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EMS fltops
05-06-2010, 06:50 PM
Overnight temperature for tonight is forcasted to hit 23F (-5C). I was wondering how cold does it have to get before you should put heaters in the engine compartment. I know the engine is water cooled and that part of it drains when you pull the boat out of the water. But how much water remains inside and how cold can it get down to and how would you be able to detect any damage?

SkiDog
05-06-2010, 06:59 PM
Overnight temperature for tonight is forcasted to hit 23F (-5C). I was wondering how cold does it have to get before you should put heaters in the engine compartment. I know the engine is water cooled and that part of it drains when you pull the boat out of the water. But how much water remains inside and how cold can it get down to and how would you be able to detect any damage?

Connect a light bulb on an extension cord and place in the engine compartment. That should keep it warm enough to avoid any damage.

Kevin 89MC
05-07-2010, 10:58 AM
Most engines hold quite a bit of water. I drain my block and throw a light bulb under the engine cover anytime it may get under 32 around here, which can be often in the spring & fall with the boat out. That's pretty conservative, but it takes about 5 minutes, and allows me to sleep better. Occasionally our weather people have been off by quite a bit, as we've awakened up to frost on the ground when they said it wouldn't get below 38F, so I tend to be overly cautious. If you had just run it and got it up to operating temp it will cool down slower, but if it is already cold, 23 degrees is what I would consider cold enough to be concerned. I'll likely do this tinight, as there is SNOW in our forecast tonight!! Got out yesterday though, so it's worth it!
Good luck,
Kevin

83SuperSlot
05-07-2010, 11:14 AM
Does the light really keep it that warm!??

thatsmrmastercraft
05-07-2010, 11:19 AM
Most engines hold quite a bit of water. I drain my block and throw a light bulb under the engine cover anytime it may get under 32 around here, which can be often in the spring & fall with the boat out. That's pretty conservative, but it takes about 5 minutes, and allows me to sleep better. Occasionally our weather people have been off by quite a bit, as we've awakened up to frost on the ground when they said it wouldn't get below 38F, so I tend to be overly cautious. If you had just run it and got it up to operating temp it will cool down slower, but if it is already cold, 23 degrees is what I would consider cold enough to be concerned. I'll likely do this tinight, as there is SNOW in our forecast tonight!! Got out yesterday though, so it's worth it!
Good luck,
Kevin

What are you doing tonight when its supposed to get down to 24 for about three hours? I don't think I can take the stress of not running some RV antifreeze in. I do have a dipstick heater I could put in along with a trouble light. Haven't made up my mind yet.

Kevin 89MC
05-07-2010, 11:31 AM
Thatsmrmastercraft, I'll be putting a 100 watt bulb under the cover and draining the block. I have done that a few times a year for the 12 years I've owned the boat, and never had any problems. I like to get it out early and put it away late! It's usually out from April 1 to Nevember 15 or so, so it's been through a few hard freezes, and snowfalls.

I do think it needs to be a hard freeze for several nights for it to cause damage, but I don't like taking chances. There have been a few times when I've almost "re-winterized" by filling it back up with anti-freeze, so I can see where you're coming from. That would take just a bit longer, and again pretty cheap insurance.

Depending on how much junk I need to move in the garage, I may try to get mine in there tonight and make the wife's truck park outside. It's unheated but attached, and it is amazing how much warmer it is in there. I'll still do the light though.
Good luck with yours.
Kevin

Kevin 89MC
05-07-2010, 11:35 AM
Does the light really keep it that warm!??

Yes it does. I haven't verified it with a thermometer, but when I open up the engine cover the next morning, the block is definitely warmer than the rest of the boat. If you do this, make sure the light is not touching anything flammable. The one I use has a metal shield and a clip on it (found it at Home Depot many years ago), so it's well suited for this.
Kevin

Ski-me
05-07-2010, 12:00 PM
Does the light really keep it that warm!??

Yep, definitely works! We had a pretty decent cold snap when I first got the boat and I was sweating all night long worrying about the engine. Finally woke up around 1am and ran an extension cord and a table lamp with a 100W bulb in it. Came out the next morning and lifted the engine cover and it felt plenty warm in there.

I now have the boat in the garage for safety until it warms up just a little.....

Suburban is sitting outside each night :(

thatsmrmastercraft
05-07-2010, 07:21 PM
Forecast is still for 7 hours in the 20's with a low of 23 tonight. I just finished running in 3 gallons of RV antifreeze and draining everything down. I still had it set up with a pail for running in the driveway, so it didn't take much to do. I always keep 3 gallons of RV on hand so it was no big deal. I will sleep much better tonight. Of course some Early Times may help that.

EMS fltops
05-07-2010, 09:13 PM
Thanks for the info. I put a light in.

medicmoose
05-07-2010, 11:02 PM
Good idea....or you could have waited for the weather to warm up a bit!!!!!! What was the water again...49 degrees?

thatsmrmastercraft
05-08-2010, 10:37 AM
The weather terrorists once again wrong. Only got down to 36 last night. Still calling for another cold night tonight. Probably could have gotten by with just a trouble light in the engine compartment, but thats not something I want to gamble on.

83SuperSlot
05-08-2010, 11:53 AM
LOL, I am just not brave enough to try the light bulb thing. I would have already had it out on the water if that works!! It's been beautiful here for a week but we have one day next week that the overnight low is going to get to 28 and I don't want to take the chance of running it and not putting RV antifreeze back in... It gives me that sick to my stomach feeling everyone is talking about... Maybe if I put a radiant heater under the cover I would feel better but I think I am just going to give it another week or so before I get it out... :D :D :D

joecarew3
05-10-2010, 01:03 AM
Well have had the boat dewinterized for almost a month now. I keep it in a garage but it's not heated and uninsulated. The weather has been awesome up until this week. Almost had the chance to hit up a snowy set but couldn't find a spotter to tag along. Anyway the temp is in the thirtys right now. The garage temp is around 40, I expect it to be below freezing by late morning. Put a thermometer in the engine compartment to check it out. After a few hours the temp was 61 degrees F. The light seems to be doing the trick. Was a little nervous at first but after I set it and went back a couple hours later to check for hot spots around the bulb, everything was cool to the touch. Should be good. Will let you know if something happens.

joecarew3
05-10-2010, 11:37 AM
Well, successfully made it through another freeze. Checked the overnight temps, outside was 25 degrees F, garage probably got to 28-30. The temp under the engine cover stayed at a balmy 61 degrees. Light bulb did the trick.