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Old     (cdrymalla)      Join Date: Aug 2009       11-15-2009, 7:21 AM Reply   
I have a direct drive Nautique and plan to leave it in the garage unwinterized here in Austin. The garage shares a wall with the house, but is not heated. On cold nights, I think I may want to add some heat in the garage just in case (people who do this in the area can chime whether or not they think it is needed at all).

1) I was thinking about using one of those small electric room heaters (on the floor away from the boat) to heat the garage but there is always fear of a short or something, but it doesn't seem much greater than people using them inside the house. (I would keep it away from flamable stuff). Seems like it would raise the garge temp enough since I don;t expect to have extended periods of crazy cold temps.

2) I always hear of people putting light bulbs in the compartments. How exactly is this done: where do you hang it and do you then keep the dog house closed over the engine? It seems like this is an even greater risk of fire, but everyone seems to suggests it like there is no concern?

Any one try these or have any suggestions. Thanks!
Old     (wakeboardin2k4)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-15-2009, 7:52 AM Reply   
Your block is not going to freeze unless you have at least 48 hours of below freezing temperatures. I know I left my boat in freezing cold temps for 3 days with water in the block and nothing happened...I had a family emergency that was more important than the boat.

I would go with hanging the light bulb in the engine bay, closing the dog house and calling it a day. Use a drop light like the one is this link
Old     (razzman)      Join Date: Dec 2006       11-15-2009, 7:53 AM Reply   
You'll only need heat if the interior of your garage drops below freezing on a regular basis. Either way if the boat is going to be sitting for awhile you'll still want to drain the block so the water is not sitting and rusting away.
Old     (you_da_man)      Join Date: Sep 2009       11-15-2009, 10:18 AM Reply   
Chris - I live in Copperas Cove (about 60 miles northwest of Austin) and was pondering the samething. I store my boat in an indoor storage unit with a roll-up door and the unit is sealed very well from outside air/drafts. I don't want to spend the extra $300-ish to winterize when in our area we get those warm days every 2-3 weeks and can run the boat around. My dealer said that if we had 48hrs of straight below freezing temps that a simple heater would do the trick or the drop light. I think I'll go that route. I have power in my unit and I think maybe I'll put a timer on a drop light if the night temps look cold. You have an advantage though, you can store your boat in your own garage. I really think you don't have anything to worry about unless we get 3-4 days of solid below freezing temps so a small space heater would easily do the trick for the few days per year.

(Message edited by you_da_man on November 15, 2009)
Old     (jetskiprosx)      Join Date: Aug 2004       11-15-2009, 10:48 AM Reply   
There are lots of safe, cheap, floor standing heaters that you can setup in your garage. On cold nights just turn this on and you'll be fine.
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       11-15-2009, 11:34 AM Reply   
Why heat the entire garage when all you need to heat is the engine compartment? Or spend 5 minutes & drain the engine & heater?
Old     (sdub)      Join Date: Jan 2003       11-15-2009, 2:10 PM Reply   
my concern would be losing power. Maybe that where my mind goes because we lose power here often during winter storms.

If you have a heater you better keep the core warm, I could see that freezing way faster than the block.

Or do what Bill says, draining could not take any longer than 10 min.
Old     (wakeboardin2k4)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-15-2009, 2:18 PM Reply   
You could also spend some time designing a faster way to drain the block.

I've never done it but you could pull the block plugs and thread in a fitting and attach a hose to the fitting coming from each side of the block and run them together to a shut off valve that lays in your bilge so all you have to do is open and close the valve when it's gonna get cold.

Just an idea
Old     (dhcomp)      Join Date: Jun 2003       11-15-2009, 2:42 PM Reply   
Way easier to drain your block. Not that hard to do, a basic drain takes 15min to get the water out of critical places. The rest of winterization is for corrosion fighting, which is sorta needed regardless of temps for long storage.

I say drain it, and don't worry about heat!
Old     (bcoutsfly)      Join Date: Aug 2009       11-15-2009, 4:30 PM Reply   
When I lived in Dallas I never winterized my boat. I wouldn't be too worried about it. Just drain the block for piece of mind.
Old     (big_boss)      Join Date: Jun 2007       11-15-2009, 9:42 PM Reply   
I'm in Austin as well. Last winter I just drained the water from the engine and V-drive. We had no problems. My boat is in dry storage, but is not well insulated, or heated.

