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Every winter I want to keep fishing,so instead of winterizing my motor,I put a electric heater in the boat. Cover it with its main canvas then I cover the whole boat with a three mil tarp strapped around the boat. The digital thermometer I have on the inside says Temps are staying 80 degrees during the day,70 at night. I drained all the water out of the block and risers. This should be OK I'm thinking. Is there a better way to keep in boards safe from freezing and still keep fishing?
 

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I am no authority so dont rely on my word.I have a volvo 5.7 i/o.In my opinion you are more than fine.Every year i simply drain the block thoroughly,remove the batteries and cover her up.So far so good.Im an electrician so my initial thought is safety.Make sure the wiring is rated for the load and obviously the heater is clear from everything.
 

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If you have drained the block and risers, then the heater is not needed.

After seeing the problems that Ethanol causes with idle engines, I was advised a couple of years ago by a good marine mechanic to run the engine in the boat every couple of weeks to keep everything running smoothly. As a result, I haven't formally winterized my engine since. I flush the engine as I would usually do after use. Then I drain the block, risers, water heater lines, etc. while it is still warm. Then I wait a couple of weeks and when the right day hits, I will go outside and run the engine until it reaches operating temperature and repeat the process over again. I have not experienced any issues with the fuel system or block.

Now here's the bad news about this process. I have been told and have read that having the engine cooling passages empty can lead to an increase in rust. This makes it vitally important to keep a good eye on your cooling system each time you flush. Be sure to use a small wire to clean any blockages when you are draining everything.

I was also told to be sure to always put the block drain plugs back in place as leaving them out can cause rusting which may lead to the plugs no longer fitting. The marine mechanic who told me this said their shop has seen this several times.

Always open to other's feedback on these issues as we have all learned from either or own or someone else's experience.
 

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If you think you will not be running the boat for a couple of months you should seriously consider fogging each cylinder and the carb/intake to help keep corrosion out of the heads and combustion chambers. Definitely use fuel stabilizer because of ethanol. Just found out ours needs a valve job because of ethanol in fuel and not fogging the engine.

Kevin
Weekend Mistress
 

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Are you talking a marine heater for the motor compartment or a house hold electric heater? All I do is put a light in the bilge area and it keeps the temp over freezing. You don't need the boat so warm you just need it to be above freezing. If your running the motor monthly there is really no need to winterize.
 

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Not sure if you are an inboard or a stern drive setup, we used to take the raw water input and stick it in a bucket of antifreeze coolant and suck it thru. It stopped freezing in low areas and kept internals from rusting.
 

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Wolverine oil pan heaters. Easy to install and plugs into 110V. Have them on my boat I keep in water. Keeps entire engine warm.
 

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Never use household heaters or the lite bulb in the bilge for heat. Household heaters are not rated for marine use and components corrode overheat and catch fire. Bilges have the tendency to collect explosive fumes and lite bulbs should not be placed in them. One spark and Ka-boom! If your vessel should catch fire and the insurer finds these types of heaters on board , you may just find yourself up the creek without a paddle as they will not cover your loss. If boat is kept in the water in freezing climates you may not be covered at all anyway. Use the appropriate heater for the application and speak to your insurance company about leaving in the water over the winter for coverage!
 

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Rumor of five oil filled radiator type space heaters on a boat last January 2015 can do this.

 

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It can and it will in a heart beat! Especially a lite bulb in bilge. If your one of those people that says " I've been doing it for years and never had a problem" get up off your ass and get to the boat now and unplug it! Your luck is ready to run out! And if your at a marina, do the owners know of your setup? I bet that if they did you would be taking a very cold boat ride right now to another storage site for storage until the new place finds out about your winterization setup. Chances are the previous marina owner has already put the with out about you and you will be hard pressed to find winter storage. After all they are only trying to protect their property and others from people that try and save a buck at someone else's expense!
 
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