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Antifreeze or just drain?

Posted: December 30th, 2018, 9:38 am
by VicB
I know the debate is probably older than I am, but it’s pertinent to me, cause now I’m talking about my boat. I’ve got two raw water cooled Crusaders and no strainers in the 3807 we bought in October. My intent was to remove the intake hose from the seacocks and use it to run antifreeze into the block and exhausts. Starboard side is a booger to get unstuck and I’m wondering if it’s worth it. Port side is virtually inaccessible for this. I can barely reach the handle just to cut it off. I have drained both engines from all the plugs and or drain cocks. I know some will say “air doesn’t freeze” and I agree, but a moist block with no water promotes rust and some corrosion. Does that even matter as it will be flushed and run again in March or sooner? Additionally Saturday it was 63 with no wind. Would have been a great day for a short boat ride. I have an Extreme heater in the engine compartment and I’m guessing pretty reliable power at the marina. Coldest temp in that compartment recorded so far has been 42, so the heater probably has not even come on yet. Colder weather is coming for sure, I’m just not sure of the best “reasonable” route to take. I may be over thinking? We are in north west Alabama. Average 30s, 40s and 50s during the days and maybe teens and 20s at night during January and February. Some of the other owners say they don’t do anything. I’m just not that guy. I’m a little OCD about maintenance, which my wife says gets on her nerves! Your guys thoughts have always been a huge help. Any thoughts on this matter?

Re: Antifreeze or just drain?

Posted: December 30th, 2018, 9:57 am
by bud37
Did you drain/ blow out the raw water line from the the pump to the thru hull ? We used to put the race cars to bed in november and fire em up in those engines used only water ( rules )...just drained hot then blown out with a shop excess corrosion/rust issues ever. Cars were in unheated garage, sometimes the trailer.

Watch a couple videos on winterizing , there are some where they pour AF in the top after draining if that would make you more comfortable. There are probably many ways of doing this that work, I am sure others will have their versions. Good luck man , don't sweat it.

Re: Antifreeze or just drain?

Posted: December 30th, 2018, 3:30 pm
by darrenlife
I also had to winterize my new to me boat this fall. Personally, I have always flushed antifreeze through my engines however my climate is a fair bit colder than yours. I installed these on my last boat and swear by them now: ... id=2755962

I ended up installing them part way between my seacocks and water pump in a place that was easiest to access.

Do you have the option of removing the hose connected to the inlet side of your water pump and connecting a section of equal diameter hose to coo etc to your jug of pink? This may be alternative to removing hose from seacock.

Re: Antifreeze or just drain?

Posted: December 30th, 2018, 4:45 pm
by buster53
A couple of thoughts....
I didn't think Crusader ever made raw water cooled engines.
Is the boat in the water or out? Big difference. In the water you have nothing to worry about. Out of the water and if you have a bad cold snap, you have reason to worry.
In the spring when you fire up your engines for the first time and see what comes out of your exhaust, you will never leave raw water (or no water) in them again. Just have someone fire up the engines while you watch the exhaust. It will make you sick.

Re: Antifreeze or just drain?

Posted: December 30th, 2018, 8:45 pm
by VicB

Here is my port engine It’s definitely raw water cooled. I was surprised they didn’t have strainers when I bought it. I’m thinking about pulling the thermostat cover and just pouring antifreeze in both directions from there. Like I said, I am unsure about leaving the block and exhaust dry but if I fill it and we get some pretty days it would be great to take the boat from a spin. Again most on the dock do absolutely nothing. They don’t even seem to visit their boat. Still have paddle boards and lawn chairs on them like they haven’t been there since summer.

Re: Antifreeze or just drain?

Posted: December 31st, 2018, 7:14 am
by mjk1040
If you can run bilge heater(s), I would be happy with that. Especially if you can take a winter trip now and then. A lot of crusaders didn't have strainers. Only other option would be to "T" into the raw water supply line some where accessible so you could shut off the seacocks and inject what ever you need when you need to. Descaling your engines from time to time helps remove scale build up and rust from your internal water passages. Doesn't sound like your in a deep freeze for a long period of time in your area. Relax!