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Old    brycejay            01-07-2010, 8:54 PM Reply   
Hey guys it is going to drop around 30 degrees tonight and maybe for the next week or so. I have a bunch of icicle style x-mas lights sitting around... Can I put them in the engine compartment to keep it warm? If so where should I put them? I also have a drop light, where is the safest place to put it? Thanks
Old     (bfnaci)      Join Date: Dec 2008       01-07-2010, 9:00 PM Reply   
I use an electric blanket set on low.
Been doing it for years.
Remember that in order to crack a block the temp has to be below freezing for a long time, more than a day. Typically the day temp rises and problem solved.
Just to be safe i use the blanket.
Old     (dhcomp)      Join Date: Jun 2003       01-07-2010, 9:01 PM Reply   
Put a drop light in the bilge, facing up, towards the oil pan.

No way Christmas lights put out enough heat.

One night of 30˚*shouldnt' be too much to worry about, but better safe than sorry.

Is there a reason you don't just properly drain the block? might be tough to figure out the first time, but it really is a 5 min project once you know how to do it.
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-07-2010, 10:04 PM Reply   
Drop light....
Old    brycejay            01-07-2010, 11:29 PM Reply   
went with the drop light. Hopefully it does the trick...
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-07-2010, 11:49 PM Reply   
If your gonna lose sleep over it, then come back tomorrow & we can walk you thru the drain process. It's not that big a deal & can be done in a few minutes.
Old    brycejay            01-08-2010, 1:04 AM Reply   
Awesome. I just might do that. Thanks!
Old     (mhunter)      Join Date: Mar 2008       01-08-2010, 4:08 AM Reply   
Just drain it it only takes about 15 mins. Keep in mind when you put lights and heaters in you expose your boat to fire. Also an engine can freeze and crack over night. If its cold enough to freeze its cold enough to crack.
Old     (tuneman)      Join Date: Mar 2002       01-08-2010, 8:18 AM Reply   
For those late season runs, I use a tiny space heater like this one:


You can get them at Target or Walmart for less than $20
Old     (bcoutsfly)      Join Date: Aug 2009       01-08-2010, 11:12 AM Reply   
Fire waiting to happen ^^^^

(Message edited by bcoutsfly on January 08, 2010)
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       01-08-2010, 11:41 AM Reply   
when I used to live up north, in addition to quickly and easily draining the water, I used something like http:// =googlecom09c9-20&linkCode=asn&creative=380341&creativeASIN=B000B OABS6

Got it at a local farm supply store

(Message edited by timmy on January 08, 2010)

(Message edited by timmy on January 08, 2010)
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-08-2010, 12:09 PM Reply   
Those space heaters are a fire waiting to happen in your home, much less a boat. We just had a situation at work with one.
If your interested in a long term solution, then companies like Xtreme & BoatSafe make bilge heaters designed specifically for a boat..... prices start around $250.
Old     (wakemikey)      Join Date: Mar 2008       01-08-2010, 12:18 PM Reply   
LOL christmas lights
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       01-08-2010, 12:21 PM Reply   
And icicle ones at that!
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       01-08-2010, 12:30 PM Reply   
Christmas lights can keep a tree or plant from freezing. i'm sure it will work in your bilge.

For all those in warm parts of the country, who don't normally winterize but find themselves a little uneasy during weather like we're having, you should consider a block heater like those commonly used on vehicles up north. 50 bucks.

Interestingly, ran across a forum for prisoners, it seems? did'nt know such a thing existed. anyway, here's how to make a homemade version of a block heater! LOL
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-08-2010, 2:26 PM Reply   
I'd be hesitant to rely on a block heater to keep the water in an engine from freezing. When we lived in Anchorage we were told they were used to keep the oil warm & the viscosity up so the oil would flow when you started your engine. They are typically mounted down low, where the oil sits. Or inserted in the freeze plug holes in the side of the block. And don't keep the top end of the engine warm at all (like where the water pump & thermostat are located).

Call Discount Inboard Marine & get their 2 cents.
Old     (jimmy_z)      Join Date: Jun 2009       01-08-2010, 3:06 PM Reply   
Block heaters dont work well unless they are used in a sealed cooling system.

They will burn out in most marine applications because the cooling system is not a closed system and there is usually an air gap where they are located in the freeze plug.

If your boat is equipped with a sealed cooling system it would be fine to use.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       01-08-2010, 4:33 PM Reply   
That makes sense. The one I linked said 300-400* but I wouldn't rely on personally.
Old    brycejay            01-08-2010, 4:48 PM Reply   
Ha come on guys give me a break on the icicle lights! People here wrap them around their trees and plants all the time to keep them warm, so I figured why not an engine compartment. I ended up just going with the drop light. I might throw some x-mas lights in there just to add a little heat.
Old     (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       01-08-2010, 5:18 PM Reply   
Also on a sealed cooling system you would have antifreeze in the system so it would not matter. Come on it's only two 9/16 plugs in the side of the block. And while you have them out change them over to the petcock style so it only takes one Minn to drain for times like this.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       01-09-2010, 6:35 AM Reply   
oil pan heater will keep the engine compartment warm in a safer way, that is what you are going for in a boat.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       01-11-2010, 12:26 PM Reply   
A drop light with a 40 watt bulb works great. Also pick up a timer like you use on christmas lights (make sure it's good for the wattage you choose) and set it to run for a few hours a night (unless your somewhere where it's maintaining freezing temps all day). Maybe midnight to 4am. You should be good like that.
Old    wakeridinrob            01-12-2010, 9:48 AM Reply   


Michael Hunter (mhunter)

Also an engine can freeze and crack over night. If its cold enough to freeze its cold enough to crack.

Not 100% true: as pressure builds (water beginning to expand/freeze) the temp will have to drop in order to become solid due to heat being generated.

Example: Its a hot day and you just got home from work. You remember that you have a couple of beers in the garage, But they were never put in the fridge. So You put one in the freezer and let it sit for 10 min. When you come back to see if its cold enough you grab it and sit down in your chair. The bottle is ice cold and the beer inside is still beer. The Moment you crack it the dam thing turns into a beer slushy. "DAMMIT!" (perfect example of Freezing and pressure)

(Message edited by wakeridinrob on January 12, 2010)


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