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  #1   IP: 70.54.60.186
Old 11-10-2017, 09:38 AM
chanlmee chanlmee is offline
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Freshwater Freezing

Hi all,

I live in Ottawa, Canada and its getting cold here. I've kept my boat in the water and sailed her all this week despite the cold. She is sitting in fresh water and I'm thinking about the fresh water cooling system and possible freezing/ damage to the engine. The last 24 hours and the next 24 hours project temperatures of 14 - 23 farenheit.

The next 2 weeks project temperatures back up above freezing periodically.

My question is: Will 48 hours of below freezing temperatures cause issues to the cooling system or Atomic 4 engine is she is sitting in the water?

Part of me wants to run the engine to warm her up and melt or dislodge any potential ice buildup in the engine. The other part of me thinks the ambient temperature is colder than the temperature of the engine inside the boat sitting on clearly non frozen water.

Thoughts?
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  #2   IP: 138.207.175.12
Old 11-10-2017, 09:49 AM
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What is the water temperature?

Bill
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  #3   IP: 108.34.169.188
Old 11-10-2017, 12:50 PM
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We are having a bit of a cold snap here is southern New England with night time temps in the high teens for a couple of nights and though I believed the water temps in the mid 50's would keep everything from freezing I emptied the fresh water tank and ran a gallon of anti freeze through the raw water pump and heat exchange just for peace of mind. If the boat is easily accessible it is a quick job.
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:59 PM
toddster toddster is offline
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If possible, I would (and do) certainly run some antifreeze solution into the engine and exhaust system. I have a Tee-fitting and a short hose plumbed in-line so that I can do this in about a minute.

However, the one time that I was away during an unexpected cold snap (to 10F), everything came through just fine for a couple of days. I think if the cold had lasted longer, things would have started freezing inside the boat. I usually leave an electric heater on during those conditions.
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  #5   IP: 73.129.213.235
Old 11-10-2017, 04:46 PM
Hymodyne Hymodyne is online now
 
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+1 on antifreeze.

James
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  #6   IP: 70.54.60.186
Old 11-10-2017, 06:09 PM
chanlmee chanlmee is offline
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The boat is sitting in the water and it's not frozen so it's above freezing. I have a few bottles of water in the car and in my garage and though cold they are not frozen so I think I'm good. Because the engine in inside and not subject to the windchill the water trapped inside the engine will likely behave like the water bottles which are not frozen at all.

Having said that, I think I will take some precautions as recommended here and try to run some antifreeze through the engine even though I do not have as easy access (nor a T fitting).

She is getting hauled out of the water on Monday we just need to survive the 48 hour cold snap.

Thanks all
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  #7   IP: 24.53.89.131
Old 11-11-2017, 06:22 AM
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if you have shore power a trouble light left on in the engine compartment is a good solution.

Peter
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  #8   IP: 24.224.194.51
Old 11-11-2017, 10:56 AM
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Potentially yes. Ensure the thru hull intake is closed. The biggest mistake people make up here is put the boat away and not close the thru hull. The glass or plastic strainer can break and water egresses into the boat. The pumps work until the batteries die and viola...boat on bottom. There are less and less people around the yacht clubs these days so it's very common that no one will notice until they see a stick sticking out of the water. 3 boats past few years that I knew the owners went down this way and insurance won't cover the loss.
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  #9   IP: 107.77.97.15
Old 11-11-2017, 01:51 PM
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Run it.

Go to the boat with a sleeping bag and some whiskey. Fix a few things while you wait for the crane.
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:46 AM
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Water Freezing Point

I frequently visit NOAA's "Interpretive Buoy System" website for the Chesapeake to view local data for wind and waves.

Just noticed that they also publish water freezing point data (presumably derived from direct measurements of salinity). The difference between the northern and southern ends is almost 3 degrees at the moment.

Bill
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  #11   IP: 100.36.89.105
Old 11-13-2017, 12:38 PM
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Here in the mid/upper Chesapeake, its already gotten down to 20 degrees (F) this past Friday evening. The boat is in the water, and my recording thermometer reported that the cabin got down to 33.

So on Saturday I bit the bullet and winterized the engine and plumbing systems. It was a bit traumatic since we "skipped" winter last year by sailing to the Bahamas. My body now finds these temperatures totally unacceptable!

We're already planning the next trip back in fall of 2018.
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  #12   IP: 98.226.209.168
Old 11-13-2017, 07:58 PM
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Dealing with the potential for freezing

You might drain the water from the engine and everything from the water strainer and water pump, from the port/plug just forward of the accessory drive, port/plug at aft end of the exhaust manifold, and port/plug forward of the starboard side water jacket cover. Then pump the bilge or drain bilge.

I do this when on the hard before running antifreeze through the cold engine, first with the bypass closed off, then with it open, watching that antifreeze is exiting the exhaust in both situations.

Mary from Chicago in freshwater Lake Michigan
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