I'm plumbing up a "quick winterization circuit" on my runabout

I'm plumbing up a "quick winterization circuit" on my runabout

Paul
Paul

November 12th, 2007, 4:05 pm #1

I picked up some 1" brass ball valves yesterday, along with some fittings, to be able to switch off the water intake from underneath the boat and redirect that suction line to another location.

I have seen these kinds of installations used for a plumbed in emergency bilge pump system, but my intent is to have a quick and easy way to introduce a couple gallons of antifreeze anytime I want to throughout the winter season. I will want to take that Sea Skiff out on the water during times of potential freeze at night, and if I use an environmentally acceptable antifreeze I'll be able to open the hatch, fire up the motor and draw in antifreeze at any time, at the marina, at home, or on the road.

This will also allow me an easy way to hook up hose water to the boat and run it out of the water for testing, etc. The one valve can serve as a stop-cock to shut off the intake, while opening the otner valve allows me to hook up a hose or add antifreeze. Not rocket science, and about $35 worth of parts at Home Depot.

Paul
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James Brunette
James Brunette

November 12th, 2007, 5:38 pm #2

I ran a secondary hose back to the deepest part of the bilge, to a strainer. It's there if I need extra bilge pumping, and when I need to winterize, i just drop that hose (without the strainer) into a can of antifreeze. Works great.

James
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Paul
Paul

November 12th, 2007, 6:17 pm #3

Look at the next to last paragraph, exactly what you have installed.



My reason for installing the secondary system is primarily for winterization and tuning while in the back yard, but it may as well be hooked to a longer hose with a strainer, as a great stand by system.

regards,

Paul
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Paul
Paul

November 13th, 2007, 1:14 am #4

I picked up some 1" brass ball valves yesterday, along with some fittings, to be able to switch off the water intake from underneath the boat and redirect that suction line to another location.

I have seen these kinds of installations used for a plumbed in emergency bilge pump system, but my intent is to have a quick and easy way to introduce a couple gallons of antifreeze anytime I want to throughout the winter season. I will want to take that Sea Skiff out on the water during times of potential freeze at night, and if I use an environmentally acceptable antifreeze I'll be able to open the hatch, fire up the motor and draw in antifreeze at any time, at the marina, at home, or on the road.

This will also allow me an easy way to hook up hose water to the boat and run it out of the water for testing, etc. The one valve can serve as a stop-cock to shut off the intake, while opening the otner valve allows me to hook up a hose or add antifreeze. Not rocket science, and about $35 worth of parts at Home Depot.

Paul
Here’s my new system for the 327F on the 20’ fiberglass Sea Skiff.

Yes, I know, I should be using all brass fittings, but Home Depot doesn’t sell brass fittings, and the boat will only be in fresh water, no salt. Therefore, the galvanized fittings should last me a long time.



Intake water will come into the motor in normal fashion from the pipe in the upper left and flow directly through to the upper right. When the top valve is closed off, then fluid (water or antifreeze) will enter the motor from the pipe in the lower left. I have plenty of room to install this and the intent is to make it quick, effective, and long lasting.

The secondary intake will also live most of the time as an emergency bilge pumping system, hooked to a flat brass bilge strainer intended for this very type of installation.

The good news is, I'll be able to quickly install a hose fitting for tuning the motor while it's sitting in the parking lot. As for the antifreeze, I intend to winterize the motor, but keep it ready for splashing at any time, only to be re-winterized as soon as it's hauled out of the water again. We have too many "Indian Summer" days here in the south, and if we have one of those unexpected 70-degree days, hey, I'm going to be on the water one way or another!

Regards,

Paul

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Paul
Paul

November 13th, 2007, 6:37 pm #5

Hi guys,

I've received a few emails on this one, so I thought I'd post some diagrams "for the record", since I know lots of others are reading this thread too.

These images should be self explanatory. Since I know the exact pipe type and size, I'm going to order brass fittings, but I'm installing the system this season as shown, in case anyone is interested!





Regards,

Paul
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Paul
Paul

November 17th, 2007, 10:58 pm #6

I picked up some 1" brass ball valves yesterday, along with some fittings, to be able to switch off the water intake from underneath the boat and redirect that suction line to another location.

I have seen these kinds of installations used for a plumbed in emergency bilge pump system, but my intent is to have a quick and easy way to introduce a couple gallons of antifreeze anytime I want to throughout the winter season. I will want to take that Sea Skiff out on the water during times of potential freeze at night, and if I use an environmentally acceptable antifreeze I'll be able to open the hatch, fire up the motor and draw in antifreeze at any time, at the marina, at home, or on the road.

