Epi-sailor

Pacific Northwest Winterization - what are you doing

Recommended Posts

So in the past we have completely witerized the boat (strip all lines and canvas, drain all fresh water systems replace with anti freeze change oil and filters, etc) but most boats in our area are doing almost nothing.  Some put dehumidifiers in, toss on old sails, and keep sailing.  This is the direction we are going this year but still have some concern for when it does get colder. Any thoughts on what has or hasnt worked for those of you that live in similar climates?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I put on a dehumidifier, and if the forecast is for really cold I'll also run a heater set for 40F that lives near the engine.

Sometimes we put on a tarp, but I'm starting to lean towards "why bother".

Make sure that your AC system is up to snuff.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do the same as Alex, minus the tarp but I've got a hard dodger. I also pull the dinghy out of the water and bring my little rail-mounted outboard home where it can stay under cover.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't do nuthin with my boats. The Tartan has an inboard, the Columbia an outboard. Both boats get sailed through the winter.

The way I see it, the inboard is below the waterline, the surrounding water doesn't freeze, hence the engine water shouldn't. Couple that with a dehumidifier-heater thingy in the cockpit and I've never had troubles.

The outboard is out of the water on the transom, pretty much self draining of water, never had a problem there either.

I used to tarp the tartan in the winter, but wind storms kept shredding it, so now I don't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same as Alex, IStream and Wristwister. Dinghy on deck, heater set to come on at 40 degrees, dehumidifier, and fans to move the air around. We sometimes rig a heavy canvas tarp over the boom, but haven't yet this year. We sail in every season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to be clear- are you using your heaters just in the engine compartment or to heat the entire interior?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My engine is belowdecks so it stays at water temp all the time, no need to warm it up. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a very involved winterizing ritual. I put on an additional spring line to help with the SE busters that roar through occasionally, and I put a "flying saucer" heater belowdecks.

Exhausting, it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds horrible Ish. Then you have to go through all the hassle of unplugging that heater every time you want to take advantage of the great winter sailing up here. I'll tell ya, other folks just can't comprehend how rough we PNW sailors have it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I take the spare sails & cushions home. When it's too cold to sail I put messengers on the halyards and run them up to the masthead. I coil the lines and keep them under the tarp - adds years to their life. I change the engine oil in the fall so it doesn't sit in the engine with all the acids & other gunk that it acquires in the summer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Epi-sailor said:

Just to be clear- are you using your heaters just in the engine compartment or to heat the entire interior?

It won't fit in the engine compartment (a disk style one will), I just keep it in the main cabin just in front of the engine.

The engine isn't much below water line on my boat.  It probably can't freeze, but keeping the boat slightly warmer makes me worry less.  With the thermostat set to 40F it rarely actually turns on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

I take the spare sails & cushions home. When it's too cold to sail I put messengers on the halyards and run them up to the masthead. I coil the lines and keep them under the tarp - adds years to their life. I change the engine oil in the fall so it doesn't sit in the engine with all the acids & other gunk that it acquires in the summer.

This is about the middle ground I think we are going for plus an emergency heater and dehumidifier.  

 

For or those of you who don’t live here I want to state that winters here are miserable.  Already raining for at least the last 2 mths and sun will come back out on July 5th - No sooner.  Entire sailing community becomes more prone to the protest table and the commodore takes away the “anti freeze”.   Consider Michigan if you’re looking for a winter sailing venue they have ice boats - no winterization necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with above, and scrape the mold off every few weeks. I used to pick the mushrooms of the wood and other soft bits but now I kind of like the decorative effect.

Inside I run a cheap peltier dehumidifier. They ice up at well above freezing temps so I got an electronic timer that cycles it off and on every few hours. The freeze/thaw cycle does not seem to hurt it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in New England most of us haul and winterize everything.  Cushions and sails off so no mildew.  There are times when it wont go above freezing for 30 days.  Best to have a boat cover or shrink wrap to prevent damage from the multiple freeze and thaw cycles that play havoc with deck hardware.  We start frostbite sailing in dinghies on New Years day, then every Sunday.  We have the 20/20 rule - colder than 20 degrees or more than 20 kts we don't go out.  Occasionally the water is "too hard" to launch the boats.  Frozen salt water by the dock.

By April we're ready to sail Keel boats again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I run a desiccant wheel based dehumidifier on my boat.  Smaller and works better at cold temperatures than a compressed based one.  Also serves as a heater.

I'm trying a boom tarp this year to see if helps keep the cockpit cleaner.  I usually get dark streaks on the gelcoat and mold in the non-skid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, xyzzy said:

I run a desiccant wheel based dehumidifier on my boat.  Smaller and works better at cold temperatures than a compressed based one.  Also serves as a heater.

I'm trying a boom tarp this year to see if helps keep the cockpit cleaner.  I usually get dark streaks on the gelcoat and mold in the non-skid.

If you leave the mainsail and cover on, lash a separate line between the mast and the topping lift and put the boom over that. Keeps good airflow and stops the tarp from eating the cover.

I also use three DriZAir units year round, it's amazing how much water they suck out of the air.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

If you leave the mainsail and cover on, lash a separate line between the mast and the topping lift and put the boom over that. Keeps good airflow and stops the tarp from eating the cover.

