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mid-ship ballast winterization


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I have an 08 vRide with the mid-ship center ballast tank. How do you all winterize that tank and lines? It has an intake on the bottom of the boat and the drain is on the starboard side in front of the dash.

Thought about using a fake-a-lake with RV antifreeze on the intake and just emptying the tank until I see anti-freeze coming out so the both lines would have some in it.

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Most people don't winterize it, or at least I don't hear much talk about it. I never have, nor has anyone I have ever known. The reason for winterization is to prevent rupture due to freezing in enclosed places. My thought is that the mid-ship tank (and bow for that matter) are ABS plastic and only have maybe 1 gallon of water when "empty" and the lines should be relatively empty. If the water in tank freezes, so what. If there is any water in the valley of the lines, it is RUBBER and certainly will have room to expand up the hose IF it did freeze.

Hope this helps and just my $.02/worth,

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I have my MLS system winterized every winter. I'm not sure if it really NEEDS to be done, but I'm pretty sure some water gets left behind in the pumps that will end up freezing. I'm not worried about water freezing in the lines or in the tanks, it's the pumps that I'm worried about. The place that winterizes my boat just does exactly what Tedro implied. They use a fake-a-lake and feed antifreeze into it and connect it to where the ballast pump sucks in from the bottom. Then once you suck in a couple gallons to the tank, empty it out. That way you know that antifreeze was run through both the fill and drain pumps and won't have to worry about any freeze damage.

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It is very simple to do with a fake a lake and a 5 gallon container (westmarine.com has a winterizing kit which is a 5 gallon jug with a hose that I used). For the peace of mind to have at least some protection below 32F it was worth the 30 minutes for my 4 tanks, pumps, and lines. Do run some into and out of the tank so you know you ran the protectant through the entire system. Try to get "environmentall friendly" antifreeze or RV - Potabale Water System protectant. Neither is necessarily "good" for the environment but not as bad as regular antifreeze. The RV stuff will slush up but not freeze solid until like 50 below. To me it is best for the ballast tanks considering RV owners use it in their potable water systems. Also, if you are in the camp of putting antifreeze in your engine vs draining the water, don't use the RV stuff in your engine.

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Thats what I 'm gonna do. I was worried about the pumps and the small elbow at the bottom of the tank because it is a constriction and looks like it could freeze in that elbow and fracture there.

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