Winter boating

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dave M., Oct 11, 2006.

  1. Dave M.

    Dave M. New Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    874
    Oct 9, 2006
    Hermiston, OR
    270 DA
    7.4L, Bravo II
    I have seen posts in several different topics about winter boating. Thought I might create a topic about that.

    Here in eastern Oregon/SW Washington winter boating is certainly possible, as the river does not freeze over. I do normally take the boat out in the winter, and I installed fresh water cooling to help my engine warm up and stay warm in the winter. That has worked well so far, although I think one of the Franks can tell you why it is a bad idea to install FWC on a boat with over 600 hrs like mine had.

    I have found though that when snow comes, the boat launch area does not get snow removed. So even though I could boat easily enough, I don't think I could pull my boat out of the water on a snow covered ramp during the few weeks a year when we actually have snow. I am curious what others do in this situation when it snows. Do they remove the snow at your boat ramps?

    Snow is really the only issue in the winter here, as there will be little to no wind. There are also few boaters out, normally only hunters with camoflaged hunting boats. But lots of sunny days, calm water, ducks, geese, and other birds to see on the river.

    In Tri-Cites, WA, (Pasco-Kennewick-Richland) there is an annual Lighted Boat Parade in early December where people decorate and light their boats for a night time 'parade' on the river.
     
  2. Alex D

    Alex D New Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Smith Mountain Lake, VA
    2004 240 Sundeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 MPI B3
    We live in NC and boat in South West VA on an inland lake. Luckily being on the East side of the appalachians shelters us from the harsh winter of the Midwest and we can boat way through December and really all year round. Tehre is never any ice on the lake whatsoever. There is also a huge Christmas parade with 50 plus boats every year ... very nice.

    There will be a bit of slack time from Jan. thru March when the weather is often too cold, but we'll have our days during this time too. Two years ago it was 74F on New Year's Day! I will completely winterize the water and head systems since our marina shuts the water off at the end of NOvember and I will probably run light dose of antifreeze in the engines heat exchanges and the genny, plus install my trusty bilge heater.

    I would like to at least run the boat once a month for 20 to 30 miles to keep the engines "Excercised"
     
  3. Dave S

    Dave S Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Upstate South Carolina
    Boatless
    Boatless
    This will be my first year for winter boating at our lake here in Charlotte. Since I am wet slipped now it is no problem to use the boat thru the winter. I have to partially winterize my fresh water system in the cockpit but with a bilge heater and a cabin heater nothing else needs winterizing. All of the public ramps are open year round as well but most of the winter boaters using those ramps are fisherman. And a little snow doesn't bother anyone either. :smt009

    Almost three years ago we had a freak 24+ inch snow storm here that ended on a Friday. By Sunday people were on the lake. As a matter of fact the whole parking lot for the public ramp closest to our Marina was full that day. :huh: There was still snow on our docks and everywhere on land as well.
     
  4. Nehalennia II

    Nehalennia II New Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Marysville, WA
    sold '99 230OV
    5.7 EFI w/Alpha one
    I'm going to try and get out as often as possible. I'll get my boat back Friday! :grin: Here's a picture of yesterday and today is equally as nice. I hope to get out there before the rains begin....but either way I want to use the boat this fall/winter. The admiral really wants to do the Christmas light parade around Lake Washington this year. Luckily I do have heat and full canvas.
     

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  5. thunderbird1

    thunderbird1 New Member

    365
    Oct 4, 2006
    Pacific Northwest
    Once the water temperature drops into the low 40's, the AC/Heater on my boat (heat pump) stops delivering heat. I'm sure many of you have the same problem. What do you use to heat your cockpit and cabin when the factory-installed heater isn't an option?
     
  6. Alex D

    Alex D New Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Smith Mountain Lake, VA
    2004 240 Sundeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 MPI B3
    There are numerous electric heaters available at your local box store or even from WM ... just need to run your genny, which is good cause it needs the exercise ...
     
  7. Dave S

    Dave S Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Upstate South Carolina
    Boatless
    Boatless
    I just bought one from West Marine http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wc...0/cabin heater/All_2/mode+matchallpartial/0/0
    This thing really puts out the heat and will be more than adequate in our 260s.
     
  8. Shining

    Shining New Member

    704
    Oct 3, 2006
    Upstate NY
    Boat less / Sold
    5.0EFI BII
    Damn...I'm jealous.
     
  9. Nehalennia II

    Nehalennia II New Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Marysville, WA
    sold '99 230OV
    5.7 EFI w/Alpha one
    The picture is a view of the SanJuan Islands in WA from Chuckanut Drive south of Bellingham WA. Google Earth it and see .......
     
  10. slack250

    slack250 New Member

    338
    Oct 2, 2006
    The Colony, TX
    Does anyone know of a heater that you can "set and forget" during the winter? It doesn't get below freezing in Dallas more than a few weeks, so I'm looking for options.

    Regards,
     
  11. Alex D

    Alex D New Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Smith Mountain Lake, VA
    2004 240 Sundeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 MPI B3
    The one above that Dave is listing has that setting, but only for the cabin. For the bilge you would need a bilge heater from BENSACO or XTREME
     
  12. slack250

    slack250 New Member

    338
    Oct 2, 2006
    The Colony, TX
    Alex, thanks for the advice. I'll take a look at both brands!
     
  13. Dave M.

    Dave M. New Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    874
    Oct 9, 2006
    Hermiston, OR
    270 DA
    7.4L, Bravo II
    I really like the anti-freeze feature of the West Marine heater. I have used normal Wal-Mart quality small heaters in the past, and their thermostat settings have been totally uncalibrated and unpredictable. So it would be nice to know one really was set to come on at 38 degrees. I have used a cheap one for keeping the boat cabin above freezing while in my garage. Now I have the garage insulated and a pellet stove with thermostat installed, so I should not need heat on the boat.

    On the water, by boats cabin heater is just a small unit that sends heat into the aft cockpit. It is heated by the engine coolant, so can produce heat whenever the engine is warm, same as my water heater. I have not spent an overnight on the water in winter, so don't know how well it works for that.
     

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