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Old 09-16-2021, 04:45 PM   #1
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How much and how?

This will be my first year winterizing my trawler. How much coolant is used I need to buy some while I can. I have to do a single engine, genset, fresh water system, A/C, toilet and holding tank? What is the best method for winterizing the A/C I have never done it. Any other tips and pointers welcome.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:19 PM   #2
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It will depend on if you drain the engine of sea water before winterizing or not. We used about 40 gallons of -200 but we donít drain the engines first so the antifreeze gets diluted more. I have a 5 gallon bucket that I installed a hose bib on the side at the bottom. Trek Engineering make an adapter that temporarily replaces the top of the Groco strainer. Put the adapter on the strainer and hook a short garden hose from the bucket to the adapter. Set the bucket well above the strainer. Close the through hull and open the hose bib. I would run the A/C pump until antifreeze comes out the side of the boat. Check the antifreeze with a reflectometer to make sure the protection is down to what you want.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:30 PM   #3
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5 -7 engine
2-gen
2-ac
10 -water system
3 - head

I usually get by with 20 Gal. Total. I drain the hot water tank after winterization and use it for the bilge.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:42 PM   #4
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I put the water heater in bypass so antifreeze doesnít get in it. It is hard to get all the antifreeze flushed out in the spring. I put it in bypass and then drain it.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:43 PM   #5
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With 2 engines, a generator, 3 A/Cs, the water system, heads, and anchor washdown I generally go through 35 gallons, which leaves 1 left for the bilge after haulout. So every year it's off to West Marine for 6 cases of the stuff.
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:03 PM   #6
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Or do what I am doing this year, heated winter storage.
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:24 AM   #7
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You MUST use drinkable antifreeze for any pipes that will hold drinking water.

Your marina will have it usually under $5.00 per gal A big box store or RV store will be cheaper.

The usual green stuff is poisonous to man and beast , so only goes in machinery , like engines or in toilets.

The HW heater is simply drained , the pipes inside are green AF from the engine.

The RV store will have a bypass set ( under $20.00) so you can hook the FW heater input to the output and just run the sink and shower till the pink pores out. Don't forget the sink hand sprayer if installed.

Keep a list of valves that need a position change in the spring.
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Unclematt View Post
This will be my first year winterizing my trawler. How much coolant is used I need to buy some while I can. I have to do a single engine, genset, fresh water system, A/C, toilet and holding tank? What is the best method for winterizing the A/C I have never done it. Any other tips and pointers welcome.

You can probably do the fresh water system with a pint of AF.

First, drain the water tank and the water heater. We were always able to get enough out so even if it froze, it wouldn't matter. (Your water heater manual may address the issue.)

Then blow out the whole piping system with an air compressor, opening one tap at a time -- back and forth a few times -- to get water out. Faucets, showers, etc.

Finish by disconnecting the input and output from your fresh water pump... and then "bump" a short shot (the pint, or less) of AF through the strainer, pump, and accumulator tank if you have one. (Flush that first, in the Spring, and you won't have to worry about AF in the rest of the system.)

I made a few permanent hose/fitting combos for doing all this, useful for subsequent years. First was just a hose from compressor to city water inlet... for the main blow out. Second was a quick-connect from transfer pump to our fresh water strainer.

-Chris
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:47 AM   #9
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I did my single engine 40 Albin with 6 gallons for 14 New Englend winters.
I did not have AC.
I used the pink -34 stuff.
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Old 09-17-2021, 07:41 AM   #10
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Trek Engineering make an adapter that temporarily replaces the top of the Groco strainer.

Trac Ecological Flushing Cap.

And Groco also makes their own SSC/SSCV service (flushing) adapter.

-Chris
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:56 AM   #11
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I use about 28 gallons. Bypass water heater, totally drain fresh water tanks. 5 for each main engine, 3 for generator, 4 for the 3 AC's (they share a pump) and the rest for fresh and raw water systems and Heads. Make sure to run the AF through until it comes out pure. I also use the 5 gallon bucket with a spigot. Works really great.


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Old 09-17-2021, 09:02 AM   #12
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For winterizing the mains, quantity of antifreeze will vary quite a bit between boats. Different size heat exchangers, exhaust systems, mufflers, etc. will have a big impact. With big 2 stage water lift mufflers, my engines typically start to show antifreeze at the exhaust ports after about 7 gallons. I give them 8 - 9 gallons each to ensure there's sufficient concentration in the mufflers (gas engines in my case, so start fogging oil when I get to gallon 9, so they get somewhere between 8 and 9 gallons).
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:02 AM   #13
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I did my single engine 40 Albin with 6 gallons for 14 New Englend winters.
I did not have AC.
I used the pink -34 stuff.
I should further explain that the 6 gallons was a TOTAL for the boat.

Engine, genny, washdown, and domestic water system.
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:15 AM   #14
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You can probably do the fresh water system with a pint of AF.

First, drain the water tank and the water heater. We were always able to get enough out so even if it froze, it wouldn't matter. (Your water heater manual may address the issue.)

Then blow out the whole piping system with an air compressor, opening one tap at a time -- back and forth a few times -- to get water out. Faucets, showers, etc.