I replaced my engine drain plugs with ball valves to make it easier to drain water from the engine. The V-drive plugs are easy to reach so I left them as-is.

We run our boat all year. As long as you are running your boat at least once a month there is no need to fog cylinders or anything like that. Just drain after running and you are good. Maybe put some fuel stabilizer in the tank after a fill up, but I never did that and had no problems.

Aaron in Austin

Edit to add: Your garage will hold some warmth from your house. I wouldn't worry about freezing unless we get some crazy ice storm or something, but even then it rarely stays below freezing for more than 12 hours or so. Drained and in the garage should be fine with no additional heat.

(Message edited by big_boss on November 15, 2009)
Old     (mhunter)      Join Date: Mar 2008       11-16-2009, 5:37 AM Reply   
You southern guys really go to extremes to not do something that takes 15 min tops. I always thought getting the water out when stored for long periods helps with rust in the block. The winterizing process is a time to go over the boat check and repair, clean and detail. It took me almost a week to do my 210 its now cleaner than the day I bought it.
Old     (cdrymalla)      Join Date: Aug 2009       11-16-2009, 6:36 AM Reply   
Thanks for the input. I will likely drain the block, but I will probably have a light ready and/or a small heater. I doubt the garage will drop below freezing due to the house sharing a wall, but I also have a huge window in one side, so you never know.

Some have commented it is extreme, but I hardly think taking a few extra steps to ensure I don't have a cracked block is extreme. What is it going to cost me total $20 for a heater I can use year after year and a few dollars in electricity? I guess it is kind of like us laughing at the northerners when the temp breaks 90.

I doubt we will have a huge ice storm, but I have lived in texas all of my life, and they do happen. I don't want to be the person searching for a solution the afternoon before the temp drops into the teens and we have a three day ice storm (it happens).
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       11-16-2009, 6:59 AM Reply   
I'm in n.east texas. I drain it, b/c like others said it only takes a few minutes. However, I have an enclosed attached garage and stuck a thermometer in there last winter just to see how low it got. Never got below 50*. I'll still drain it, but its good to know I don't have to.
Old     (bcoutsfly)      Join Date: Aug 2009       11-16-2009, 7:22 AM Reply   
Michael, we don't put our boats up for 7 months at a time like "you northerners do".
Old     (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       11-16-2009, 7:32 AM Reply   
If the window is an issue you could put some plastic over the window for the winter.

Buy a heater, but buy a thermometer also to see how cold it actually gets in you garage. My guess is that it probably never gets near freezing.
Old     (cdrymalla)      Join Date: Aug 2009       11-16-2009, 7:42 AM Reply   
I agree, it probably does not get below freezing, and a thermometer is a good idea. I used to work in test and measurement and still have some data logging software and thermocouples laying around. If I have some time, I may set it up just to see what the temp differential is inside and outside....

In additon to the block freezing, doesn't the cold temp have other negative effects (e.g., batteries). Seems like a little warmth couldn't hurt.

(Message edited by cdrymalla on November 16, 2009)
Old     (roomservice)      Join Date: Dec 2006       11-16-2009, 8:11 AM Reply   
making it easier to drain the block is a good idea of course, but has anybody ever used the magnetic oil pan heaters? seems like a simple cheap solution for milder climates.
Old     (tuneman)      Join Date: Mar 2002       11-16-2009, 8:23 AM Reply   
For early and late season, here in Minnesota, I've placed a tiny space heater in the engine compartment. It has a built in thermostat, so it shuts off when the temperature is warm enough. They cost like $20 at Walmart or Target, etc.

However, if you have an Epic with closed cooling, it's even easier;-)

No need to heat the whole garage.
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       11-16-2009, 8:27 AM Reply   
One of the best ways to keep your garage temperature consistent is to make sure it is air tight. If you get a cold snap outside you don't get the temperature change inside if you don't get air movement. The heat sink of the floor will keep the garage warm enough.


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