Cold Weather Coming to LKN: I've got a Newbie Question

Discussion in 'Carolinas' started by vtomgardner, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. vtomgardner

    vtomgardner New Member

    6
    Oct 10, 2019
    2001 240 Sundeck
    350 Mercruiser
    Hi All, I've got a newbie question for you.

    It's going to hit 28 degrees in the Lake Norman region this weekend on Friday and Saturday night. My boat is on a lift in a community slip, the water is still pretty warm.

    Unfortunately, the guy that's coming to winterize it won't be here until next week. I'm going to attach a magnetic engine block heater to the engine. Do I need to worry about this quick cold snap? Or do you think I'll be OK?
     
  2. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    I think you'll be just fine. But if it were my boat I'd drop it into the water for the weekend. The water will warm the boat.

    Sleep well knowing there are a handful of crazy boaters with their boats still in the water in Michigan and Wisconsin this weekend :)
     
    Chris-380 likes this.
  3. Quint4

    Quint4 Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 6, 2006
    S.W. Ohio
    330 Sport Bridge (Sold)
    5.7 MPI 350 Merc Bluewaters
    Agree.....let it float.
     
  4. Wylie_Tunes

    Wylie_Tunes Active Member

    722
    Oct 26, 2012
    Lake Wylie NC area
    N/A
    N/A
    Yep, another for letting it float. By dead winter, water will still be above 50*.
     
  5. GATORB8

    GATORB8 Member

    58
    Jul 17, 2017
    Mountain Island Lake, NC
    2017 19 SPX
    4.3L 220 HP w/ Alpha 1
    You should be fine floating, but I'm not sure a magnetic block heater should be used at all. I think those are for keeping engine oil warm for easy start, the important thing on boats is keeping the water remaining in the cooling system from freezing. Also, it may not be ignition protected, which is important with boats where your fuel tank is in the "engine room".

    Do you have a remote drain on the motor? If so, doesn't hurt to drain it.

    I was wet slipped in Wylie last year and never winterized or drained, I let it float with a bilge heater as backup. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MEMRGZE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Now I'm on a lift on MIL, and I'll just drain the engine, leave it open, and throw the bilge heater in. If I want to take it out, just have to close the drain and pull the heater out. Staying up on the lift prevents growth on the hull (not an issue for a couple days during a cold snap).
     
  6. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    I think you will be fine even on the lift, it takes more than a few hours at 28deg to start freezing anything and with highs in the 50's it's just not cold enough, long enough yet. BUT if you want to be completely safe, like others have said, drop the boat into the water - now way it can freeze then - LKN is way too warm still.
     
  7. vtomgardner

    vtomgardner New Member

    6
    Oct 10, 2019
    2001 240 Sundeck
    350 Mercruiser
    I'm googling info on Bilge heaters, and there is some info, but not a LOT. So, I have just a few more questions: Is the heater just loosely placed in the engine compartment? Do you have it bolted down? Can this get wet? Or does it need to stay dry?
     
  8. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    I have a Boatsafe heater. Used it in several boats, I just set it where it will fit, low in the engine room - don’t want it to get wet. With larger boats people mount them and hard wire it.
     
  9. 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
    LKN is 64 degrees this morning. Drop the boat in the water.
     
  10. hblock72

    hblock72 Member SILVER Sponsor

    197
    May 11, 2009
    Salisbury, NC (High Rock Lake)
    2007 185 sport w/wakeboard package
    4.3 TKS
    I have put one of those cheap clamp on lights in my engine compartment to get through a cold snap before winterizing. Just make sure you use an incandescent bulb (60w or so), not an LED. It will put out enough heat to keep things above freezing.
     
  11. GATORB8

    GATORB8 Member

    58
    Jul 17, 2017
    Mountain Island Lake, NC
    2017 19 SPX
    4.3L 220 HP w/ Alpha 1
    The one I have came with a bracket it can clip in and out of, but I just set it on the floor of the battery/cooler compartment on mine (that compartment is vented/open to the engine compartment). Doesn't say it's waterproof, so I wouldn't put it on the bilge floor where it could get wet.
    If you don't have a similar place to put it easily, you could mount the bracket to the side wall of the engine compartment.
     

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