Staying in the water during winter

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

  1. Jack380AC

    Jack380AC Member

    854
    Jan 28, 2008
    West Chester, PA / North East, MD
    2000 380 Aft Cabin
    Twin 454 Mag MPI Horizon MerCruiser
    Thanks Mike and Pam,
    Picture is great and yea, love the door. Good advice all around. What did you use for the arched tubs holding up the wrap aft?
     
  2. Jack380AC

    Jack380AC Member

    854
    Jan 28, 2008
    West Chester, PA / North East, MD
    2000 380 Aft Cabin
    Twin 454 Mag MPI Horizon MerCruiser
    Update:
    So I didn't get the job in MD so winter live aboard is still on my bucket list. Thanks everyone for all the good advice. I also found a setup where I can drop a temperature probe into the wall cavity between hull and cabin wall where the water lines would be. This would then transmit to my cell phone app and give me all kinds of good data. Uses the wireless in the marina for connection.
     
  3. Irie308

    Irie308 Member SILVER Sponsor

    701
    May 28, 2013
    CT
    320 Sundancer 2005, Raymarine C120 and C80
    Highfield 9.6 RIB & Tohatsu 8hp
    Previous boat: 215 expre
    350 Mercruisers V-drives
    Can you share a link to the probe?
     
  4. Jack380AC

    Jack380AC Member

    854
    Jan 28, 2008
    West Chester, PA / North East, MD
    2000 380 Aft Cabin
    Twin 454 Mag MPI Horizon MerCruiser
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  5. Bentwings

    Bentwings Member

    50
    Jul 4, 2018
    St.Paul,MN
    Boatless
    Boatless
    I know this is an old thread but I’m planning on live aboard a Sea Ray 450 Sundancer assuming everything goes as planned. I’ve already heard...wrong boat, get a trawler or house boat, or at least an aft cabin. I don’t hear very well and the hearing doc says I’m perfect for selective hearing..LOL

    It will be tight this year as the boat season ends Oct 15. The boat is about 70 miles by water down stream so it will be a weekend cruise to get it to the new marina.

    Getting prepped for winter will probably not happen this year so I’ll just have it hauled.

    But I’d like more info. I’ve already read this whole thread and gathered a lot.

    Here some of my thoughts.
    At least one 9 gallon dehumidifier. Mold is a problem I don’t want.
    Bilge heater. Not sure how big. Fuel, white water and black water tanks are visible in the engine room so a nice electric heater there will keep everything warm enough.
    The marina provides 50 amp service for the big boats.
    There is a year around water hose available so water is available
    Monthly pump outs or more.
    I’ll use a cabin heater as well.
    Diesel boats people have an optional propane hose with dry break connection for propane heat. I’m really not to keen on this as I lost a good friend and his wife years ago in a RV full time issue.
    Propane catalytic heaters are very clean but produce a prodigious amount of moisture too. So some venting is needed but another dehumidifier is probably needed too....I don’t know,
    It get really cold about two weeks of the year late Dec and early Jan plus a real cold snap a few days at a time. These are -20 f and colder.

    A question here. The current live aboards say they use clear shrink wrap a foot or so below the deck line. They say they seal very well. The marina builds a 2x 4 frame on the front then either uses the canvas frame or you can take it down. Remove the canvas however. That leaves a nice sunny living room on the cockpit. They say sweatshirts down to 0 deg f.

    Everyone uses a bubbler so ice isn’t a real,problem. Marine groth stops about 50 deg and the bubblers stir up enough silt to lightly clean the bottoms. I’ll have to see this however..
    I am concerned about the exhaust. I like the beach ball idea. The exhausts are under water and would be pretty hard to reach without getting wet. I did it years ago as a water safety instructor swimming test and don’t want to do it again. I’ll devise some kind of insertion tool.

    Another question....how does the Vacuflush work in the cold?
    Its not going to be fun walking 2-300 yards in afoot of snow up to the community center when the urge comes.

    I guess that’s enough for now.

