Toms Tips About Freezing
By Tom Neale, 3/3/2011
1. Some try to keep their boat heated during the winter, but this is very risky, both as to adequate heat and too much heat.
2. Too much heat comes when the heat source or its electrical supply ignites and burns the boat down. We’ve even seen well designed good quality electric space heaters melt down when turned off yet still plugged in.
3. High quality and properly installed diesel furnaces are common in some northern boats and used regularly by people cruising in cold latitudes, but even these should not be left unattended.
4. Too little heat comes when the shore power goes off in that blizzard. It also comes from the fact that often water lines and other freeze prone components are behind liners and the heat from the heat source doesn’t do an adequate job back there. On most boats, there is little or probably no insulation to protect that space behind the liner from the cold outside the hull.
5. Unfortunately, usually it’s best to grit your teeth, do the work, and carefully drain and/or use the right kind of antifreeze for peace of mind during the winter and peace of mind in the spring when you want to get back out on the water with a minimum of hassle.
6. If you have a yard do winterizing work, follow it closely. Sometimes rushed or careless workers, hidden down in an engine room, don’t do an adequate job of winterizing.
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