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Thread: Cold weather boating w/ inboard

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    Default Cold weather boating w/ inboard

    Hi folks,
    I was wondering if anyone has advice on early spring and late fall boating on the salt water as far as dealing with water freezing. I had a boat with an outboard before and it was a breeze to deal with freezing temps but it seems an inboard would be a different animal.
    Often, I am leaving the house at 10 degrees f and then plopping a boat in Whittier at 25 degrees. I assume it would have to be winterized every time after pulling it out of the water, occasionally it is very cold then as well. Also, on the water, do you have to maintain above freezing temps inside the motor area when parked for the night? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    One thing that you can do is use a 5 gallon jug with a hose connected to muffs. Put it on the swim step and tip it over, and start the motor. Turn it off when you see pink coming out of the exhaust. It is a pretty easy and cheap way to get the water out of your motor.
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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Most inboards are self draining, some have a crossover hose with a drain in it. I wouldn't want any amount of salt water sitting in the engine. Usually people dunk in fresh water and idle it on the trailer on the way home to clear any salt water out.
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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Music Man brings up all sorts of questions. I had assumed we were talking about an I/O since it was trailered, but what is meant by 'inboard'? Are we talking about a straight shaft inboard, a inboard jet boat or a boat with an I/O. The answer to the question is dependent on which of these it is. Many true ocean boats sit in slips with salt water in the year round without issues. If the boat has a heat exchanger and is designed for the salt, fresh water flushing is not such a big deal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    Music Man brings up all sorts of questions. I had assumed we were talking about an I/O since it was trailered, but what is meant by 'inboard'? Are we talking about a straight shaft inboard, a inboard jet boat or a boat with an I/O. The answer to the question is dependent on which of these it is. Many true ocean boats sit in slips with salt water in the year round without issues. If the boat has a heat exchanger and is designed for the salt, fresh water flushing is not such a big deal.
    Oops, sorry I left out that it is an inboard with shaft out through the bottom of the hull to a prop, steered by a rudder. The muffs are a good idea on an I/O, but I suppose antifreeze and/or freshwater would have to be introduced from above on a true inboard. The fresh water dip works if the lakes aren't all frozen. Also, it is on a trailer.

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    Also, it has a heat exchanger. Does this make flushing salt water irrelevant?

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    Any time that you are pulling out of the water you should flush the sea water side of the cooling system with fresh water. The easy way to do that is to install a T fitting or a Y fitting and a couple of ball vavles at your through hull fitting. One side of the T goes to the through hull with a ball valve. The other ball valve on the T gets a short section of garden hose to be used for flushing the sea water, or winterizing with RV antifreeze or another coolant.
    If you are really worried about freezing temps while on the water, either run a heat duct from a Espar/Webasto to the engine compartment, or just install a 12 volt immersion heater into the engine coolant, same as you would a block heater. It can be controlled off a switch, and only turned on when needed.

  8. #8

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    Most heat exchangers have a drain, just drain the water out of it. If there is no drain, put one in. Put it on a low point so water will drain from the lines as well, an ice chunk in the line could cause you to not get cooling water. On my inboard jet I just blow out of the outgoing line to get the water out of the engine and call it good, haven't had a problem yet.

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    Just close the sea valve open your sea strainer and run 2 or 3 gals of RV antifreeze and shut it off. For overnight in the water you can just let it be unless very cold say around 15 or less air temp then close the sea valve and drain system If you need more info PM me. Hope this helped.
    Quote Originally Posted by roybekks View Post
    Oops, sorry I left out that it is an inboard with shaft out through the bottom of the hull to a prop, steered by a rudder. The muffs are a good idea on an I/O, but I suppose antifreeze and/or freshwater would have to be introduced from above on a true inboard. The fresh water dip works if the lakes aren't all frozen. Also, it is on a trailer.

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