Home > Ask Our Experts > How Can I Keep My Boat in Water During Winter?

How Can I Keep My Boat in Water During Winter?

By: Thomas Muller - Updated: 14 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
How Can I Keep My Boat In Water During Winter?

Q.

I want to keep my boat in the water all winter and I am looking for an electric air system to keep the water from freezing.

Two boats have it at our dock and they run all winter. I want a system that turns on when the water temperature is set to a certain level.

(M.D.M, 12 February 2009)

A.

Air circulation devices are available to keep the frozen waters at bay when vessels choose to brave the winter season in the water.

Simple, Ingenious Design

The simple idea behind these propeller-style contraptions is that they draw up warmer subsurface water to the cold top layer in order to prevent it from freezing. Warmer water exists at a lower level because as water gets colder, it expands and becomes lighter. At approximately 4°C, the warmer, denser water sinks, whilst the cold, lighter water rises, where it will freeze once cold enough.

Models Available

Depending the brand manufacturing these electric devices, they are variously known as de-icers, ice eaters and water circulators. The chief brands – such as Kasco Marine and the Power House - are typically North American-based, where there is a much greater need for marine de-icing than the UK.

Circulation units are fairly basic and standard in design and so it’s mercifully easy to choose one that is ideal for your boat. Beyond the choice of manufacturer, the one key thing you just need to decide on beforehand is size.

Firstly the models available vary in terms of the horsepower required – typically from ¼hp up to 2hp – to cover the area you want free of ice. The standard units can de-ice areas of between 20 and 40 feet. Secondly you also need to choose the length of cord from which the device is suspended from your vessel. As the unit is slung underneath the vessel, the length of the line will depend on the size of your boat’s hull.

Temperature Control

If you want to control temperature at which the circulator springs into life then you will need to buy a separate thermostat controller. Kasco and Power House each manufacture their own thermostat device to work alongside their circulator range. Although optional they are strongly advised for boats wintering on the water in a climate that is not prone to season long freezing, as they will significantly improve energy efficiency.

Positioning

As previously mentioned water circulation units come with a long length of cord to enable it to be slung beneath the boat, totally submerged in the water. It should be installed at least two to four feet below the bottom of the boat, whilst making sure there is enough depth to keep it off the bottom at all tide levels and away from any bottom debris. The unit will also feature a number of line attach points so that it can be positioned at an angle to help develop a circulation pattern to draw up the warmer water.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Helen
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Professional person looking to rent a boat long term in Bristol must have at least 2 bedrooms.
    14 January 2018
  • Jo jo
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Looking to rent a boat long term in Norfolk hilgay, downham and surrounding areas Currently renting a mobile home near kings…
    26 November 2017
  • resi500
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    I'm and my wife are in Pension, 67 and 64 years old and would like to rent a 50 to 60 foot Narrowboat from May to September in England. Any…
    21 November 2017
  • Smithy
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Hi looking for a boat to rent long term moving out of London in work in Faversham
    11 November 2017
  • Phil
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Hi am working in Leeds and looking for boat to rent Monday to Friday for long rental
    3 November 2017
  • non-live-aboard
    Re: What Are 'Bridge Hoppers'?
    Interesting, but I find it hard to understand the anger towards 'bridge hoppers'. I use my boat according to the continuous cruiser…
    20 September 2017
  • sailor0500
    Re: Mail & Banking Considerations
    I live on my narrow-boat on a British Waterways Marina mooring. I receive housing benefit which pays just over half of my…
    2 September 2017
  • Incorrect Facts
    Re: Paying Taxes If You Live on a Boat
    You said: "Depending on the value of the mooring, there is also the possibility of paying either value added tax (VAT)…
    18 August 2017
  • Jacqui
    Re: Paying Taxes If You Live on a Boat
    Hello I am a member of a boat club. The club is run by a committee who are also members and volunteer to be a committee…
    7 August 2017
  • carole
    Re: How Much Does It Cost To Live On a Boat?
    Looking for a houseboat for longterm rent in norfolk. Would like to buy one but still saving at the moment. So a…
    31 July 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the LivingOnABoat website. Please read our Disclaimer.