This will also allow me an easy way to hook up hose water to the boat and run it out of the water for testing, etc. The one valve can serve as a stop-cock to shut off the intake, while opening the otner valve allows me to hook up a hose or add antifreeze. Not rocket science, and about $35 worth of parts at Home Depot.

Paul
Sooo nice to be able to winterize in ten minutes. No more worry at night for the runabout.

Got the system hooked up to a wide open inlet system, and a nice reduced line running aft for emergency bilge pump action.

Throw the valves, drop the hose into a tub of 50/50 antifreeze mix and it sucks it right into the system nicely. I'm catching the fluid as it comes off the tail pipes so I can recirculate or even re-use it.

No action on the water today, way too much work around the house, including the rebuilding of a Massey Ferguson 135 Carb, new plugs, general tune up, and pulling front wheels for new tires. Oh yeah, splitting a little firewood too.

Paul
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Paul
Paul

November 18th, 2007, 7:48 pm #7

Here's the completed installation. I'll paint things to give a little protection to the galvanized fittings, and I intend to detail the motor now that I know it's going to be a runner. I have the main intake low and direct, with the ancillary valve up high. The good news is, the whole assembly can be lifted off for servicing the motor by unfastening two hose clips; the one at the pump and the one at the bottom intake. In the photo below, both valves are in the "closed" position. This is when I was adjusting things for clearances, as you can see, this side of the motor has a rather tight access and I wanted to be sure the swing of each ball valve didn't conflict with anything, including the motor box.



I put an old ten gallon waste can from my shop in the boat and filled it with water. Put the emergency bilge pump hose in the container, adjusted the ball valves accordingly, and fired up the motor. It purred contently and with a little rev, it achieved suction on the line. In the photo below, you can see the ball valve in the "up" (open) position set to draw water out of the container.


I checked the exhaust, plenty of water was being pumped at idle, even with that small diameter hose I was using. I was surprised how fast it drained that ten gallon container! This would make one heck of an emergency system, which I hope I'll never need. right now I have a smallish hose connected, but I have the fittings to add a larger hose, which I will probably do just to be on the safe side.

This time I ran it with water, next time I'll probably run it with water to get the motor warm, and then I'll run a few gallons of antifreeze mixed 50% with water through the system.

I'll rig a way to capture the antifreeze mix as it comes out the tailpipes, into a large plastic trash barrel, so I can circulate everything again and be sure the mix gets everywhere it should. No need to be wasting antifreeze anyway, even though it's the environmentally safe type, I have dogs and I don't want them getting into anything like that. As everyone should know, just a sip of the ethylene glycol type of antifreeze can kill a dog; this stuff I was using is the proplyene glycol type.

Someone makes a nice brass hose connected bilge strainer, and I'll get one of those hooked up for the normal running of the boat, in order to keep the emergency bilge pump system at ready.

This is a slick setup, and it will take the worry out of the extended running season I have here in Tennessee. We have already had weather into the high twenties at night, and it's nearly 70 today. When we get those unexpectedly warm days, I'll have the option of being on the water. Who knows, maybe I'll even find some hearty soul who wants to donn a wetsuit and go water skiing (but it won't be me!).

Regards,

Paul

Last edited by FEfinaticP on November 19th, 2007, 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dave Mehl
Dave Mehl

November 18th, 2007, 10:52 pm #8

Makes a LOT of sense, Paul, nice documentation.

Now I'm wondering why you don't have this setup on the Commander too. I know you keep your boat in the water all year long with the heat on, etc. However, having a setup like this sure would offer a lot more protection in the event the weather really turned bad on you.

Dave
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Paul
Paul

November 24th, 2007, 12:42 am #9

Here's the completed installation. I'll paint things to give a little protection to the galvanized fittings, and I intend to detail the motor now that I know it's going to be a runner. I have the main intake low and direct, with the ancillary valve up high. The good news is, the whole assembly can be lifted off for servicing the motor by unfastening two hose clips; the one at the pump and the one at the bottom intake. In the photo below, both valves are in the "closed" position. This is when I was adjusting things for clearances, as you can see, this side of the motor has a rather tight access and I wanted to be sure the swing of each ball valve didn't conflict with anything, including the motor box.