This sounds like a good idea.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remove jib, put on full cover,setup dehumidifier and run hose to galley sink.  If we get a cold snap ill run a heater. I change my oil and antifreeze if its due also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, WHK said:

Here in New England most of us haul and winterize everything.  Cushions and sails off so no mildew.  There are times when it wont go above freezing for 30 days.  Best to have a boat cover or shrink wrap to prevent damage from the multiple freeze and thaw cycles that play havoc with deck hardware.  We start frostbite sailing in dinghies on New Years day, then every Sunday.  We have the 20/20 rule - colder than 20 degrees or more than 20 kts we don't go out.  Occasionally the water is "too hard" to launch the boats.  Frozen salt water by the dock.

By April we're ready to sail Keel boats again!

Hey WHK

What's your below deck humidity control / mold / mildew program?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, WoobaGooba said:

Hey WHK

What's your below deck humidity control / mold / mildew program?

The key is to leave the hatches cracked under the boat cover so the air flows through the boat.  That way the condensation doesn't form on the interior surfaces.  When the sun is out it is actually like a greenhouse and gets pretty warm under the cover.  I also am at my boat frequently throughout the winter doing projects.  While I'm on the boat I plug in a portable oil filled radiator in the cabin that takes the chill off while working.

My previous boat did not have a cover and life was not as simple, both from the mold / mildew and freeze/thaw cycles on the deck.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, silent bob said:

I’m in SoCal, I put a fresh bottle of Rum in the cooler.

Fuck You Very Much. :angry:

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 1:29 PM, Alex W said:

,,, disk style... (dehumidifier)

Like this one? https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-marine--air-dryer-with-fan-dehumidifier-120v-ac--7867518?recordNum=1

I have a 120V heater that comes on if the temp inside the boat drops below 45F, but it doesn't do anything about moisture.  I normally hang a few "damp-rid" bags around the interior, but if these things actually work halfway decent I'll give one a try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/31/2018 at 8:58 AM, SloopJonB said:

Fuck You Very Much. :angry:

Damn, just drank all the rum.  Have to put more antifreeze in the cooler!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All cushions and sails off, tarp on, heater and dehumidifier on, all food and aluminum cans removed, handheld VHF radios off, fuel tank at least 3/4 full to minimize condensation in the tank.  The dehumidifier won't work if the air is too cold.  Weekly visits to remove rainwater that comes down the mast.  Extra dock lines for when the wind kicks up.  Battery out of solar vent so it only runs during the day.  Foam spare lifejackets hung up in the cabin to get air circulation around them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It goes like this: If I fully winterize, weather stays mild and sailing opportunities abound.  If I leave everything rigged, there's an arctic vortex event and the boat gets frozen into the ice for a month, with icicles growing from the rail.  

In 2014, when the weather suddenly changed from 60° to 10° in mid-november, I was out of the country for a week and did nothing.  Turns out that nothing bad happened to the boat.  Of course, the water temperature was still pretty warm.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even the water in the marina only freezes once every 30 years in Seattle.  After putting a dehumidifier on, it was the best thing I ever did!  Keeps air moving around a bit and keeps the moisture out.  Drain it into the sink, not the bilge and have the pump empty it.  Why put the moisture back in the boat?  If you sail it much during the winter, just changing the oil, keep all tanks full, cruising sails onboard only, you are good to go.  I would pull all the good halyards off with messengers and if I didn’t have the boom cover on, then the main sheet too.

As someone said, don’t put a tarp over the mainsail cover. 

Small space heater works great for when it gets cold, or you just want to go down and do a little winter jobs on the boat.  Make sure your AC is in good order.  Don’t really have to do anything else there.  Oh, if you do get snow and have any way that water can get inside, it will.  

Well, I’m on the Big Island of Hawaii now, so heading out to go Laser sailing in shorts......sorry!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  On 10/30/2018 at 1:29 PM, Alex W said:

,,, disk style... (dehumidifier)

Like this one? https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-marine--air-dryer-with-fan-dehumidifier-120v-ac--7867518?recordNum=1

I'm not an expert but I don't think the above is a dehumidifier.  There is no water collection or drain per WM's FAQ.  Its just a low watt heater & fan (70 watts).  The little bit of heat above ambient temp I imagine will tend to dry the boat.

A few years ago I bought one of those small peltier dehumidifiers mentioned above that are all over ebay but it lasted just a year.   Then I read the reviews and they are bad, most say they last just a few months.   They are ~$40 - $80 so I figured I'd rather spend that money to heat the boat.

Now I use a standard 1500 Watt portable heater aft, set on ~40º, and a small fan forward to circulate air on my 31 footer.  (my RV the same).  I remove some of the cushions and all sails and put a white (not blue....) plastic tarp over the cabin.  Mast and boom are removed (easy single handed method), and all running and standing rigging is inside mast & boom bags I made out of an old, slightly leaky,  blue tarp on a sewing machine. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use one of these dehumidifiers, https://www.amazon.com/Eva-Dry-EDV4000-Dehumidifier-Rotary-Desiccant/dp/B00GOZ1XLK

Which appears to be basically the same as this one https://www.amazon.com/EcoSeb-DD122EA-CLASSIC-Desiccant-Dehumidifier-Ionizer/dp/B00KHJICC2/

Been two years and still working fine.

It uses a desiccant wheel rather than a compressor and cooling coils.  This allows it to run well at low temperatures, like in an otherwise unheated boat in the winter.  It's also smaller and lighter than any compressor dehumidifier.  It doesn't use disposable desiccant pellets, instead there is a wheel inside the unit that as it turns alternately absorbs water from the air in one part and then has the water cooked out in another.  It's not peltier based, like eric1207's. Those are still based on cooling air to condense the moisture.  They also tend to be really low capacity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now