Finish by disconnecting the input and output from your fresh water pump... and then "bump" a short shot (the pint, or less) of AF through the strainer, pump, and accumulator tank if you have one. (Flush that first, in the Spring, and you won't have to worry about AF in the rest of the system.)

I made a few permanent hose/fitting combos for doing all this, useful for subsequent years. First was just a hose from compressor to city water inlet... for the main blow out. Second was a quick-connect from transfer pump to our fresh water strainer.

-Chris
+1. The idea that a water heater or fresh water tank needs anti-freeze is ridiculous. Think about an ice cube tray. You fill it with water, put it in the freezer and, like magic, ice cubes result without the tray being fractured. Yup, the ice expanded upward, not outward. What Chris recommended will work every time.
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:20 AM   #15
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I should further explain that the 6 gallons was a TOTAL for the boat.
That's close to my experience, with over forty years of New England winters. I use a bit more because I have two mains, but once the exhaust comes out pink, I'm done. Maybe 3 gallons each engine, tops. The block is already protected by antifreeze; it's just the heat exchanger and hoses you're adding the pink stuff to. Once on the hard, with the seacocks open, a lot of seawater is already drained.

As already mentioned, you don't want to fill the water tank or water heater with antifreeze. A water heater bypass is a simple upgrade you'll be glad you did.

I disconnect the fitting on the outlet of the potable water tank, and stick the hose right into a jug of pink stuff. I don't trust blowing out the lines with air, because I always end up with a spot where the water collects. But if you're confident you can get it all, that will avoid a lot of flushing in the spring as well as save some antifreeze.
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:40 AM   #16
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Our boat is similar in layout to the OP's. For the single engine ,I drain the seacock and strainer and run 3-4 gallons -50 pink through the system via the fresh water engine flush fitting. Right before the last bit of antifreese is sucked through, I rev the engine to help blast out any water in the muffler.
The AC , I drain the strainer and blow back ,with my mouth, through the seacock until I hear bubbles and then close it. I maybe put a half gallon through the pump, lines and unit.
Anchor and cockpit washdown pumps and valves, again, drain strainers and blow back through the seacocks. I'll let the pumps push through maybe a quart of AF each.
The domestic freshwater system tank gets drained & the water heater bypassed and then drained. I push through ,with the water pump,about 1 1/2 gallons of pink starting at the cockpit shower, then head sink hot and cold, shower hot & cold, head freshwater flush supply and lastly galley hot and cold. I dump a gallon or so into the already emptied internal head holding tank and then suck it out and overboard with the maserator pump, draining the seacock when closed.
I dump enough AF into the shower drain for the automatic switch to cycle.
I don't have a windshield wash system but it would be purged with pink if I did.
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:47 AM   #17
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You can probably do the fresh water system with a pint of AF.

First, drain the water tank and the water heater. We were always able to get enough out so even if it froze, it wouldn't matter. (Your water heater manual may address the issue.)

Then blow out the whole piping system with an air compressor, opening one tap at a time -- back and forth a few times -- to get water out. Faucets, showers, etc.

Finish by disconnecting the input and output from your fresh water pump... and then "bump" a short shot (the pint, or less) of AF through the strainer, pump, and accumulator tank if you have one. (Flush that first, in the Spring, and you won't have to worry about AF in the rest of the system.)

I made a few permanent hose/fitting combos for doing all this, useful for subsequent years. First was just a hose from compressor to city water inlet... for the main blow out. Second was a quick-connect from transfer pump to our fresh water strainer.

-Chris




I really prefer blowing out the water system rather than filling it with pink antifreeze. A simple air hose adapter, turn down the pressure at the compressor, and go around the boat operating valves one at a time until you no longer get any water out. No cost other than time, no flushing or bad taste in the spring when you recommission the water system, no bypassing hot water tanks, no pump. It just assumes you have or get a compressor.


Then the only place you need antifreeze is in the drain traps and for any residual in your black water tank.
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Old 09-19-2021, 08:13 AM   #18
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I always antifreeze the fresh water system as I don't trust that I'll actually get all of the water out of any low spots in the plumbing, etc. In the spring I just run a few hundred gallons through the lines and that takes care of the smell and taste. Just don't blow out the lines after using antifreeze, as dried antifreeze residue will be harder to get rid of.
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Old 09-19-2021, 03:26 PM   #19
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We boated all winter so didn't want to winterize the engines. I did the same thing Twisted Tree did on Tanglewood. Once you pressurize the water system (after draining the fresh water tank) just go around to one faucet at a time and open it to let it blow out.

When all you are getting is a tiny bit of moisture you're done with that faucet and on to the next.

We kept a half dozen small 110V heaters in the cabin and the engine room to make sure everything stayed at 40* or higher. Worked for us for 20+ years.
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Old 09-20-2021, 06:25 AM   #20
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"Just don't blow out the lines after using antifreeze, as dried antifreeze residue will be harder to get rid of."

This is very important , keep the pink liquid in the lines . Otherwise when the pink evaporates it leaves deposits that take a long time to dissolve and clear.
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