Will my engine/water lines freeze?

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Roy23, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Roy23
    Joined: Jan 2010
    Posts: 14
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    Location: Orange Park,Florida

    Roy23 Junior Member

    We don't have to worry about this very often in Northeast Florida. It is unusual to get much below 30 degrees and then only for a few hours overnight. For the next 4 nights we will have freezing temps for 10-12 hours a day down to a low of 20-22. In the past years I have installed a light fixture with a 100 watt bulb in the engine compartment and ran a 60 watt lamp in the cabin. Will this keep my lines and engine from freezing? Oh, and I keep the boat on the trailer backed into a covered storage site (open sides). Do I need to do more and if so , what? Please hurry, as it should be below freezing by 10 pm. Thanks, Roy. 1978 Trojan F26.
     
  2. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    20 - 22 F is cold compared to what you're accustomed to.

    Can you drain the fluids? Perhaps they already contain anti-freeze, they

    should just from an anti-corrosion anti-boiling stand point.

    It also depends a lot on how windy and exposed all this is.

    That's the best advice I can offer.

    -Tom
     
  3. Red Tide
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: MA

    Red Tide Junior Member

    Is your engine closed cooling (antifreeze through the block with heat exchanger) or raw water? If raw is going through the block or mainfolds, I'd have better peace of mind and sleep better spending the 15 minutes to open the shuttle cock valve(s) and drain them. I hate the game of guessing how long it will take the mass to cool down and worrying if I hear a cold wind blowing at night...
     
  4. Easy Rider
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: NW Washington State USA

    Easy Rider Senior Member

    Too bad it's not in the water, especially your Florida water. If its an inboard open the sea water inlet valve and unhook all the hoses in the sea water system that would trap sea water, however sea water will not freeze untill it gets down to 28.25 degrees. Blow the bilges if it's gas and place a fan heater (like the secretaries use in the office).... 500 to 750 watt preferably in the engine compartment. Get 130 watt air circulation dryer type heaters for the head. If it's outboard put the lower unit down. I kept my boat operational all last winter w similar attention down to 5 degrees. Doesn't get very cold here in SE Alaska. Sure would be nice to know what kind of boat you have. Take this and call me in the morning.

    Easy Rider
     
  5. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    And yes, a 100 watt bulb does a lot. Relax.
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Tonight we might actually get down to freezing for an hour or two. I'm considerably south of you and we rarely get a hard freeze. We had one last year, the first in a long time. If you expect freezing temperatures for more then 6 hours, then drain your cooling system. If not, you'll very probably be safe. A 100 watt bulb can save the day pretty easily, especially if you can close the lid on an engine compartment, with it inside.
     
  7. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Yes, I made an assumption of a closed engine bay. Even if it's not freezing, the 100 watt bulb when you're not using the boat will keep things spiffy.
     
  8. edjunior
    Joined: Feb 2008
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    Location: Texas

    edjunior Senior Member

    I live in SE Texas (just north of Houston), and same here with freezing temps...not very often, and not for long. However, the end of this week we are expecting below freezing for as many as 4 to 5 days. Even with the rare freezes, I still drain the water out of mine. It took me about 15 minutes to finagle my way around the exhaust and reach the petcocks (one on each side) and pull off the manifold plugs (one front and one rear on each side). Now I have peace of mind and don't have to worry about sticking a light in there!
     
  9. Roy23
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Orange Park,Florida

    Roy23 Junior Member

    Good point, Easyrider, if it were in the water I don't think I'd worry, being cradled by 50 degree heat. Mark and Par, I think you are right, a 100 watt bulb should do the trick. I went to the boat at 9 pm tonight and having had the lights on all day, opened the hatch and the engine compartment felt noticeably warmer than the outside air. The cabin, with it's 40 watt bulb felt much warmer than the outside air too. But being the worrier I am though, Edjunior, I put a small thermostat controlled forced air tipover/cutoff equipped space heater on the formica counter. Now , I am relatively certain it will be alright, as long as it doesn't burn down!!!
     
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Geezzz, Roy, your as anal as my proctologist, but you should be okay . . .
     
  11. Roy23
    Joined: Jan 2010
    Posts: 14
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    Location: Orange Park,Florida

    Roy23 Junior Member

    That's why they call it anal-gesics
     
    1 person likes this.

  12. hampton
    Joined: Jan 2014
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    Location: Houston

    hampton New Member

    Setting in the water works

    I know this may not be an option for everyone, but I wanted to post a definitive answer since I searched posts before the drop in temps but couldn't find one for my situation.

    So now the two day freeze is over. I'm just north of Houston and temps got down to the low 20's overnight for two nights in a row. It was below freezing for about 12 hours each night. All I did was put my Malibu Response (inboard) in the water instead of hoisted up on the lift. I checked it a few days later and the boat ran perfectly.

    Some neighbors put drop lights in their engine compartments. I assume that worked. I was worried about fumes blowing up so I went the set down in water route.

    Also, someone who lives in the area said he recorded temperatures as low as 16 degrees one night. I can't verify that. I know it was low 20's though. I hope this helps someone!
     
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