View Full Version : Need some quick help

12-30-2010, 01:03 PM
Well folks I have to admit I'm not prepared. We're expecting freezing temps tonight in Phx and my x45 is outside under a carport. I don't winterize because I use it still 2-3 times a month during the cold months. Think I can just drain the block for tonight and be okay? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Also any specifics on where the plugs etc are would be helpful.


12-30-2010, 01:10 PM
What motor do you have in the boat? I've also heard of people using a drop light in the engine compartment to keep the temps from freezing.

12-30-2010, 01:16 PM
If its only supposed to get down to 31 degrees for a couple hours, I think I would probably just go with the drop light.

Then again, a frozen block, exhaust manifold, or even ballast pump, is going to cost a bunch to fix.

12-30-2010, 01:19 PM
how cold is it supposed to get? if like 30 for a couple of hours you should be good to go with a drop light. if colder for a longer period you would want to drain the motor. to be safe, i would circulate some rv antifreeze through your ballast pumps. put a gallon in each tank and pump out until you see a steady pink color.

12-30-2010, 01:23 PM
Thanks guys. News is calling for mid 20's!! It's the 8.1 block.


12-30-2010, 01:32 PM
I would wait until the temperature is supposed to drop and I would run the engine using a fake lake to warm it up.... Then, I would use a couple of drop lights... One on each side of the engine compartment.... You should be fine then...

12-30-2010, 01:42 PM
It really doesn't take long to drain the block and manifolds. For the piece of mind I'd just drain the block (not sure on your motor but on the RTP/MCX) it's two drain plugs, one on either side of the motor. To drain the exhaust manifold (once again on the RTP/MCX) it's just a hose that has a garden hose type fitting that wraps around the back of the engine. All this should take you less than 45 minutes tops.

If you want to be real safe do the drop light but be aware there have been stories about boats burning when the drop light came in contact with flammable materials. If you go this route be sure the bilge is clean and use a drop light with good heat protection from the bulb. Also be sure you're using a light bulb in the drop light that is rated for the application. Most issues occur when the 25 watt rated drop light has a 100 watt bulb installed.

12-30-2010, 01:44 PM
I would wait until the temperature is supposed to drop and I would run the engine using a fake lake to warm it up.... Then, I would use a couple of drop lights... One on each side of the engine compartment.... You should be fine then...

That sounds like a good plan. The other heat source I have used is a quartz heater. I have one I use at our deer hunting shack. It has a blower and no ability to melt anything.

12-30-2010, 01:55 PM
Thanks guys. News is calling for mid 20's!! It's the 8.1 block.


I have this same issue in the Fall and Spring and I drain my block/exhaust/heater/ballast to be safe.

In reality, it is unlikely that your motor will freeze unless it is mid 20s for more than 12 to 18 hours, particularly if your temps were in the high 40s or greater during the day. If you can park the boat over a section of black top that was exposed to the sun all day, it will radiate heat for many hours and keep your boat even warmer over night. Having said that, it is relatively simple to drain block and manifolds, and certainly safer.

I think you have three options.

A. Drain block/heater/shower/ballast. If there is likely to be freezing temps intermittently for the next few days or weeks, I would go this route.

1. Drain the block and exhaust manifolds. Pull your safety lanyard and turn the engine over for 15 seconds to push water out of your water pump. No need to pour any antifreeze into the system.
2. Make sure to drain and blow out and heater or shower. These will freeze long before your motor.
3. Make sure your ballast tanks are empty and run the pumps for several minutes so they are dry. You can run RV anti-freeze through as well.

Talkes perhaps 15 minutes to do all of these items.

B. Alternatively, bring the engine up to temp (using external water source of course if you are not at the lake) and then pack blankets around the engine.

C. Place a heat source (light bulb, cheap ceramic heater) in the engine compartment, near the heater core. As long as there is no power outage, this should work for a transient cold spell.

I would do B or C only if you do not anticipate multiple freezing conditions. Just my thoughts.

12-30-2010, 03:19 PM
You guy's are great. Thanks so much. I think I have a solid plan at this point with the start up and drop lights. Much appreciated!


12-30-2010, 03:24 PM
Make sure not to use the fluorescent drop lights. :D

12-30-2010, 03:51 PM
Here's my quick 2 cents from a climate that frequently gets below freezing, yet I run all year so I never winterize. I also have an X45 with the 8.1 and do the following: (based on guidance from a high-performance boat mechanic)

- Leave it in the water at my dock - the lake actually works to insulate the boat and keep things warmer
- When out of the water - temps would need to stay below freezing for 24+ hrs to be a significant risk - that said, it is always better to be safe than sorry - drain when you can.
- Do not use drop lights - use a real heat source like a dehumidifier, goldenrod, or engine compartment heater. Depending on the type you get they could be spendy (few hundred bucks), but not as expensive as a new engine.
- Make sure engine compartment vents are semi-covered to prevent losing the heat you are generating. This could actually create an even colder compartment with hot air escaping and pulling cold air in - learned that one the hard way with my larger boat.

Hope this helps!

Live Day1 (http://www.liveday1.com)

12-30-2010, 04:05 PM
An electric blanket over the motor works well also.

east tx skier
12-30-2010, 04:08 PM
If you drain it, it wouldn't hurt to pull it around on the trailer over a few hills with the truck to get the water out of the nooks and crannies inside the engine.