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How Cold?


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Looking for some opinions on this...

Like much of the country, we are expecting an "Artic Blast" this weekend/ early next week.  I live in Southeast Texas and keep my boat on a lift at my lake house.  I use the boat 12 months a year and do not winterize it, as we rarely get temps that are low enough to do any damage.  Next week looks to a be a bit different and the forecast is getting progressively worse.  We are now down to a forecast low of 24 on Sunday night, a high of 28 on Monday, and a low of 14 on Monday night - cold enough and long enough probably 30+ hours) for me to be concerned.  What the forecast doesn't take into effect, is the 80k acre heat sink sitting 3' below the boat, which was about 55F last weekend.  I usually leave a 400W bilge heater in the engine compartment "just in case" and I realize the risk of a power outage rendering this solution useless.

How does the crew feel about the boat as is right now or, lowered into the water given this forecast?

In anticipation of the "just winterize it - it takes 20 minutes" comments, I have spent about 6 hours (unsuccessfully) on this thing a couple of years ago and this engine was apparently a non standard build and does not have easy winterization access.  While I appreciate that a proper winterization is the "right" solution, it is not a practical one at this time.  I have got some other solutions in mind, but value the opinions of the group.

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So the data logger takes too many readings and I am having trouble finding downloadable temp info from anywhere close.  The attached definitely shows a correlation.  The Ambient Temp is simply plottin

Is it possible that a marina or local boat mechanic could winterize it where it sits.  I'm sure they've seen all the "non-standard options that are out there.  A cracked head or worse is too expensive

Respectfully, after this spell, figure out how to do winterize that thing.  Steve B.

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IIWM, I would simply drain the block and vdrive.  I know that's not the answer you're looking for, but that's what I would do unless I had a garage big enough that was heated.  In which case, I'd simply pull the boat and stuff it in the garage.  

 

 

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If draining or putting it inside isn't an option I would look at the temperature curve. 14 is cold, but if it is a pretty steep v shaped curve you probably have options. Bilge heater, lowering into the water, even taking it for a midnight cruise....

If you are very clever, you could track external vs internal temperature with your heater. Heating 15 degrees in an engine compartment isn't that hard.

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Is it possible that a marina or local boat mechanic could winterize it where it sits.  I'm sure they've seen all the "non-standard options that are out there.  A cracked head or worse is too expensive (not to mention, down time you'll be without her).  That 14 sounds too scary for me to take a chance.

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7 minutes ago, REHinH20 said:

Is it possible that a marina or local boat mechanic could winterize it where it sits.  I'm sure they've seen all the "non-standard options that are out there.  A cracked head or worse is too expensive (not to mention, down time you'll be without her).  That 14 sounds too scary for me to take a chance.

Especially preceded by daytime highs of 28. 

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49 minutes ago, barefootpaul said:

you could track external vs internal temperature with your heater.

I did this a few times.  the lowest I recorded in the engine bay was -9C/+15F.  Engine was fine, BUT there was sun and daytime temps in the high 40's low 50's.  Another time I recorded -4C/25F, but daytime highs were 0C/32F so I put a light bulb in the engine bay and one near the heater.  Not the best, but that was all I could do.  Heat soak from a midnight run will help, as will putting it in the water (there are currently boats moored in my lake at it is -12C!)  If it gets to those lows/highs I would seriously consider paying a mechanic to winterize.  Including the heater/shower/ballast (pumps)

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I have no experience with this problem but I am thinking that if the boat was sitting in 55 degree water the hull below the waterline would be that, 55 degree's.  Heat transfer thru the hull would be slow but would that not be enough to keep the area around the engine from going too far below freezing?

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Michigan boarder

24 degrees, then 28, then 14....no way I would risk it.  Like most have said - pull it out and put it in a garage somewhere, or drain it all.  Do you have a heater?  If so that will certainly freeze.  If not, I'd still be concerned about the block and heads.

