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Old     (scotthons)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-06-2010, 7:20 AM Reply   
I had our boat unwinterized a couple of weeks ago and took it out. Everything was fine and the weather was in the 70's. I put the boat back in storage and have not seen it since. The weather turned over the last couple of weeks and dropped down as low as 23 degrees at night. The high everyday has been at least 50. There were probably at least three straight nights where the temps dropped below 32, but always warmed up during the day. The boat is in a ghetto in-door storage. It is basically a metal warehouse with dirt flooring, but it is enclosed. I am headed up this weekend, but a little concerned about what I might find. Should I be worried? I am from California and never had to worry about it freezing before this.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       05-06-2010, 7:26 AM Reply   
So there is nothing you can do?.... if thats the case, don't worry, it won't help anything.
Old     (bbeach)      Join Date: Jul 2002       05-06-2010, 7:28 AM Reply   
No you shouldn't be worried. It would take being below freezing inside your engine compartment for 15-24 hours straight to cause you any real problems. And just because it gets below freezing for a few hours OUTSIDE doesn't mean it gets that cold in your engine compartment.

Last edited by bbeach; 05-06-2010 at 7:31 AM.
Old    ScottRobinson            05-06-2010, 7:31 AM Reply   
Yeah I would tend to agree with both, can't change it now. But, I just don't think 3 days of only 23 degrees is enough to do damage. It's like wearing a coat. You had the "indoor" portion, plus the engine compartment as I would think it may have got cold but didn't freeze anything up. Hopefully you are fine. Keep us posted.
Old     (joesell)      Join Date: Apr 2001       05-06-2010, 7:33 AM Reply   
You have nothing to worry about. Take it from a Wisconsin guy, it has to be a lot colder, for a lot longer before you have to worry. Expecially if it got to 50 during the day.
Old     (scotthons)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-06-2010, 7:37 AM Reply   
You are right that there is nothing that can be done now. I am sure you guys are right and everything is fine.
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-06-2010, 11:41 AM Reply   
Learn how to drain everything & never worry again.

Do you have a heater in the boat? If so, it'll be toast.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-06-2010, 12:05 PM Reply   
Yeah, I was gonna say the only thing I would be worried about is the heater but even that isn't necessarily damaged.
Old     (mhunter)      Join Date: Mar 2008       05-06-2010, 4:07 PM Reply   
Do you have freeze insurance? Put a glass of water in your freezer and set it to 23 degrees.
Check it after 8-10 hours if it didnt freeze you have nothing to worry about . If it did your engine did also and you most likely caused engine damage.
Old     (tro)      Join Date: May 2009       05-06-2010, 4:14 PM Reply   
seems like the glass of water would freeze a lot quicker than your engine. the engine is in the storage (not exposed to freezing temps directly), and it is in the engine compartment also which provides protection. and if it got to 50 during the day, chances are that the storage didn't freeze as easily once it got to 32 degrees because it would have to cool down. seems like you'd have to have freezing temps for at least a day or so straight to mess it up.

i have no idea though. take precautions.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       05-06-2010, 4:19 PM Reply   
^ Yeah, an open glass of water is nothing like the engine in the boat.... unless you open the hatch, and the doors to the place....

all the air around it has a pretty good insulation, not to mention the engine cover/materials

Old     (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       05-06-2010, 4:32 PM Reply   
Terrible analogy Michael.

