Winterizing:  2003

This page was last updated on 18 October 2003.

Winterizing he boat is old hat by this point, both for me and for you, dear reader. However, this year, a new twist has come about:  how do you run an engine inside an enclosed permanent structure?  What do you do with the exhaust and water discharge?  The answers to these questions are what makes this more interesting this year.

Strictly speaking, winterizing was probably not necessary, as I expected the barn to be heated well above freezing at all times.  Still, this is not a chance I would willingly take, and besides, there's the corrosion-protection component of running fresh water and antifreeze through the engine passages.  Therefore, winterization for long-term storage was important no matter what.

I couldn't simply run the engine as usual, because the exhaust discharge would have made an incredible mess of everything in the shop.  Not possible.  So I had to come up with a plan to collect and discharge this exhaust outside the shop--without, obviously, moving the boat.  To make matters  more difficult, the boat was located on the far side of the building from the side opening, and stern in from the front door, so the exhaust outlet was about as far away from an opening as it could be.

I decided I needed a bucket with piping attached that would drain the contents outside the barn.  As far as the exhaust smoke and fumes, I planned to simply open every door and window and let nature take its course--there was little else I could do.

IM009357.JPG (135718 bytes)I rigged up a 5 gallon bucket with a PVC drain fitting.  You'll see in the photos that there is a vertical piece of pipe running up outside the bucket.  This has no function whatsoever.  It exists only because I used old sections of PVC that I had lying around, and this particular "T" fitting fit the bill as far as installing in the bucket (it had a short length of pipe on one side of the "T" that, coupled with the fitting itself, formed a good flange-type seal on the bucket).  Because I couldn't remove the vertical pipe, and because I had no other pieces suitable for this use, I used it as is, simply cutting the vertical piece off just below the top of the bucket.  Call it a vent, if you must, but it really has no function.

IM009354.JPG (145259 bytes)I secured the drain fitting to the bucket with gobs of silicone for a watertight fit, and let it cure overnight.  The morning I winterized the boat, I set the bucket up beneath the exhaust, propped up on toolboxes and boards as needed, and ran several sections of pipe straight outside the barn through the side door, securing the couplings with duct tape as needed.  Even if these joints leaked a little, it wouldn't matter.  In hindsight, I realize I probably could have run straight out the back window of the barn, but I think I prefer going out the side even though it is longer.

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With the bucket and drain fully set up, I tested the watertight integrity with a hose; the drain in the bucket worked well, and no leaks.  So I continued with my winterizing plan and, after checking the stands and such, started the engine and ran it for several minutes with fresh water.  Some of the exhaust discharge dribbled down outside the bucket, but the bulk was nicely contained in the bucket and drained immediately outdoors.  With all doors and windows open, the fumes weren't too bad, but I set up a box fan to help circulate the air.

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After running the engine for 5 or 10 minutes to warm the oil (for changing later), I allowed the fresh water in my bucket inside the boat to drain nearly out, then poured in several gallons of pink antifreeze.  It may take less, but I like to ensure lots of antifreeze running through the engine to flush all the remaining plain water out.  Antifreeze is cheap; engines are expensive.  When the bucket was nearly dry of antifreeze, and I had ensured good antifreeze--only discharge from the exhaust, I shut down.
IM009356.JPG (147028 bytes)Later, I moved the bucket slightly to the other side of the stern, beneath the bilge and sink discharge fittings, and took care of emptying the water tank (into the bilge--then overboard into the bucket) and running some antifreeze through the galley sink drain and sump.

The system worked very well.  My only trauma occurred when I dismantled the setup later.  There was still some antifreeze in the drain bucket, and I ended up slopping it all over the place when I tried removing the bucket.  Sigh.

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Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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