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View Full Version : Block Heater vs Winterizing



bhowell
12-18-2012, 04:40 PM
I live in Houston and it really only get's below freezing about 15 nights a year w/ the absolute low being typically around 20. I have heard from others in this area that they have never drained their block and the boat is fine. I'm not ready to go that far but am considering using some block heaters instead on winterizing. Anyone ever done this? Opinions?

Here are a couple of the options:
http://www.amazon.com/Kats-15200-Dipstick-Style-Heater/dp/B000BO74DG
http://www.amazon.com/Kats-1153-Handi-Heat-Magnetic-Heater/dp/B000BOABS6/ref=pd_sim_auto_2

Let me know what you think.

wolfeman131
12-18-2012, 04:52 PM
haven't done this myself as I have the dealer do a full winterization on my boat, but I think there are a minimal number of plugs to pull to drain the water from your block. I bet someone will confirm that this can be done in 15 mins or so once you know what you're doing. For me, I'd go this route vs the heater or maybe even drain & the heater. It would give me more peace of mind.

bhowell
12-18-2012, 04:59 PM
haven't done this myself as I have the dealer do a full winterization on my boat, but I think there are a minimal number of plugs to pull to drain the water from your block. I bet someone will confirm that this can be done in 15 mins or so once you know what you're doing. For me, I'd go this route vs the heater or maybe even drain & the heater. It would give me more peace of mind.

I drained it all last year and it wasn't hard but I would like to try and take it out once a month over the winter. We have still been getting 75 degree days. It makes it more of a pain if you have to do it 4x instead of once.

wolfeman131
12-18-2012, 05:22 PM
It makes it more of a pain if you have to do it 4x instead of once.

I hear ya, but I think it would be a bigger pain having to get the motor replaced.

rdlangston13
12-18-2012, 05:38 PM
i think the block heater would work fine as long as there is not a like a major winter storm that knocks out electricity in your storage unit. likely hood of that is low and if that were to happen im sure you could head over there and drain it all real quick

bergermaister
12-18-2012, 06:08 PM
I wouldn't mess with that dipstick tube setup at all!

The magnet ones seem simple enough - but I'd consider adding a bungee cord or something to make sure it doesn't fall off. Not willing to bet the farm on it without some insurance.

If you're really serious about it, you could go with something like this-
http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS-Performance-Products/555/51121/10002/-1?parentProductId=752718

Basically knock out one of the soft plugs on the end of the block and in this goes.

Soft plugs are the silver dollar looking plugs on the right and left. They are a press fit and not too terrible to get to.

http://static.summitracing.com/global/images/prod/large/nal-10066034_w.jpg

jmb
12-18-2012, 09:04 PM
I am using a heater that is strapped to the bottom of the oil pan. It doesn't get that cold down here anyways. Boat is in a shop and covered up and then the heater. Should be fine.

zabooda
12-19-2012, 01:18 AM
If you have a heater installed, those hoses and heat exchanger probably wouldn't benefit from the block heater.

maxpower220
12-19-2012, 11:58 AM
I read those reviews on Amazon. While people say is "keep the oil warm for start", I couldn't find anywhere that a temperature was referred to. What temp will it warm up to? How much does that radiate heat out? Seemed like a lot of people who bought something and assumed it worked.

For a little less money, I think I would opt for a light bulb in the bilge. I know how hot a light bulb can get and I know the insulated engine box will keep it warm while the light is on. That is what I use here in Tampa. Although, I doubt I needed it so far.

DOCDRS
12-19-2012, 09:19 PM
Alight bulb is good but 2 in series will provide a back up if one burns out. A little old man taught me this trick for pump houses in the winter time

monkstr6100
01-18-2013, 05:59 PM
If you not going to be using it for the whole winter season then just winterized it. Easy enough, and then your not sucking a ton of electricity all winter long. Block heaters are to get an engine warmed up quick to make cold weather starts easier, not really to maintain a constant long long period temp. I agree otherwise with the dual light bulb set up, but if you can afford a $20k+ boat, you can afford to winterized it and KNOW your engine will be safe all winter long. Just my opinion, and did not mean any of it to be rude.

bhowell
01-18-2013, 08:51 PM
Got the block warmer and 100w right now. Still haven't had a freeze. Hope to go out in the next 3 weeks.

beat taco
01-19-2013, 12:29 AM
Winterize over block heater. Really guys. 15 days. Must be rough. Since my boat sits for seven, eight, or nine months I drain the water out of it. Last winter my idiot neighbor left his 96 outback full of water outside and it still didn't freeze. Wouldn't be my luck.

jmb
01-19-2013, 10:47 AM
I have been known to ski/wakeboard in February. I went December 3rd, 2012. Not worth winterizing. Use the oil pan heater and I start it about every 3 weeks.

mmandley
01-19-2013, 11:15 AM
I always winterize but part of that is because in my insurance policy it states i cant use the boat between 11/1 and 4/1 this also makes my policy cheaper.