Staying in the water during winter

Discussion in 'Winterizing' started by topnote, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. topnote

    topnote New Member

    Dec 21, 2012
    Ive noticed at Portsmouth Navy Marina that there are several 35' plus power and sail boats that have stayed in their slips thru the winter. They are seriously tied down but I didnt think this was possible.

    Anyone with experience doing this who can talk about how and why they choose this option?
  2. hottoddie

    hottoddie Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Boston/Cape Cod
    1986 Sea Ray 390 EC
    Garmin 4212 Chartplotter
    Garmin 24 HD Radar
    Garmin 546s Plotter
    454 Crusaders
    If the dock system is on pilings then "ice eaters" are usually positioned around the dock system to prevent ice from lifting the pilings out of the mud during tidal changes. The boats that are in the marina are therefore protected from the ice by those ice eaters. At our yacht club the docks system has 110 boats during the summer and about 25 boats stay in the water all winter. We have 100 ice eaters around the dock system and they protect both the docks and the boats. When it gets cold and all 100 ice eaters are running it costs $200 a day to run them. Even if there were no boats in the water during the winter we would still have to run the same number of ice eaters. The winter slip fees help offset the costs.
  3. Xplicitlnck

    Xplicitlnck New Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    Long island ny
    Twin 7.4 straight drive
    I stay in year round. 5 years running incident free except for one bent canvas pole last week (didn't put the 2x4 s up to support the snow) I have my own ice eater and keep everything heated. Love the winter runs on nice days
  4. Billfletcher

    Billfletcher New Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    2014, 44, EC.
    2 X 370HP Volvo D6, DPH Duo Prop's
    Just curios, if you can't use your boat during the winter, why not pull it out of the salt water from a corrosion standpoint? I would also think the weather, wind, and sun as well are taking a toll? Is it wrapped while in the water?
  5. Air O'Nautical

    Air O'Nautical Active Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Stamford CT "Ponus Yacht Club"
    1995 400EC. Raymarine E80,4kw dome, Garmin 235 gps,
    2013 7.4L Mercruiser Blue water.
    Hurth straight shaft 630's,
    Westerbeke 7.0 BCG
    My boat is happier in the water.

    I live where it's often too cold in the early spring to do a proper bottom job.
    Painting and other bottom work is best done in early summer when the boat yard is empty and time is on my side.
    If it's cold and/or raining .... I'll come back another day and do it right.

    Also, I've witnessed many boats blocked improperly in the yard....I'll tell ya...most yard rats don't care if your blocks are correctly supporting your hull or not...even if they know the difference..they don't care..!

    I choose to float year round until hauling is necessary for regular maintance.
    For me that's best every other year.

    IMHO, hauling every year for storage is unnecessary but, do give the boat yards work.
  6. Air O'Nautical

    Air O'Nautical Active Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Stamford CT "Ponus Yacht Club"
    1995 400EC. Raymarine E80,4kw dome, Garmin 235 gps,
    2013 7.4L Mercruiser Blue water.
    Hurth straight shaft 630's,
    Westerbeke 7.0 BCG
    Ive not had any extra corrosion from staying in..proper materials, coatings and bonding solve this from being a problem.
  7. Xplicitlnck

    Xplicitlnck New Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    Long island ny
    Twin 7.4 straight drive
    No extra corrosion here either. I have old isenglass I put up so that solves that issue and I get to use her. Go for a ride once or twice a month to stretch her legs a bit. Keeps everything running good
  8. Dancin Dave

    Dancin Dave Active Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rowayton, Ct
    580 SSS 1997
    CAT 3408 800 hp
    Fyi, my buddy keeps his boat in the water also "ready to use", however someone unplugged his boat at the marina and at this point froze his oil cooler and has water in his trani.

    Be careful and vigilant.
  9. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island. N.Y.
    2005 500DB
    Furuno Tztouch2 12” MFD x2
    Furuno NXT radar
    Furuno Navpilot
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    This is a good example why you need an Alarm system to notify you of situations such as shore power loss. High bilge water etc.
  10. Billfletcher

    Billfletcher New Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    2014, 44, EC.
    2 X 370HP Volvo D6, DPH Duo Prop's
    Copy that. I was just curious. Whatever works.
  11. dwna1a

    dwna1a Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Apr 23, 2012
    James River
    88 Weekender 300 "Seahorse"
    Twins 350
    Mine stays in the slip year round. Just before the winter I pull her and clean the bottom, check the zinc, and paint if needed. I've got a circulating pump under her swim platform, a small cabin heater, and a new bilge heater. But she still gets winterized just encase we do lose power.

    The biggest mistake I see with boaters that stay in the water is that they forget to come down and check their boat. That seems to be a must if you plan to stay.
  12. HomePort

    HomePort New Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    Rock Hall, MD
    2015 Prestige 550 Fly
    Cummins QSC 8.3 / 2x600CV + Zeus
    There are some who say that a boat was meant to float rather than sit on blocks or chocks. I'm not an engineer, but it seems to me that if a boat, especially a large one, is not positioned properly on blocks or chocks, it could cause structural problems.

