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

vtomgardner

New Member
Oct 10, 2019
26
Boat Info
2001 240 Sundeck
Engines
350 Mercruiser TBI, Alpha I Gen II
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?
 
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 :)
 
Agree.....let it float.
 
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).
 
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.
 
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).

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?
 
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.
 
LKN is 64 degrees this morning. Drop the boat in the water.
 
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.
 
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?
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.
 
So I know it’s a late post but hands up in the back for dropping the boat … Bilge heater, cheep insurance in my mind, bought a used 350w Xtreme, used from eBay, hardwired into the Battery Charger circuit by super electrician, only has power when the charger is on. Comes on at 45 off at 55. Only issue I had/have is he’s not a plumber and I “mentioned” that if the A/C pump hose fails … well Hmmm… yes I know it’s on the suction side but still, he’s meeting me next weekend so I can pick a different spot and moving it at no cost.

8B5A9179-6474-430F-BD09-3B6D60E64990.jpeg
F27C98D9-B252-4859-AD32-3B7ED076C709.jpeg
 
So I know it’s a late post but hands up in the back for dropping the boat … Bilge heater, cheep insurance in my mind, bought a used 350w Xtreme, used from eBay, hardwired into the Battery Charger circuit by super electrician, only has power when the charger is on. Comes on at 45 off at 55. Only issue I had/have is he’s not a plumber and I “mentioned” that if the A/C pump hose fails … well Hmmm… yes I know it’s on the suction side but still, he’s meeting me next weekend so I can pick a different spot and moving it at no cost.

View attachment 119748 View attachment 119749

Were that mine to install I'd probably just fab up a simple shelf that straddles the stringers. Simple, not hard to move out of the way, no more holes in the boat...
 

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