    Byron
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  6. JimT

    JimT Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 7, 2009
    Charlotte, NC- LKN
    2010 330 Sundancer
    T-350mags w/BIIIs & Axius, 5.0 kw Kohler
    Xtreme makes a 600w bilge heater. You will probably want to install two given the size of your boat and the low temps you will be experiencing.
    I would go with electric ceramic heaters instead of diesel/gas. May be more expensive to run but burning gas in a enclosed space is potentially deadly.
    Vacuflush should work like normal if the ER and cabin are heated.
    Good luck!
     
    techmitch likes this.
  7. Bentwings

    Bentwings Member

    50
    Jul 4, 2018
    St.Paul,MN
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Thanks. That’s good to know.
     
  8. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    You may want to check into oil pan heaters for the ER instead of the Xtreme. I forget the brand but maybe Frank or one of the other diesel guys will chime in.
     
  9. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    West coast Canada. The marina I was at had some live aboards . Most had diesel heat one had electric it was two 30 AMPS he was fine. No engine room heat but ran his engines once a week. Stove was propane. Temperature went to minus 10c for a couple of weeks but days were just freezing. Problem was no water as marina shut off water for 3 months. On our boat we need pump out every 5 days.
    Main problem I see with live aboards is space to do things. If you read and watch TV when you are awake you will be fine. There is no dock socials when they are covered in ice.
     
  10. Bentwings

    Bentwings Member

    50
    Jul 4, 2018
    St.Paul,MN
    Boatless
    Boatless
    We can get tp -30C. (-22 F) for several weeks then a few days at a time in a real cold winter. I’d like to be able to start and run up the diesels as well as the diesel gen. They have heat exchangers and have proper anti freeze already. The trick with diesels in this weather is to run them every 4-6 hours. Diesels don’t get very warm idling. My dually will go from 180 to 120 in about ten minutes idling. The heater becomes a “warmer”.

    Having the gen operational if needed would be comforting. The problem is keeping the intercooler from freezing as it does take in raw water. The river water can be 32-33 deg F so it doesn't take much to freeze or warm a little. Possibly with say a 600w heater in the engine room would keep the place warm enough for easy starting. But if the power fails for any length of time things could get dicey. I have a 3000 watt gas gen that will start at about 20 deg F but I’d rather not store gas on the boat. I could keep gas in the truck or car. The truck has a block heater that I use the gas gen on in the winter. It works well but it’s tough to go out at midnight when it’s -20 F and drag the gen out to the truck. I’ve done it for years but it gets harder every year.

    I store the gen in my apt on a tray of baking soda to control the gas smell with its cardboard box over it. Works great.

    The diesel heater sounds like the best deal.

    Byron
     
  11. aerobat77

    aerobat77 Member

    372
    Aug 12, 2014
    germany
    2006 240 DA Sundancer
    5.0 MPI / Bravo III
    maybe ask the russians in murmansk how they do it , but i guess at - 30 deg ( - 22f ) for several weeks no bubbler will prevent the harbour from freezing hard and the marina will have to provide you with antifreeze and not clear water at the dock since water will freeze and burst the pipes for sure if they do not drain and turn off the dock water system at such temperatures.

    showering with antifreeze might be a special booster in the morning for you , but you will have to learn enjoying the special taste of coffee when you brew it with the pink fluid ;-)
     
  12. Jus the two of us

    Jus the two of us Member GOLD Sponsor

    73
    Dec 7, 2015
    United States Lake Cumberland
    1998 Sundancer 450
    3116 Cats
    There has been a few fires caused by portable heaters in boats in the winter. If you read your insurance policy you will most likely see that any heater that is not permanently installed in the boat will void your insurance if it causes the fire.
     
  13. JimT

    JimT Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 7, 2009
    Charlotte, NC- LKN
    2010 330 Sundancer
    T-350mags w/BIIIs & Axius, 5.0 kw Kohler
    There is no such language in my insurance policy.

    A few years ago the manager at my marina sent out a winterization memo that said only approved heaters could be used. When I asked for clarification he said, "marine approved or thermostat controlled with a low setting."
     

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