Still confused over a winter strategy

Discussion in 'Winterizing' started by Mark Tindal, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Mark Tindal

    Mark Tindal New Member

    18
    Oct 11, 2018
    Sea Ray - 220DA Sundancer
    Mercruiser Alpha One 5.0 V8
    Hi,
    I've listened to lots of advice and I've trawled the forums and I'm afraid I've still not been able to reach a conclusion. The question is... which winter strategy is best for me? Perhaps there isn't actually one answer I suppose but I'd value your opinion.
    My 220DA Sundancer has the V8 Mercruiser Sterndrive Petrol. I live in London, UK and she's in a Marina. The days are starting to turn a bit chilly but here in the South East of England we'll probably not see -0 temperatures for a while but it does happen and sometimes for several days at a time. I've only just bought her and I really would love to take a few trips up and down the river on sunny fresh winter days instead of having to wait until Spring.

    Take her out of the water
    --------------------------
    - Get her up on her trailer and do the full winterising procedure and just wait until the spring to be able to enjoy boating on the Thames.

    Leave her in the water
    --------------------------
    - Do nothing to the engine and just leave a heater on in the bilge area. Enjoy a day out whenever I want to without having to do anything other than unplug the heater.

    - Drain the water (block, fresh, taps everywhere) and leave the heater in the bilge area. Enjoy a day out whenever I want to by simply turning over the engine and the water will naturally fill back up the block. Avoid the need for a running fresh water supply.

    - Do the full winterising thing then de-winterise whenever I want to enjoy a day boating on the Thames

    - (something else)
     
  2. Larry Sturm

    Larry Sturm Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    125
    Mar 26, 2017
    Chiefland, Florida
    2003 SeaRay 420 Sundancer
    2003 SeaRay 320 Sundancer
    Cummins 6CTA8.3-M3
    Mercruiser 350MPI
    When I lived in North Carolina, (we had some ice and snow) I boated year around. There are several brands of engine compartment heaters that you can buy for boats specifically, (mine was by Boatsafe Engine Compartment Heater), plug it in, it comes on when needed. I would then drain the fresh water system for the season, as you said: taps and fresh water tank. We boated year around and had a great time!
     
    Mark Tindal likes this.
  3. WV 320 Dancer

    WV 320 Dancer Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    169
    Oct 28, 2018
    2003 Sea Ray Sundancer 320
    Twin 350 MAG - V Drive
    Here is my 2 cents worth. After seeing two of my friends fall victim to power failure and have their blocks freeze and crack I am not in favor of depending on just a heater to keep you safe. That being said if you want to take the time and drain your block and manifolds every time you go out then sure why not. I always haul out but there are several members down at out boat club who do winter over in the water and take advantage of those few days during the winter that allow you to get out and enjoy the weather.
     
    Mark Tindal likes this.
  4. Mark Tindal

    Mark Tindal New Member

    18
    Oct 11, 2018
    Sea Ray - 220DA Sundancer
    Mercruiser Alpha One 5.0 V8
    Thanks Larry
     
  5. Mark Tindal

    Mark Tindal New Member

    18
    Oct 11, 2018
    Sea Ray - 220DA Sundancer
    Mercruiser Alpha One 5.0 V8
    Thanks WV
     
  6. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Chattanooga TN/Dickson TN
    1998 SeaRay 290 Sundancer
    Twin EFI 5.0L w/Alpha 1 drives
    How far are you away from your boat?

    Could you get to it in a few hours if the power did go out?

    What do others at your marina do?

    I like to boat once in a while during the winter months so I heat mine. Cabin and Bilge. Lucky the marina has a good wifi system so I monitor my boat temperatures via the internet and it notifies me when temps dip below a certain set point. It's nice to see temp's rise when you know the heaters kick on. I did winterize the fresh water and toilet systems so I would have less to worry about.

    I can be at my boat in 3 hours and have boat mates that live near by if something needs to be done expediently plus the marina staff are very helpful if something needs to be done and I can't make it to the boat.
     
  7. Mark Tindal

    Mark Tindal New Member

    18
    Oct 11, 2018
    Sea Ray - 220DA Sundancer
    Mercruiser Alpha One 5.0 V8
    I'm lucky enough to be only 10 mins drive from the Marina so if anything happened to the power on the site I could easily get there. I love the idea of having remote monitoring of temperature, I hadn't thought about that. I'm starting to think that if I leave an old iPhone onboard and plugged in, maybe there's an app that tells me by text message when the power goes off. I could even put a cheap temp sensor on the phone and have that ping me with temps. Oooooh, lovely - thanks.
     
