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Ballast Winterization


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Hey crew,


I just wanted to check and see what everyone does for winterization of ballast tanks.  In the past, I have simply used a fake a lake connected to a pump in a bucket of antifreeze, and I simply switch on the fill pump while pumping antifreeze into the fake a lake.  I typically tried for a gallon or so, but really just enough that when I hit the drain pump I would get some antifreeze coming out.

With my new boat having more tanks, and with the factor of often the boat isn't level when I am doing this, often it would require a lot of antifreeze just to get enough in that the drain pump could actually push some out.  This makes me wonder, is it really necessary to fill to the point where I can drain some?  I certainly think it's preferred, but I am worried that I am going to need a TON of antifreeze potentially just to get enough to drain all of the tanks.  I am wondering if it's sufficient to simply pump a couple gallons into each tank and leave it at that.

What do you all do?


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Wow!  Never even thought of this being new to having a boat with ballasts.  I typed into the old interwebs and found another thread on here with lots of good info:  


I think I'll just do the old hill method and call it good.  For extra security is extreme cold weather climates the antifreeze method seems to be a good way to go but you are on the right track.  It really shouldn't take much to do the job, maybe 1/2 gallon in each ballast.  Good luck!


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I drain them the best I can the last time out, then remove the plug n play bags and call it a day. Even if there is five gallons of water left in each there will be plenty of room to expand. The only thing that causes engine blocks or whatever to crack when the water freezes is having no where to expand. If it has room to explains, yes it will freeze but will not do damage. I mainly remove the bags because I just feel it’s better to get them out and have less areas for moisture to get trapped. 

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Same as @ahopkinsVTX...I take the PNP bags out and put them in the basement to air out over the winter.  Run the drains on the pump a few times on the trailer to get out as much as possible and call it good.

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