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TOPIC: Winterizing for winter use in the PNW

Winterizing for winter use in the PNW 10 Oct 2017 17:49 #1

  • Snika
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Hi guys!

This is the first winter we will have owned our 3870 and have it berthed in La Conner, Washington under cover. We are looking for some advice on the best way to keep the interior dry and the systems protected against freezing weather while still being able to use the boat.

We plan to keep staying onboard on weekends when time allows as well as take it out for day or weekend cruises so running antifreeze (or vodka) through the water lines may not work if we want to have access to the water system. I may be asking too much. .

Thanks in advance for your sage advice..

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David and Beth
Seattle Area - Berthed in La Conner

1986 Bayliner 3870 "Hokey Pokey"

1995 SeaRay 20 Signature "Flapdoodle"
1993 Bayliner 3058 "SeaYa"

Winterizing for winter use in the PNW 10 Oct 2017 18:07 #2

  • CptCrunchie
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Snika wrote: Hi guys!

This is the first winter we will have owned our 3870 and have it berthed in La Conner, Washington under cover. We are looking for some advice on the best way to keep the interior dry and the systems protected against freezing weather while still being able to use the boat.

We plan to keep staying onboard on weekends when time allows as well as take it out for day or weekend cruises so running antifreeze (or vodka) through the water lines may not work if we want to have access to the water system. I may be asking too much. .

Thanks in advance for your sage advice..


Since you are in saltwater, and you will likely have a small amount of heat on all the time, you shouldn't need to do much of anything. I lived on a motorsailer in the PNW for almost a year (part of the winter I was at anchor, and part on the dock) and even with 300 gallons of fresh water, nothing froze, even though the decks were covered in snow a few times. My only problem was that I had a Mermaid heat/AC unit in the MSR, and when it was really cold, it wouldn't put out much heat. However, since it ran saltwater through the heat exchanger, it never froze. IMHO, all you need is a little bit of heat to keep the pipes from freezing.
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"B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
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Winterizing for winter use in the PNW 10 Oct 2017 18:44 #3

  • Norton Rider
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As CptCrunchie mentioned, freezing should not be an issue, with the possible exception of any outside faucets that the boat may have. These are faucets such as a transom/cockpit shower, wet bar, etc.

My boat is in covered moorage in Anacortes. I keep an oil-filled space heater in the engine compartment to ward off moisture. Note that my boat is diesel-powered. If your boat is gasoline powered, you should only use an approved engine compartment heater. I also leave the built-in electric wall heaters on and set to 55 Degrees F.

My boat has a transom shower, as well as a small wet bar faucet in the cockpit. I've never winterized them. I actually considered adding shutoff valves to their lines so I could drain the water but leave the rest of the potable water lines as is, but never did it.
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1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
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Winterizing for winter use in the PNW 10 Oct 2017 19:40 #4

  • brad4550
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Hi David
We spent many years on "D" dock in La Conner..I put 2 pan cake heaters in engine room on all the time and 2 oil heaters on thermal blocks ( they come on at 38*),turned off water pump and opened all facuets,put a fan on a timer to circulate air 2 to 3 times a day for 1 hr. Each time. Some might think it's over kill...but never any freeze problems or mold issues .
Good luck Brad
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Brad & Sharon
Lady Jake
1985 4550 EH 700TI /Twin Disc 502
LaConner,Wa. (summer)
2003 Scout CC 24' W/225 Yamaha
kailua Kona,Hi (Winter)

Winterizing for winter use in the PNW 10 Oct 2017 21:02 #5

  • mmichellich
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In the NW you really need nothing beyond a bit of heat in the bilge more to keep condensation from forming and rusting parts. Inside your boat one smaller heater should be plenty. The real issue is whether your boat can withstand being without power for several days. Should that happen you may want to consider another way to heat your boat. My boat has a diesel furnace. We always planned to go to the boat and just live on it with diesel heat. With that said, we have lost power to our 47 for a week with temps in the mid 20s. The 47 has a roof over it but not a boat house. In checking the bilge and inside temps, it never got below freezing in heads, galley, bar, etc. I did drain the water lines to the back deck shower and bridge bar sink. Make sure to have power draw set such that when the power comes back on your dock breaker does not trip. I have to set my 130 amp inverter charger to 5 amp max so if we lose power we stay under 30 amps total.
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Started boating 1965
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Winterizing for winter use in the PNW 10 Oct 2017 21:19 #6

  • Pcpete
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I’m on the hard at Dagmar’s in Everett and my previous boat was water moored at the Port of Everett. There are a few things I do the same, like having some heat going, closing the thru hulls and turning off the potable water pump. Then there are the modified things. I’m limited to 20 amps so I run three King PAW heaters, that replaced the original cabin heaters, that, when all of them are running they take 15 amps. I open the galley floor hatch and set it over the opening sideways so there will be air circulation around the hoses and pumps. Every door and drawer is open just a bit and I’ve been known to place cushions and mattresses in a way that makes it look like someone “tossed” the place. It’s all about a bit of light and circulation. I keep a pancake heater in the engine room that leaves me with just enough power to run the fridge and battery charger. I also have engine room vent covers. I use spent antifreeze in the raw water cooling system, something you will not have to do.
If you really want to get creative in moving air around, computer fans are an excellent tool. And 12v is a common voltage for a computer fan.
Using your boat all year is the best thing you can do for it.
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Winterizing for winter use in the PNW 10 Oct 2017 22:22 #7

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In the water in Bellingham. I have froze the anchor washdown faucet...Once.. I now drain all the fresh water lines and water heater when I see a cold spell coming. I hook up compressed air where the pump connects to the water system and systematically purge the water lines, water heater manually. I don't use antifreeze and I don't keep heat on. I do wet vac the shower sumps and the bilge pump sumps and close the seacocks.
I pack pool 'noodles' into the engine room vents to keep a strong cross breeze from making it colder that it needs to be inside the hull.
I do put one DryZAir in the guest cabin. I leave the side windows barely cracked to keep air moving.
Other than the wash-down, I've not had an issue at all. It takes me a few minutes to 'undo' anything and I do go for a spin as weather permits.
Wickus smells very nice year round
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Winterizing for winter use in the PNW 10 Oct 2017 22:38 #8

  • simbad
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Slight thread hijack. Do I need to do anything to the 50hp Honda outboard on the flybridge. I assume it drains any water out of it naturally. But curious if there are any additional steps to take.

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Winterizing for winter use in the PNW 10 Oct 2017 22:55 #9

  • Norton Rider
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simbad wrote: Slight thread hijack. Do I need to do anything to the 50hp Honda outboard on the flybridge. I assume it drains any water out of it naturally. But curious if there are any additional steps to take.


Make sure that it is vertical or close to vertical. If it is tilted out water can pool inside the lower drive and freeze.

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1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
Anacortes, WA

Winterizing for winter use in the PNW 17 Oct 2017 18:38 #10

  • guntar
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You should keep some heat going in the laz and engine room areas. I had a issue with the starboard muffler floor leaking due to a freeze. The mufflers hold about 5gal of water and if it gets really cold the water can freeze and cause issues. I use 400 watt pali heaters. One in the laz and one in the engine room. Plus I have wolverine block heaters for each engine. For the cabin I keep the heater thermostats at 35 degrees and pour RV antifreeze down the drains. I also pour RV antifreeze in the drains for the Laz if it will be in the low 20s for longer than a week.

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Guntar
1999 3988
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