Mooring in freezing temps?

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aMonster
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Mooring in freezing temps?

Unread post by aMonster »

I don't really have a place to keep my boat so I keep it moored in the river year round, with both engines full up. We are about to hit our first cold snap here in Vancouver BC (-16C) and I'm pretty certain the still water around the dock where my boat is tied up will freeze pretty solid.

To get ready for this cold snap I...

1. Emptied the bilge and pumps completely
2. Emptied washdown
3. Emptied head of all water
4. Raised both engines out of the water
5. Set the Planar 44D to run at midnight for two hours every day
6. Sprayed white silicon grease over all my engine and steering rigging
7. Filled fuel tank to max with gas and heater tank to max with kerosene

I'm wondering if there is anything else someone might want to mention?
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Re: Mooring in freezing temps?

Unread post by SilverFox »

If you're just meaning surface ice, keep the engines down. Raising them is actually worse as the lower units won't drain and will be fully exposed to freezing air that will freeze water in the lower unit and risk cracking the housing - $$$. I read of these problems every year on another forum I participate in. As long as your lowers are submerged in liquid water, they'll be fine. If it's going to ice up to depth of lower unit you should haul the boat.

This should also be covered in your owner's manual.
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Re: Mooring in freezing temps?

Unread post by Yanert »

If you have any water pumps like for the head, wash down, sink, live well or p-traps run some potable antifreeze in them. Yes leave the motors down. Even if you drain everything as you've said there will probably be some water pockets left that could freeze and cause problems.

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Re: Mooring in freezing temps?

Unread post by Jim Dandy »

Kind of a catch 22, not good to leave the lower units and seals sitting in the water, that's why a look around a normal non-arctic marina you see almost every motor up. BUT, in hard freezing temps if you don't keep them down you run a real risk of damage to the softer cast metal of the lower unit. You're only talking for a few days during this cold snap...I'd drop em down.

Ideally, in really cold weather you would pull the boat, drop and allow the motors to drain, raise them....then drop again to get as much water out of the head as possible, the warm motor will evaporate the rest. Then, pull the kill switches and crank the motors for a few seconds to flush out the water in the water pump...I did not say crank until you melt your impeller.

Sounds like you other then the raised motors you have it covered, I would also drain the water out of the wash down hose too.
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Re: Mooring in freezing temps?

Unread post by aMonster »

Thanks Jim, I've heard conflicting advice on the motors up or down but I think you broke it down to the dif of being able to take it out of the water or not. I tried to get the boat out of the water but the one day I could work the logistics of getting trailer and boat to the ramp we got blasted by 30mph winds.

I don't feel comfortable leaving the engine in the down position if the water around the leg is going to freeze so it's up. I may go put the propane blower on the engines for 30 minutes this evening... pretty rare for us to get these temps and it will only last a few days thankfully.
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Re: Mooring in freezing temps?

Unread post by SeaDawg »

If you are planning to leave the motor in the up position anyway, maybe you could just wrap the whole thing with an old quilt or blanket and secure it with some bungees.... Maybe a couple of those heavy quilted type moving pads. If you do this and don't have covered moorage, I would stay away from anything cotton and go with a waterproof polyester shell with fiberfill insulation.

Is your moorage covered or open? Do you have power available? IF yes to both.... then you might even be able to get really creative with a waterproof heating pad under the blanket..

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Re: Mooring in freezing temps?

Unread post by Jim Dandy »

This might sound odd, do you have shore power to the boat?

If so go buy an electric blanket, secure it to the motor and the lower unit the best you can, keep it out of the water of course. I know some buddies back east that dry store their mains that way. Use bungee's and cover heating blanket with a tarp.

Just a thought.

Just saw Hunter has posted a similar idea...lol.
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Re: Mooring in freezing temps?

Unread post by SeaDawg »

Another thought....if you have power.... might be to put one of these low temp dehumidifier units down in your aft bilge area and maybe even another one in the cabin.
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Re: Mooring in freezing temps?

Unread post by Mrwilson »

I live in northern Idaho on lake Pend Oreille and keep my boat moored in the boat house year round. I am able to fish all year. The main lake doesn’t freeze over, sometime after extended sub zero weather the marina will get and inch or two of ice, lasting maybe a week.
I have Yamaha motors and per the manufacture recommendation keep them down.
I’m moored in about 30’ of water and have a ice auger hanging about 10’ under my boat. It’s connected to a thermostat and will come on automatically circulating the warmer water, keeping an area around my boat ice free. I also have a Webasto heater and use only K1 kerosene. It will not gel. It also burns super clean.
Sunday was a good day for fishing 32 degrees, had the lake to myself.

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Re: Mooring in freezing temps?

Unread post by aMonster »

I just got back from the boat and had thought of the idea to cover the motor with a blanket, or rather wrap it in a large drop sheet.. which I didn't have one with me. There was no ice around the boat when I arrived about 5pm today but it's only been -4 up till now, tonight is the real cold snap -15C overnight temps... so +5F.

I do have shore power but no cover. I picked up small electric space heater today just for the bilge area, although given that I've tarpped off the back deck and drained the bilge I can't actually see why I'd need one there, I like the idea of a heated blanket much better.

Now the question is do I drive back there at this hour. Also if it's the lower leg area that might retain some water I can't easily wrap that part.
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