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Outdoor heater

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With the first semi-cold front of the season coming in tomorrow I was thinking about my boat being all alone in the storage shed. I don't plan on winterizing the boat since I ski all through the winter, but I'd like to keep a lightweight heater of some kind inside the boat under the boat cover during the colder nights if we get any prolonged freezes.

I of course am leary of any gasoline fumes that may build up under there and a heater element of some kind.

What'd be safe?

Oil Heater?

Ceramic Heater?

Forced Convection over Resistive Element?


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I kept a drop light with a rough service bulb in mine last year while it was in a store room.

I bought a thermometer (sp?) that registered highs and lows for the first few cold spells. It never got below 45 degrees in the engine compartment.

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I kept two of these in my last boat which was in a slip year round. During hard freezes I always went down to the dock to check that the power was still on.


Now I use a 60 watt work lite in the engine compartment. If the forcast is for a hard freeze for over a day I go ahead and drain the water out of the engine. I'm always concerned that the bulb could burn out or the power could go off in the storage facility.

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Would an electric blanket sitting on the engine with a timer work? I may get shot down for this one but it seems like it would work Dontknow.gif

This is what I used last year, problem is that the new blankets have auto shut off and you have to manually turn them on. I had a older one that you set to the on position and hook it up to a timer worked like a champ. The one time that it stayed below freezing for a couple of days I drained the block.

Edit: there were a couple of people using farm implement magnetic oil pan heaters and dip stick heaters last year.

Edited by RiverRunner
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I put 2 light bulbs in the engine compartment / under the engine, in case one burns out. Keeps things nice and warm and dry.

Seems like it adds 20 - 30 degrees to the outside temp.


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Me and a friend were recently told about an engine block warmer made by GM that works with our engines. We picked up a couple of them for around $40 each and plan to install them this weekend in at least one of our boats. Will take some pics of the install if I can, and will also report back on how they work as well as how easy the install is.


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The block heater will do a good job of keeping the oil warm but I don't know if it would prevent freezing. It probably would in the block but I would be careful with the manifolds.

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The block heater will do a good job of keeping the oil warm but I don't know if it would prevent freezing.  It probably would in the block but I would be careful with the manifolds.

I was told by a dealership that it would protect everything except for the heater, if a heater is installed. I know some people have warned us against using these, for reasons such as loss of power, but it wouldn't be any different than if you're using an outdoor heater or light bulb to warm the engine compartment - IMO.


Edited by jvianco
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