    Yes? No? Maybe so?

    Can any engineers - or just folks with more knowledge than I - speak to this?

    - Michael
  13. boatman37

    boatman37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    2006 Crownline 250CR. 5.7 Merc BIII
    Previous: 1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer. 260 Merc Alpha 1 Gen 1
    5.7 Merc BIII
    well i'm sort of an engineer.....a systems security engineer....does that count?:huh:

    but i would tend to agree with you on that. i may be wrong though
  14. sdiddy

    sdiddy New Member

    Jul 7, 2016
    stupid question im sure: Do you need to winterize if you live in los angeles???
  15. BurgundyS24

    BurgundyS24 Member

    Oct 5, 2014
    Napa, CA
    Sea Ray S24. full delta enclosure. Towed by 2007 Chevy 3500 duramax/allison combo.
    350 with closed fresh water cooling
    No. I don't winterize and I'm in Napa.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  16. Buckeye Boater

    Buckeye Boater Member

    Jun 19, 2007
    Wooster, OH
    215 Weekender 2006
    Merc 5.0 MPI 260 HP
    It's July 23rd - why are we talking about winterizing???
    Handsome Transom likes this.
  17. topnote

    topnote New Member

    Dec 21, 2012
    Well now its September and the season is 60 days from being over in New England.

    So...if you leave your boat in the water, have a bilge heater with alarm and a cabin heater, and there is enough tide current to keep ice from forming, do you remove/winterize impellers in genny and engines and batteries, or...since you keep it all warm, leav'em in and run the equipment once in a while?

    im in Portsmouth New Hampshire and Im told the water stays warm enough to keep the hull and interior from freezing by those who winter in the water. Avg water temps are 35 degrees in Feb and 37 degrees in March.

    Also have serious tidal currents. One thing for sure, the water is warmer than air here in the winter, but still seems close to freezing.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  18. Book'em Danno

    Book'em Danno Member

    Jul 13, 2015
    '99 SeaRay Sundancer 340, V-Drive, Garmin4208 Color Plotter Radar- Garmin 24HD color w/ GPS Overlay,
    Twin Mercruisers Horizons 7.4L Inboards
    I live in Maryland and last year I decided to leave it in the water. Pretty ballsy for my first boat but the marina said they were meant for the water, nothing grows when the water gets below 50 degrees and they have ice-eaters. I still winterized my systems as learned on this forum and bought a bilge heater (coast guard approved) to be safe, took canvass off and had it shrink wrapped. I checked it once a week just for my own sanity. This year, hands down staying in the water. I'll take her out in late spring for the usual zinc change, bottom paint and waxing. Save me the high prices of dry docking and use it for beer and gas instead. This year I may invest in one of those systems that will send notice to my smart phone if any alarms are triggered if something were to go wrong (i.e. loss of power, bilge water, temperature, motion sensor Ect.) Thought of even installing a camera to view her remotely for those days I can physically go and check her out. I'm still new to this , But for me in the water year round!
  19. brewster16

    brewster16 Active Member

    Aug 9, 2009
    Long Beach Island, N.J.
    '07 44 Sundancer
    Twin Cummins QSC 8.3
    I really dont think there is a right answer to this. I've left my boat in all last winter after I fully winterized all systems. No issues whatsoever except that I live 1.5 hours away and I felt the need to check on it more than I could. That left me with a degree of anxiety over the winter. That being said some very knowledgeable boat friends mentioned 2 valid points: My boat has a navy hull and leaving it in the water with sun/wind etc takes a toll on the colored gel coat. The other valid point is that unless it is fully shrink wrapped in the slip, rain and snow moisture that resides in all the little joints, fittings, stanchions expands and contracts with the freeze/thaw cycles which can loosen parts, create small cracks in fiberglass etc. Finally, the boat needed to be hauled in Spring for bottom painting, zincs, wash/wax anyway. executive decision was to haul out and shrink wrap for winter.
  20. Irie308

    Irie308 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 28, 2013
    2004 420 Sedan Bridge, GHS Hydraulic Lift
    Dual Raymarine E120W
    AB Mares 10 VSX with 30 hp Tohatsu
    Cummins 450C 8.3 L Turbocharged
    I plan on leaving her in her slip for the winter and doing my regular winterization which includes shrink wrap. I think it will be easier to perform my small projects over the winter without drudging through the snow in the boat yard and possibly falling from a ladder getting into the cockpit. The one major upside to this IMO is that I can leave her hooked up to shore power the entire winter with a bilge heater. I always worried about her sitting high and dry in the cold and whether I missed some amount of water somewhere which would result in a freeze. However I live less than 30 mins away so weekly checks are easy.

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