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Suggestions to keep boat warm overnight


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There are four plugs you need to unscrew to drain the engine in your boat. Honestly I wouldn’t spend money on a heater since it takes so little time and is so easy to drain the raw water cooling system on the new Malibu engines. 
 

Review this thread:

Link to manual for reference as well:

https://www.themalibucrew.com/_files/malibu/malibu_2020_manual.pdf

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is the boat still on the water? are you using it during the period when it is freezing at night?  if not, then you really need to drain the water from the motor.  heaters are fine, but they can fail and breakers can flip and stuff happens. 

pull the plugs and drain the water. from the shower and heater also if you have those.  it is a 10 minute job.

there is great peace of mind knowing that the boat is safe from freez9ng weather when it is stored. 

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9 minutes ago, kylesullens said:

is the boat still on the water? are you using it during the period when it is freezing at night?  if not, then you really need to drain the water from the motor.  heaters are fine, but they can fail and breakers can flip and stuff happens. 

pull the plugs and drain the water. from the shower and heater also if you have those.  it is a 10 minute job.

there is great peace of mind knowing that the boat is safe from freez9ng weather when it is stored. 

Heater is part of the closed cooling loop on the Malibu engines. Not 100% sure on the shower but I think it’s on the raw water side so good call on that if the OP has one. 

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How low and for how long is the cold?  If the boat is on the water (moored) it won't freeze unless the lake does.  And if it is run, then heat soak will keep it warm overnight.  As pointed out though, shower and heater could be an issue.  Is the heater raw water or part of the half-closed cooling?

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I use a 100w incandescent bulb in the motorbox and next to heater. I have a remote temp gauge that keeps track of the temp.

id be worried about just draining as there is always a small amount of residual water that remains.

Edited by braindamage
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14 minutes ago, braindamage said:

I use a 100w incandescent bulb in the motorbox and next to heater. I have a remote temp gauge that keeps track of the temp.

id be worried about just draining as there is always a small amount of residual water that remains.

I used to just drain our TXi over the winter. If there is a small amount of water left that is perfectly OK as it has room to expand when it freezes. Things only crack if the water has no where to expand as it freezes.

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33 minutes ago, braindamage said:

I use a 100w incandescent bulb in the motorbox and next to heater. I have a remote temp gauge that keeps track of the temp.

I had to do the same a couple years back with an extreme early cold snap.  The remote temp  - hopefully it alerts you? - is a great idea.

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33 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

I used to just drain our TXi over the winter. If there is a small amount of water left that is perfectly OK as it has room to expand when it freezes. Things only crack if the water has no where to expand as it freezes.

You didn’t put in any anti-freeze?

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definitely pull the plugs..  Anybody who pays a dealer to winterize one of these new engines is just plain lazy.  If you don't want to pull the impellor then suck a gallon of pink stuff in the flush and you are good.

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30 minutes ago, pauley71 said:

definitely pull the plugs..  Anybody who pays a dealer to winterize one of these new engines is just plain lazy.  If you don't want to pull the impellor then suck a gallon of pink stuff in the flush and you are good.

AGREE that people should learn to maintain their own boat!  And learn how to change the impeller.  At some point, you will burn up an impeller.   It can either be a 20 minute delay in your weekend, or it can be the end of your weekend.  

I hear the excuse "I don't have time".  But you have time to haul the boat to the dealer, then time to go back and get it (twice, if you have the boat "un-winterized").  I bet you can pull the plugs and blow the hoses out in the same amount of time you stand at the dealer's counter waiting to hand over money.

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1 hour ago, pauley71 said:

Anybody who pays a dealer to winterize one of these new engines is just plain lazy.

Or risk averse.  If you winterize it yourself and the block freezes, your insurer will most certainly not pay.  Tre story:  a buddy of mine - trained HD mechanic winterized his Mercruiser  the first year he got the boat. It turned out that the instructions from Mercury were wrong and there was a hidden plug that caused a cracked block.  Insurance would not pay but he went after Merc and they paid for a new engine.

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Bingo, insurance is a big reason.

In my boat insurance it stated that a cracked block would only be covered if the boat was winterized by a shop/marina along with an invoice showing the work completed, and not by the individual. 

 

That being said, Since it can get to below freezing where i am in August, I would do the quick winterize after using it any time in aug/sept by draining the block, heater hose, manifold etc in under 5 mins.

When it came time to put it away for winter I would spring for the full shop winterize just for the added peace of mind, who knows what can happen when the temp hits -40 in the middle of winter. 

Edited by asp13
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Insurance but also the "dealer insurance".  If my dealer doesn't winterize properly, I'd hope that I'd be at the top of the service list when they installed the new block.  

 

 

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don't forget to take a coat hanger and run it around the drain holes after you pull them--last year i barely got any water out of the port exhaust drain hole, but when i stuck the coat hanger in there a bunch more came out along with some of the buildup that was blocking it.

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6 minutes ago, jtryon said:

don't forget to take a coat hanger and run it around the drain holes after you pull them--last year i barely got any water out of the port exhaust drain hole, but when i stuck the coat hanger in there a bunch more came out along with some of the buildup that was blocking it.

Example of why just pulling the plugs may not do it all.

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On 9/23/2020 at 3:42 AM, ahopkinsVTX said:

Heater is part of the closed cooling loop on the Malibu engines. Not 100% sure on the shower but I think it’s on the raw water side so good call on that if the OP has one. 

Shower is raw water, it just grabs warm water off the exhaust riser and that is the water that comes out the hose. There is no "heater core", just lines.

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I also take a shop vac to my block and manifolds both vacuuming and then blowing air through. I will get about another quart of water out when vacuuming.  I have always left the block dry during lay-up.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I gather the original question was,  how to continue using the boat while it's still out at night time when the temperature can dip below freezing.   It's not freezing during the day, can still go out in the sun and enjoy it, surf in a wetsuit, however over night it's dipping below freezing

The lake is definitely not going to freeze, however the boat sitting in the water may have lines (heater for example?) that could potentially freeze if it gets cold enough overnight?     These engine compartment heaters could just keep the boat warmer in the evening?    Or am I way off?      

Marina told me to get it out of the water sooner than later for this reason, but the lake is still 65 degrees F, and coming "close" to freezing over night sometimes.  Mine happens to sit in the water at a dock without a lift so it's almost insulated with warm temperature compared to the outside air.

 

 

Edited by hsmalibu
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What are the temps?  day/night.  It has to go a fair bit below freezing to  even worry about the heater; the block is fine.  If it is run during the day, engine heat soak will keep it warm enough through the night.  The lowest I recorded on mine with no issues is -9C.

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