    Little Ducky likes this.
  8. bobeast

    bobeast Dance the Tide SILVER Sponsor

    600
    Oct 22, 2017
    Isleton, CA
    2002 310DA
    350 MPI w/V-drives
    I highly recommend Boat Command which can send you a message if shore power is lost or if the Bilge temperature drops to a certain point. Device and service are reasonably priced.
     
  9. Mark Tindal

    Mark Tindal New Member

    18
    Oct 11, 2018
    Sea Ray - 220DA Sundancer
    Mercruiser Alpha One 5.0 V8
    Thanks Bob, I was wondering if there was some kind of all in one device. I'll see if I can get this in the UK.
     
  10. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    Talk to other boaters in the area. If there are boats left in the water in the Thames year round, I expect it is fine to leave it in without winterization in terms of the block freezing. London has a pretty mild winter. The bilge heater is probably enough to keep the block from freezing and keep humidity down to reduce corrosion. Most people cover the bilge vents temporarily to hold the heat in/cold wind out. But you would need a reliable source of 240v power.

    However, if your boat bottom is not painted with bottom paint you probably will get a lot of growth. I would not recommend leaving an unpainted hull in the water. Also, if you have shore power, your outdrive may corrode if you don't have a mercathode system (look it up if you don't know). That needs a source of power too.

    If you are leaving it in the water you will want a shore power system and charger to ensure the battery stays charged so the 12v bilge pump can keep it from sinking if you develop any leaks and to get rid of rainwater that can find its way in in a rainy climate.

    If it was me, I would not leave a 220 in the water.
     
  11. Mark Tindal

    Mark Tindal New Member

    18
    Oct 11, 2018
    Sea Ray - 220DA Sundancer
    Mercruiser Alpha One 5.0 V8

    Thanks Creek, yes it's a mixture of in and out of the water at the Marina. It's GFB and has recently been treated plus a gel coat so hopefully fresh water scum won't be too much of a problem. If it was salt water I'd almost certainly not be thinking about over winter.

    I looked up the mercathode thing, very interesting, thanks.
     
  12. Mark Tindal

    Mark Tindal New Member

    18
    Oct 11, 2018
    Sea Ray - 220DA Sundancer
    Mercruiser Alpha One 5.0 V8
    Thanks to all for the advice, it has certainly helped me make up my mind.

    I've just bought an Oil Heater and also this to allow me to remotely monitor the environment. I've decided to leave her in the water in the marina. The heater will keep things warm and the monitor will let me know if the power goes out. Fingers crossed and thanks again all!

    upload_2018-11-26_12-3-55.png upload_2018-11-26_12-3-55.jpeg
     
    douglee25 likes this.
  13. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    If the oil heater is not rated for enclosed bilges in a gasoline engine it might be very dangerous to use. There are gasoline fumes in a boat bilge that are highly explosive (thus the need to run blowers for 5 minutes before you start the engine). The thermostat on that heater sparks when it engages and if there are fumes, there could be an explosion. I can guarantee your marina will not allow its use in your bilge. And I would not use it. I highly recommend you buy a proper marine bilge heater that rated and designed to be spark free and safe.
     
  14. Mark Tindal

    Mark Tindal New Member

    18
    Oct 11, 2018
    Sea Ray - 220DA Sundancer
    Mercruiser Alpha One 5.0 V8

    Hmmm, that’s troubling. I got the enclosed oil based one instead of the kind of open element and fan thing for that reason.

    Amazon
    Warmlite WL43002Y Oil Filled Radiator, Adjustable Thermostat, 650 W, Off-White
     
  15. Mark Tindal

    Mark Tindal New Member

    18
    Oct 11, 2018
    Sea Ray - 220DA Sundancer
    Mercruiser Alpha One 5.0 V8
    I’ve just been to have a chat to the Marina and yes I’ve cancelled that Amazon order. After trying to convince to winterise he then said one or two tube greenhouse heater would be fine.

    Thanks for this advice, I’m very very grateful.
     
  16. 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
  17. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Chattanooga TN/Dickson TN
    1998 SeaRay 290 Sundancer
    Twin EFI 5.0L w/Alpha 1 drives
  18. 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
    Just look at those greenhouse heaters you referred to. I would not trust one of those in an engine room/bilge.
     
  19. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    Why not just buy a bilge heater? A greenhouse heater also has a temperature switch that probably sparks when the bimetal strip kicks in.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  20. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Sep 15, 2009
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    2000 Cruisers 3870
    97 270 Sundancer
    85 Sea Ray Monaco 197
    8.2 Mercs,
    7.4 BII
    260hp Alpha 1
    I agree looks risky.

    MM
     

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