fashion:
-installed an oil pan heater (150 W) on the main engine. This kept the ER and the engine warm, dry, and rust free.
- all floor hatches, cabin doors, cupboards, etc. were left open.
-cushions and mattresses were raised up and pulled back from the hull.
-ER vents were blocked with foam insulation.
-No exterior vents, windows were open. Boat closed.
-Engine and Gen Set were freshwater flushed and left that way.
-Drained water heater, water tank, and FW system.
-FW antifreeze in exterior deck (saltwater) washdown system, both bow and stern.

-Dehumidifier in galley sink draining overboard
-Dehumidifier in head draining into shower sump checked regularly.

-Small electric heater in both galley and forward (master) cabin set on low (less than 50 F)
-fuel tanks full
This worked well for me. No smells, no mould, dry, slightly warm boat, with warm engine making for an easy start with little "extra" wear on cold start after sitting all winter (good oil flow).
Probably a bit of overkill, but getting rid of mould and smells can be very difficult. Best to prevent!
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Old 09-23-2022, 07:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveK View Post
PNW covers a large area, but the Salish sea covers Puget sound. The sea temp is around 50*F. As long as the boat sits in the water it is heated by 50* water. Why the concern for freezing?
Cuz, it can get damn cold here


I had Wifi temp sensors set up last Winter in Semiahmoo WA (Blaine) in my OA 42. One space heater on low in Master, an oil radiator heater in Salon, and a dehumidifier in the sink. I did nothing in the engine room, relying on the 52 degree water. I was pretty smug watching my boat from home until December 27, when we got down to 8 F. Maybe 20 kt Northeaster. I watched my ER drop to 28 F. Got by with just a destroyed water pump.

This year Iíll stuff insulation into the ER vents. I like the idea of utilizing the hot water heater as well

Cheers
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Old 09-23-2022, 07:31 PM   #16
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Cuz, it can get damn cold here


I had Wifi temp sensors set up last Winter in Semiahmoo WA (Blaine) in my OA 42. One space heater on low in Master, an oil radiator heater in Salon, and a dehumidifier in the sink. I did nothing in the engine room, relying on the 52 degree water. I was pretty smug watching my boat from home until December 27, when we got down to 8 F. Maybe 20 kt Northeaster. I watched my ER drop to 28 F. Got by with just a destroyed water pump.

This year Iíll stuff insulation into the ER vents. I like the idea of utilizing the hot water heater as well

Cheers
What happened to your water pump? Semiahmoo is salt water, so your pump shouldn't have been icy at 28į F.

If you leave your HW tank "on" it will radiate enough heat to keep your engine above freezing. Also if your charger is in the ER and "on" it adds quite a bit too.
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Old 09-23-2022, 07:44 PM   #17
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@mpstan I have temp sensors but none in the ER. I do not remember freezing temps on boat and wonder if your sensor in ER was wind chill reading. Yes I have thought of covering the ER air intakes.
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Old 09-24-2022, 12:47 AM   #18
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What happened to your water pump? Semiahmoo is salt water, so your pump shouldn't have been icy at 28į F.

If you leave your HW tank "on" it will radiate enough heat to keep your engine above freezing. Also if your charger is in the ER and "on" it adds quite a bit too.
My salt water pump was fine. fresh water wasnít.

Not sure about wind chilló my device was near bilge, donít think there was much air movement. 28 is 28; fresh water will break thingsÖ.

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Old 09-24-2022, 06:09 AM   #19
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Do I need the antifreeze for my water system?

What do you PNW boat owners do?
We're not in your area, but you can probably mostly winterize your freshwater system with an air compressor.

Blow out all the water from all the lines -- several times back and forth on each leg -- and then disconnect the pump (strainer, accumulator, if you have that) on both sides and then just bump a 1/2 cup of AF through it.

Our water heater was OK with just emptying (as much as possible). Didn't have to be empty (per manufacturer), and we didn't have to put AF in it.

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Old 09-24-2022, 10:43 AM   #20
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My salt water pump was fine. fresh water wasnít.

Not sure about wind chilló my device was near bilge, donít think there was much air movement. 28 is 28; fresh water will break thingsÖ.

Ahh.
My domestic water pump is within 12" of the hot water tank, so I have never had low temps near it. Maybe yours could move?
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