Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    2,009

    Default Another daft question... need a suggestion to prevent engine from freezing

    But, without wintersing with antifreeze.

    It looks as if we'll be picking up our first river (non-tidal) cruiser in the next week or so.
    Slightly surprisingly it seems as if most people lay their boat up for Winter and don't use it at all.
    Therefore, filling the cooling system with antifreeze is the perfect solution for them.

    But, being a bit stupid, and not frightened of the great outdoors I'm planning on using the boat all through the Winter.
    So, what I'm thinking of is some sort of low powered heating device that will keep the engine compartment from icing up when it's moored up, something along the lines of a thermostat and small ceramic heater just to maintain a temperature of 2 degrees or so.
    But, I'm having trouble finding one.

    The ceramic heater is no problem, they're widely available in reptile stores and fit a standard light fitting but it's finding something to control it that's a problem, any ideas?

    Incidentally, I know it's a little risky if the power goes out but, we don't get that much really cold weather in this country and if it came to it I'd rush down there and antifreeze it in an emergency.
    The cooling system also works via a heat exchanger so if the worst did happen, the engine wouldn't be damaged although I imagine a replacement exchanger and pump etc wouldn't come cheap.

    Boat is a '75 Seamaster 23 and the engine is a 2.0 petrol Chevvy/Ford jobby (old as the boat) The heat exchanger is an aftermarket add-on an the boat will be stored on freshwater.

    Sorry, once again I seem to have written an essay to cover a fairly simple question...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Mid Sussex
    Posts
    59

    Default

    I have one of these in my engine bay during the winter months -
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tubular-He...item1c2b40d749

    But I also use an old high tog double duvet to wrap around the engine, a little primitive but seems to do the trick...

    Paul

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    up on the moors.
    Posts
    33,322

    Default

    no, not an essay, you have described the problem carefully and in detail.

    There are a number of solutions:

    fan heater - produces convected air and can be directed at the cold object. Some concerns about fire.

    oil heater - radiant and some convected. Pretty reliable, especially the good tube ones. Can be placed close to engine.

    electrical heating tape - conductive heat. Applied directly to object requiring warming up. Clever stuff.

    All connected to a thermostat if they don't have one already. Risk of mains electrical failure or pontoon tripping to leave you without heat. Generally if the river / marina water is running, then the inside of the engine compartment will not freeze up unless there is a lot of freezing cold air whistling around it.



    Good for you for keeping on during the winter and not taking up fishing instead


    Oh yes, develop a routine of turning off the seacocks and tieing a label to the wheel as a precautionary reminder. If everything does freeze solid, a split hose could make the boat a submarine in fairly quick time.
    Last edited by sarabande; 19-11-12 at 08:56.
    I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    2,009

    Default

    *shuffles fishing rods carefully out of sight*

    Thanks very much for the reply, the oil filled radiator option would maybe seem the safest and would be the quickest option, but the lowest power model I can find is 450W.
    Maybe I could insulate the engine compartment so that it would be on for the minimum amount of time?
    I do have some small fan heaters that do a superb job of keeping the shed above freezing but I must admit I'd be worried about the risk of a fire, maybe unfounded if the carb' float bowl is empty though.

    The river does have some flow, but is heavily controlled by locks so the flow can be variable, especially through Winter and does sometimes almost cease altogether.
    The mooring we have selected is also off of the main channel (I wanted that for the slight increase in security) so I think the river water freezing is a significant risk.

    Maybe I should just keep a close eye on long range forecasts and antifreeze it if a prolonged cold spell is forecast?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    2,009

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sarabande View Post
    Oh yes, develop a routine of turning off the seacocks and tieing a label to the wheel as a precautionary reminder. If everything does freeze solid, a split hose could make the boat a submarine in fairly quick time.
    Eeek! just seen your edit!
    Right, I need to ensure it does have seacocks before I do anything then, it's not worth gambling the boat on!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    1,286

    Default

    E bay green house heater smallest is 60 watt.


    Lynall

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    8,309

    Default

    Tube heaters all the way. Safest and cheap...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Berkshire
    Posts
    827

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by No Regrets View Post
    Tube heaters all the way. Safest and cheap...
    +1

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    2,009

    Default

    Fantastic, many thanks all

    And, whilst googling "what is a tube heater," I found Amazon list a thermostat to go with it. Perfect solution and only about £50.00.
    I love this forum

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Stratford on Avon
    Posts
    11,183

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sulley View Post
    +1
    +2.

    I drain down the domestic water, and blow residual water out of the calorifier as it wont drain down without positive pressure.

    I have 2 tube heaters in the engine bay, circa 200 watts, and use a thermal plug to kick-in beelow 5C. When it gets really cold I cover the engines with a sleeping bag too. I use a tube heater in the saloon, and several dessicant dehumidifiers to reduce the condensation. If your engine is diesel, then top up the tank, to reduce condensation in the tank and the opportunity for the diesel bug.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Latest YBW News

Find Boats For Sale

to
to