Can you spend the day, night and next day at the lake house?  Then you could just lower it down and run it every few hours and that would work well too.

What engine do you have?  

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1 hour ago, Michigan boarder said:

24 degrees, then 28, then 14....no way I would risk it.  Like most have said - pull it out and put it in a garage somewhere, or drain it all.  Do you have a heater?  If so that will certainly freeze.  If not, I'd still be concerned about the block and heads.

Can you spend the day, night and next day at the lake house?  Then you could just lower it down and run it every few hours and that would work well too.

What engine do you have?  

No heater, no shower.  Dropping it in the water and running it every few hours is the most likely solution.  I can’t be there night 1, but can for the dY and the really old night.  I am going to drop a temp recorder in it to try to track the delta in the engine bay vs outside and will report what I find.

Engine is the 6.0L L96.

Appreciate all of the feedback.

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You won't need to run it every few hrs IME.  Those big iron blocks soak up the heat and hold it for a long time.  Do record temps and post back if you can.  Curiouser and curiouser...

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2 hours ago, Surf4FamFun said:

I have no experience with this problem but I am thinking that if the boat was sitting in 55 degree water the hull below the waterline would be that, 55 degree's.  Heat transfer thru the hull would be slow but would that not be enough to keep the area around the engine from going too far below freezing?

Probably _might_  - but therein lies the rub.  A mistake could be rather costly.  Heater cores and showers do not do well in those temps.

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Yes, I have a 400 watt bilge heater in the engine compartment. I bought it new 2 years ago and leave it in when I am not able to be close to the boat for a period of time longer than a week or so (to see any forecast issues. In advance).  I have no idea if it work, as it is supposed to kick on at 40F and it doesn’t get that cold here often.

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1 minute ago, amartin said:

 I have no idea if it work, as it is supposed to kick on at 40F

Good time to test now, eh?  :)  Toss it into the fridge.

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Pl

1 minute ago, amartin said:

Yes, I have a 400 watt bilge heater in the engine compartment. I bought it new 2 years ago and leave it in when I am not able to be close to the boat for a period of time longer than a week or so (to see any forecast issues. In advance).  I have no idea if it work, as it is supposed to kick on at 40F and it doesn’t get that cold here often.

plug that in for sure.

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Do you have any way to monitor remotely the temperature in the engine bay?

Smoker, grill temperature probes with wifi?

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Just now, dlb said:

Do you have any way to monitor remotely the temperature in the engine bay?

Smoker, grill temperature probes with wifi?

Good suggestion!  I used my Wirelesstags system to do that when the boat was at my place.

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The heater is plugged in now and if we were talking about one night at 25F, I wouldn’t be worried.  The 30 hrs and low of 14  are what bother me.

I considered remote monitoring, but I don’t think that my WiFi will reach down to the dock with much reliability.

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4 minutes ago, amartin said:

The heater is plugged in now and if we were talking about one night at 25F, I wouldn’t be worried.  The 30 hrs and low of 14  are what bother me.

I considered remote monitoring, but I don’t think that my WiFi will reach down to the dock with much reliability.

The remote units do not depend on your house wifi.

If you have positive heat going into you engine bay from a plug you should be able to retain heat in that closed space for more than a day.... If the block is warm and the air temperature in the enclosure doesn’t drop below freezing for a long duration physics, and the mass of the engine block, are in your favor.

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22 minutes ago, dlb said:

The remote units do not depend on your house wifi.

I assume that this means there is only “local” monitoring then.  I was looking for something that I could see temps from 70 miles away.

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5 minutes ago, amartin said:

I assume that this means there is only “local” monitoring then.  I was looking for something that I could see temps from 70 miles away.

Then get one that uses WIFI.  My Wirelesstags stuff uses the Cloud.  So does my BBQ system (iCelcius).  I monitor my smoker while I am out on the lake.  Kinda cool.  :)

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