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Bilge/ Block Heater

old skool malibu

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While I would really like to install one of these http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=75694&pdesc=Xtreme_300_Marine_Engine_Compartment_Heaters&str=bilge+heater&merchID=4005

I dont have the money right now. We have some freezing temps forecast for this weekend and the boat wont be going into the shop to get wintereized for a week. What do you think about putting one of these on my block overnight? Or any better suggestions


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I'd just put a shop light in the engine compartment at night. Light bulbs will keep it plenty warm, their just not reliable over the long term.

I have the Boatsafe Jr 250 watt heater in my Vride. It's a bit bigger than the Xtreme, but cost less.

Going on the 3rd winter now & it's been great. I can have the engine, heater & shower drained, plug in the heater & on-board battery charger & have the boat parked & covered in 10 or 15 min.


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Bill - I'm just curious...you say you drain everything but still plug in the heater. Is that just for precaution? I've never drained my own, but want to stretch my season this year.

I installed a pair of Prestone Flush kit T fittings in the heater lines down in the bilge. I pull the caps & the heater drains in seconds.


There is a How-to in the Resource/DIY section of this site on how to install the quick release garden hose fittings. Same idea. I've just been doing it this way, successfully, for years now.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky
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How about a small radiator style home heater in the locker overnight - probably work better than the bulb?

I believe that the bilge heaters made by Boatsafe & Xtreme are made to not spark at all, making them safe in a confined space that might possibly have gas fumes in it. A ceramic heater, or even a bulb when it breaks, could possibly ignite those fumes. Maybe the oil filled heaters would be safest?


Edited by Bill_AirJunky
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I have the xtreme heater and really like it. It has a built in thermostat so it isn't on all the time. Now I am in a climate that doesn't get to cold and not below freezing for long time but it saves me the winterization and I do use the boat a few times a month in the winter so it really is useful. I still drain the drivers heater since it gets no heat from the bilge.


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