I think you will be good. Always keep an eye on the future forecast and think of investing in a cheap droplight.
Old     (dohboy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-06-2010, 4:54 PM Reply   
The freezer isn't the same. In order for anything to get to 23 in a freezer the air being supplied is much colder then that. There has to be a temp difference for heat transfer. The freezer holds a steady temp due to the mass of frozen items inside. It might be a close, although still not the same, comparison if you put a thermos in a cold environment for a few hours as Im sure it wasn't 23 degrees the whole night. That was just the lowest the temp got through the night.
Old     (mhunter)      Join Date: Mar 2008       05-07-2010, 4:25 AM Reply   
OK guys
I read post after post with the same advice dont worry it has to be below freezing for days to cause damage. The next post is the boat owner looking for a block.
Keep in mind that water freezes at 32 degrees when the outside temp is 23 degrees then it can get to 32 inside the engine compartment. Its just careless to leave your boat with water in the engine when there is any chance of freezing. You may have dodged the bullet this time but its only a matter of time before you have a problem. The ONLY way to guarantee you are safe is to drain and fill with antifreeze . Anything less and you are rolling the dice. Northern guys know this you must be from the south where you can get away with bad habits.
Old     (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       05-07-2010, 4:35 AM Reply   
Michael, not to be busting your balls, but the guy said he winterized the boat. He unwinterized thinking the days of freezing temps were over. This has happened to me in the past. I wasn't going to re-winterize for a couple of nights of freezing temps, I simply put a light in the engine compartment.
Old     (mattgettel)      Join Date: Jan 2009       05-07-2010, 5:16 AM Reply   
Micheal, how is it that "The ONLY way to guarantee you are safe is to drain and fill with antifreeze"? If you really drain all the water wouldn't it be impossible for any damage to occur? It would be hard for frozen water to bust your block if you have to water to freeze. I especially like "Northern guys know this you must be from the south where you can get away with bad habits. " I will call you next time i need some boat advice. We basically praise anyone from the north around here.
Old     (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-07-2010, 6:16 AM Reply   
How long wa it 23 degress? Odds are only an hour or two. Did your area have a hard freeze advisory? Were people freaking out about their sprinklers? If not odds are you're ok. It got down to 32 here last night, even got a dusting of snow. My boat is at the lake and I'm not worried, becasue it didn't stay cold for long.
Old     (scotthons)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-07-2010, 7:03 AM Reply   
I guess I will find out tomorrow. I will let you guys know how it turned out. I am not sure how long it stayed at 23, but I am betting it wasn't very long. The boat is stored about 5 miles from the Lake in this tiny little town. Not sure if they were worried about a hard freeze or not. The boat does have a heater so I am little concerned about that, but if that is worst of my problems then I will be happy. Thanks for all they responses!
Old     (tonality)      Join Date: Mar 2005       05-07-2010, 10:05 AM Reply   
Hey Scott;

Just to give you an idea of what you're up against...I too store my boat with a heater in a tiny town on the lake, in an uninsulated tin-roof storage shed (does have sheetrock up, so that helps) and I put a remote thermo with a secondary unit (about 20 bucks at walmart) underneath near the prop (since that's where it'll get coldest) and one inside the engine bay. The thermo had the ability to record lowest and highest temps so i could check it the next day. During our worst weather, when outside temp was in the teens, the thermo under the boat got into the 20's...and the one in the engine bay never got below 42. It takes a LONG time of REALLY cold air to freeze and crack a block on a boat stored indoors, and you basically can reset the timer any time the days get above 50 or so.

That being said, it takes 5 minutes to drain it once you learn which plugs to pull (only 2 on mine), which is some pretty cheap insurance if you ask me.
Old     (mhunter)      Join Date: Mar 2008       05-07-2010, 4:15 PM Reply   
Wake 77
That is my point when he ran water through the engine he lost all protection the fact that it got down to 23 degrees puts him at risk.

How do you know you have all the water out? If you call north west Indiana south then I guess you would be right. As for asking me for boat advice you could do worse I am very experienced with engines and inboard boats.

The fact is if you dont drain and fill with antifreeze you are at risk below freezing. If you are too lazy to do that then dont its your boat I dont care either way .

Scott I hope everything is OK. I dont want to see this to happen to anyone.
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-07-2010, 4:30 PM Reply   
Whether or not you should fill with antifreeze in the winterization process is a subject that comes up in the forums a lot. Personally, I don't do it. I live 30 min from the Canadian border, see temps well below freezing, am on my 3rd boat in 15 yrs & haven't have issues. I learned the process from guys who run companies like HO, OBrien & Ronix.... who ride year round & have been doing this process for a lot of years.

I drain the engine. Drain the heater. Drain the shower. Bump start the engine for a second. Plug in the on-board bilge heater. Plug in the on-board charger. Cover the boat. Done. Takes 10 minutes. And we'll do this process 20 or more times every spring & fall just to get the good water.
Old     (mhunter)      Join Date: Mar 2008       05-08-2010, 4:53 AM Reply   
As long as you keep the engine warm with the heater it doesnt matter if you drain it or use antifreeze. By draining and heating you are pretty safe . I love Overkill.
Old     (scotthons)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-09-2010, 8:08 PM Reply   
Everything was fine. We had a great weekend at the lake. Thanks everyone for the advice and I will definitely be doing things different in the future.
Old     (dohboy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-09-2010, 8:09 PM Reply   
Good to hear
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-10-2010, 11:45 AM Reply   
Good to hear it all worked out. Time to relax & get some sleep!

I hear you Michael. The issue I have is my engine is in the back. And the heater is up front under the driver's dash. The bilge heater doesn't heat up front. If your heating your garage, cool. Should be fine.
All that said, it's very easy to setup your heater to drain easily. I used radiator flush Ts from a flush kit. Just pull the caps & the heater drains into the bilge in a few seconds. Others have used garden hose quick release fittings.


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