I put an old ten gallon waste can from my shop in the boat and filled it with water. Put the emergency bilge pump hose in the container, adjusted the ball valves accordingly, and fired up the motor. It purred contently and with a little rev, it achieved suction on the line. In the photo below, you can see the ball valve in the "up" (open) position set to draw water out of the container.


I checked the exhaust, plenty of water was being pumped at idle, even with that small diameter hose I was using. I was surprised how fast it drained that ten gallon container! This would make one heck of an emergency system, which I hope I'll never need. right now I have a smallish hose connected, but I have the fittings to add a larger hose, which I will probably do just to be on the safe side.

This time I ran it with water, next time I'll probably run it with water to get the motor warm, and then I'll run a few gallons of antifreeze mixed 50% with water through the system.

I'll rig a way to capture the antifreeze mix as it comes out the tailpipes, into a large plastic trash barrel, so I can circulate everything again and be sure the mix gets everywhere it should. No need to be wasting antifreeze anyway, even though it's the environmentally safe type, I have dogs and I don't want them getting into anything like that. As everyone should know, just a sip of the ethylene glycol type of antifreeze can kill a dog; this stuff I was using is the proplyene glycol type.

Someone makes a nice brass hose connected bilge strainer, and I'll get one of those hooked up for the normal running of the boat, in order to keep the emergency bilge pump system at ready.

This is a slick setup, and it will take the worry out of the extended running season I have here in Tennessee. We have already had weather into the high twenties at night, and it's nearly 70 today. When we get those unexpectedly warm days, I'll have the option of being on the water. Who knows, maybe I'll even find some hearty soul who wants to donn a wetsuit and go water skiing (but it won't be me!).

Regards,

Paul
Last night it dropped below freezing here, barely, and I noticed a faint bit of ice on the dog bowl outside. It was supposed to drop just below freezing and it did just that for a short while; nowhere cold enough for a hard freeze that would crack iron.

Looking at the forecast, I don't see any action next week-end, and to be safe and sure I don't get caught out there one cold night trying to do this job at the last minute, I decided to run the antifreeze this afternoon.

I ran a mix that will give me protection down to around twenty below zero, using three gallons of antifreeze. That's a little more than six gallons to work with. I started by running fresh water, and when the water was just about sucked out of the container, I started adding full strength antifreeze. One, two, and three gallons, all sucked right into the motor, through the system, and out the tailpipes, into collection drums.

After the fluid was gone, I refilled the main suction container on board, and ran the motor again. I ran the antifreeze through the motor three times in a matter of minutes.

Next time I'll take the work out of it, with a longer hose all the way to the collection containers at the tail pipe. I'll just draw down one container or the other, which ever one has the most fluid. This way I can be sure I'm getting a good purge inside the motor and avoiding any pockets of pure water that may be trapped. The good news is, fluid flows by the thermostat whether it's open or not. Running in three gallons of full strength antifreeze seemed like a good idea too. It all mixed once it hit the collection containers at the tailpipes.

The antifreeze mix will be saved in a marked container, for use later in the season when I need to do this all over again. Yes, it's a little work, but well worth the effort if you're going to be able to take the boat out on a pretty day and winterize it again quickly.

Now I'm doing an experiement, with a little of this mix in the freezer just to see what it will really do. The pyrometer said its about zero degrees in there. Hmmm, we'll see.

Since I've been told by a reputable source, that the "pink stuff" will freeze solid, I'm curious about this brand I'm using (which isn't pink, by the way). Even though the pink stuff may freeze solid, it may still offer expansion/damage protection, don't know.

I'll post photos of the crime scene tomorrow showing the collection system I used, which was a pretty simple and quick setup with snap ties and corrugated drain pipe.

Regards,

Paul


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Paul
Paul

November 24th, 2007, 8:20 pm #10


Here's the general idea. A length of inexpensive corrugated drain pipe and a couple snap ties. Bingo.

Fast, inexpensive, and effective. I ran the motor on water until it warmed up and just discharged that water out onto the ground. Then I started the final fill with three gallons of water, as the water began to draw down, then I added three gallons of antifreeze to the supply container. That put an initial full strength antifreeze mix through the motor. I collected the mix from the discharge containers and ran it back through the motor two more times just to be sure I had all those fresh water pockets flushed out.



I now have a 6-gal storage container full of antifreeze mix for the next time I need to do this, which I hope will be sometime soon. I'll run a long intake hose all the way back to the container next time, so I can run the system continually until I'm satisfied I have all the raw water flushed out.

The boat is ready to go to the marina, or to withstand freezing temps, whichever the case may be.

Regards,

Paul
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