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Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Anything related to the operation of your boat. Steering, Bilge Pumps, thru-hulls, bottom paint, etc.
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Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby vineyardgray » October 20th, 2018, 3:50 pm

I thought I was smart and bought a Sea Flush funnel (seaflush.com) and now I see that there are no sea strainers on the raw water line coming into the boat. :censored: That makes this fancy funnel thingie all but useless for winterizing the engines. (should work ok for the AC and generator I hope)

So I have been scratching my head about winterizing for a week now and have to get on it because my pull out date is fast approaching.

The 1988 Santego has closed cooling, so the system works like this (I think :) The raw water comes in and goes straight to the Walter V-Drive and from there it goes to the transmission cooler on the way to the water circulator, where it goes through the engine heat exchangers and then out the exhaust.

I have read through the Walter info and the engine manual and there are suggestions to pull and drain everything. I was thinking rather than go through all that, can I not plumb in two Perko Flush Pro gizmo's into either raw water intake and then use the engine to draw antifreeze through everything and just leave it?

What do you guys think?

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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby bud37 » October 20th, 2018, 4:38 pm

Imo, if was going to put something permanent in the inlet hoses in my boat, they would be all bronze fittings, no plastic.......can be done so it will be very convenient to winterize or flush.......have you looked at getting one of those toilet plunger things that you could pump anti freeze into to run thru from under the boat..... :popcorn:
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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby vineyardgray » October 20th, 2018, 6:24 pm

Ya, I get what you're saying about the non plastic hardware. I could just plumb in some strainers (which should be there anyway - why on earth are there strainers for the genny and ac but not the entire propulsion system???) and then I can use this sea flush gizmo as intended.

It would be nice to be able to run the engines on shore without resorting to the plunger thing you describe (which I believe is a Fake-A-Lake - genius product name! :lol: ) but the likelihood of ever needing to run the engines on land is remote.

I'm guessing the sea strainers will have to be installed at the water line? Otherwise one would never be able to clean them while the boat was afloat? How does one go about determining the water level while installing a strainer in the water? :help:
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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby bud37 » October 20th, 2018, 6:53 pm

I might put them right by the thru hull if you have the space, that way you have the valve to turn off and isolate right where you will be working........ :beergood:

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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby denpooch » October 20th, 2018, 7:16 pm

AFTER I purchased my boat I noticed that there were no raw water strainers on the main engines. The previous owner bought the boat 'new' and skipped that option. How much could he have saved??? CRAZY!
My boat has strainers on both the a/c as well as the genset systems. I decided to have bronze strainers installed for the main engines.
That being said, for your application, perhaps you can take the raw water intake hoses off the thru hull and put them into a 5 gal bucket. With engine running flush fresh water (5-10 gals) through the system and then dump a bunch of antifreeze into the buckets. Have someone aft looking for pink.
As far as the Sea Flush and the a/c... I just utilized for the first time and am very happy. The technique also pushed plenty of gunk out of the cooling system. I would suggest you look at the online video. You did not waste money on the sea flush because it does a good job on a/c. Good luck.

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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby Viper » October 20th, 2018, 10:35 pm

Strainers certainly make the job a lot easier. As Denpooch said, you can remove the hose from the seacock, stick it into a pail of antifreeze and run the engine. I used to do it that way until I built myself a presurized system that I use to do all systems on board. Typically the hose from the seacock to the Walter is too short to put in a pail so add a length if you must. After the antifreeze comes out the exhaust for a few seconds, shut her down. Ideally, have someone at the helm to start and stop the engine, someone monitoring the exhaust for antifreeze, and someone at the engine filling the pail until the person indicates you're done. One person can do this himself but it's way easier with two or three. The plunger Bud spoke of also works very well.

vineyardgray wrote:Source of the post.... I have read through the Walter info and the engine manual and there are suggestions to pull and drain everything. I was thinking rather than go through all that......
Can't stress enough that the more water you get out of the system prior to running the antifreeze the better you'll sleep all winter not having to wonder whether you diluted the antifreeze enough to cause a major failure when temps take a dive. If you have mufflers, drain them too.

Strainers should be mounted below the water line.
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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby amanphoto » October 21st, 2018, 7:20 am

It will not work for ac. Your ac line does not have that much suction. You need a pump of some sort and pump the antifreeze through the system.

For then engines. Drain the engine of water with engine drain plugs. Then simply remove the coolent hoses on both sides of the thermostat and fill the block with antifreeze. Make sure to drain your muffler also.

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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby Viper » October 21st, 2018, 11:00 am

In this particular case, if the correct terms are being used, the block doesn't get drained as it is "closed cooled" according to the OP. The coolant in the block however should be tested as part of the winterizing process.

I know a few boaters that use the Sea Flush system to do their ac so it does work. Ac pumps don't have any ability to to suck fluid, they simply move fluid but their design gives them the ability to run all day and run that way dry if something happens. As long as the liquid is introduced above the pump, the pump will move it through the system. Sometimes it takes a while and may take some priming but I've seen it done. Some guys will also use a vacuum on one of the discharge ports of the hull to get it started.
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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby RGrew176 » October 21st, 2018, 10:20 pm

At my marina when winterizing the A/C they do it from the outside pumping through the hullside outlet back through and out through the bottom of the hull. I've watched them do it, seems to work. That's how they did mine last fall.
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Re: Winterizing without Sea Strainers

Postby denpooch » October 22nd, 2018, 6:47 pm

Viper I like the vacuum on the discharge idea. My a/c pump is not self priming (perhaps poor install) and getting it 'up and running' in the Spring is always a pain in the ars. I was gonna plumb a 'T' with a fluid release on the outbound side of the pump but the vacuum is an easier fix.

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