Fall boating - freeze threat?

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by importmonkey, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. importmonkey

    importmonkey Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    470
    Jul 9, 2015
    Middle River, MD
    2007 44 Sundancer
    QSC 500s
    Boating out of Middle River. Normally, we pull out in September but with the 44DA we want to extend the boating season as long as possible. I know much of it will have to do with the marina schedule for hauling and blocking, but we'd like to get on the tail end of that list. What's the risk of freezing later in the season (say November)? Should I get an engine room heater? How long does the temps have to be below freezing before things become an issue? I assumed the temps would have to be below freezing for at least 8-10 hours before any risk. Is this accurate? If the temps fall below 32 degrees for an hour or so over night, is that okay or not okay?

    Thanks!
     
  2. CliffA

    CliffA Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    my thoughts would be as long as the water around your boat does not freeze then there is very little to no chance the water inside of your ER can freeze....the water temp is transferred through the hull and running gear into the ER.....to be safe I would install a bilge heater and cover the engine compartment vents to keep warm air in the ER and cold air out.....my bilge heater kicks on at 40*F and I don't think it ever came on the past couple years and all I do to winterize is close off the ER vents....the water in our lake rarely gets below 45*F.....the temp in my ER is usually just a degree or two cooler than the water temp....plus with the camper canvas installed the air temp in the cockpit is warmer than the ambient air temp which helps keep the temp in the ER up as well...I have remote temp sensors in the ER and cockpit and cabin that I can monitor with my cell phone.....

    what I don't know is how the cold temperatures will affect the starting and running of your diesel engines....

    cliff
     
  3. DjDaoust

    DjDaoust Member SILVER Sponsor

    210
    Nov 4, 2015
    La Crosse, WI
    1998 450 Sundancer - 3 Boys & A Blonde
    Cat 3126's
    We boat up her in Wisconsin into early November. If the water doesn't freeze, not much to worry about. Of course, we keep the heat on in the boat 24/7.
     
  4. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    What Cliff said -- I would get an engine room heater for piece of mind, but really boating in the fall before the water get's cold, I don't think your going to encounter any problems with freezing. Plus, a few hours in the 20's isn't going to do any harm - It takes servery days of subfreezing temps at night follows by cold days to freeze and break things. I would still get the heater - you will be fine.
     
  5. importmonkey

    importmonkey Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    470
    Jul 9, 2015
    Middle River, MD
    2007 44 Sundancer
    QSC 500s
    for inside (during the summer) we don't keep the air conditioning on for fear, if there's a leak, that's and endless supply of water coming into the boat. i'm worried about the same thing when the heat is running. is that any less or more risky than having a space heater sitting on the counter in the galley? or, again...is it even necessary?

    keep in mind that we are 1.5hrs from the boat and only get up on weekends. not something i can check on daily or even every other day. we left the AC on while we restocked the other day (away from the boat from 6pm Wednesday to 3pm Friday) and I could barely sleep those nights.

    cliff, how do you cover the vents? also, i'm trying to setup an almond3 to work as a wifi extender (boat hotspot) that will allow me to connect multiple sensors (door contacts, pirs, temperature sensors, cameras, et cetera) to monitor remotely - but what are you using to monitor the temperature?
     
  6. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
    Simplisafe alarm system is cell phone based and can include, CO sensor, freeze sensor, water sensor + motion, door switches etc. Highly recommended not just for burglary, but a piece of mind for other things that can harm your boat.
    http://simplisafe.com/
     
  7. rcknecht

    rcknecht Active Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    toms river,nj
    340 Sundancer 2001
    T 454 MPI
    In a pinch, you could always throw in a shop light to warm up your bilge, assume you have diesels.....
     
  8. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
  9. CliffA

    CliffA Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    the vents on my boat may be different than yours....I have eight 4" holes (4 per side) that were originally covered with a cheap plastic guard.....when I bought my boat most of these plastic guards had broken off so I removed what was left of them....now the vent holes are open.....I use sponges inserted into the open holes....they work great because they are larger than the hole so when they are compressed and inserted in the holes they expand to make a tight seal....they are very easy to install and remove....i bought 4 large 'figure 8' car wash sponges and cut them in half....I also took a business card and on the back I wrote the words 'remove sponges' and placed the card in front of the engine ignition keys in the main electrical panel....this reminds me to remove the sponges before I start the engines...

    as for the temp monitors I went pretty low tech....I have an inexpensive AccuRite temp monitor with 3 remote sensors....all 3 sensors report data back to the single screen monitor.....I use a cloud based D-Link camera to observe the monitor to see the temps in all 3 zones....I position the monitor near a small LED night light so the monitor screen is softly illuminated....I can log onto the D-Link camera when I want and see the monitor....the D-Link camera does have an infra-red night light but the glare from the infra-red lights reflects pretty bad off the monitor screen to the point I can't see the monitor very well at all....

    I do have a wi-fi extender to boost the wi-fi signal from our marina to keep a solid connection for the D-Link cameras I have installed....

    cliff
     
  10. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Active Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    East Coast Florida
    300 Sundancer
    5.0MPI Bravo III
    Kept our boat year round in Newport, RI and used it on weekends........your reverse cycle heat wont work at water temps below 40 degrees......plus running it in cold water is hard on the compressor.....get an electric heater for the cabin (we had one made by caframo that had a thermostat - still have it if you're interested) we also used a bilge heater.....
     
  11. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Active Member

    297
    Jun 5, 2017
    Chattanooga TN/Dickson TN
    1998 SeaRay 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L w/Alpha 1 drives
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  12. doozie

    doozie Member GOLD Sponsor

    324
    Dec 6, 2007
    MIDDLE RIVE MD.
    46 sundancer 2001
    3126B 450hp Cats
    I'm in the same area as you, have left the boat in till week before Thanksgiving with no issues.
     

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