How to keep the boat during the winter

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Topics related to heating a boat in winter

Need to keep the boat during the winter

Can help to keep the water warm using a ice-eater under the vessel

comments and advice:

One of the next best is a bulkhead mounted diesel (i think the propane models cause condensation). For waterlines and hull/bilge-sole heating and great overall warmth hydronic (hot water). ITR makes hurricane heaters, diesel boilers which have 6 hot outlets. 1 to the engine (circulates hot water so no winterizing), 1 for domestic hot water, 4 for remote radiators with blowers for heat. Keeps the floor warm. Coupled with a Dehumidifier this its probably best. I went with an espar. Its at J Gordon at the moment being serviced. I have a Dickerson Chesapeake bulkhead mounted heater (diesel) for sale...Marc Newton

We put one in the engine room between the engines and left it on low heat. It not only kept the engine room toasty but heated the floor in the main salon also!!! Our aft deck is enclosed and we used the other one there. We went to a U-Haul store and bought a roll of the "big" bubble wrap and taped it with packing tape to the inside of the window covers that snap on the outside of the boat. It created insulated windows and prevented condensation. We did purchase a propane heater that looked like a fireplace that had a thermostat and kept it on low. We lowered out booth dinette and set the propane heater on it. In the aft cabin we used a West Marine electric heater on low at night only. We have a 47 foot Marine Trader trawler tri-cabin and I gotta tell ya we were warm and toasty all winter long!! Or you could just move to the Florida Keys like we did and not worry about it!!!

I use an oil-filled radiator for constant heat and a fan-ceramic heater near the door to combat draft. A heated blanket is also a nice "treat" (get the one with two controls). I don't know about the bubbler under the boat, but I have heard of people adding an extension to the intake that goes deeper under the boat to pick up warmer raw water. How warm you should keep your boat depends on your pocketbook.

If you buy them try to get the ones without the wheels so they won't roll about if the boat moves. We still have them. The reverse cycle units work as long as the water temperature does not go below 40'. Then you must shut them down as the water is too cold for them to heat. We used them our first winter there - cold and some snow. The second winter it was bitter cold but no snow. The third winter it was bitter cold and record snow falls for the city, state and Chesapeake Bay. We winterized our engines with the West Marine "pink stuff" which you can buy at Wal-Mart much cheaper. We closed the thru hull, opened the strainer basked and poured it in - in lieu of water. We idled the engine and it worked great. When the exhaust was spewing out pink stuff we poured an additional gallon in and then shut them off, topped off the strainer basket with pink stuff, opened the thru hull and it was fine all winter long. It took 6 galloons for each Perkins 6 cylinder engine. We put a small one bulb clamp on work light inside the little closet under the sink in the head to keep it warm. Just a small light bulb provided enough heat to prevent freezing. There is a place out on Pulaski Highway in Baltimore that sells larger tanks, propane and heaters. They will make the hose for you to run from wherever the tank is stored to the heater. You can buy the heaters anywhere. We had a 30,000 BTU unit which worked great on low. It was big but worked. I would opt for a little smaller one in size and perhaps run it at a little higher setting to compensate for lower BTU's. Smaller means you can put it lower in the boat. We never had a condensation issue from the propane and never any odor.! Judy Klawe

Electric heaters heating a boat get too expensive for the northeast at 30 cents a watt, also reverse cycle will not work when the water temp gets below 42 degrees If you choose propane make sure you run a Dehumidifier because the ventless propane produces moisture. Jeremy Larkin


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