One of the difficulties with a boat moored over 100 miles away is keeping an eye on the temperature inside. What I don't want is water freezing in the pipes, taps or shower mixer.
This will be the first winter I've had to worry about this. During the last cold spell Ally and Ben were living aboard full time, and therefore keeping the place warm. Now they are staying with friends until they can move in to their house. Meanwhile half their stuff is still on board.
Some people, I know, remove the shower mixer altogether. Draining the domestic water seems the minimum one should do. I have not done this before - do I simply turn on all the taps so as to completely empty the water tank? Or is there a way to empty the pipework while still keeping water in the tank?
And there are two other water systems on the boat: the engine coolant and the central heating water.
In the nearly two years I've had the boat I have never had to top up the engine coolant, so I assume the antifreeze in it is the right strength and effective. (It's probably a bad thing to assume anything - should I drain and replace the coolant?)
And what about the central heating? Should I drain this or top up the header tank with antifreeze? And is it all right to use the same antifreeze as I would put in the engine?
Or perhaps I needn't bother with any of this. As I'm paying for a marina mooring, with electric hook-up, I could put an electric fan heater in the boat on a minimum thermostat setting. In fact, I have already done this. I have positioned it on the floor in the saloon, pointing towards the galley and bathroom. Will this be sufficient? Will the electricity run out? Would this be a complete waste of money as the boat could freeze up anyway?
Has anyone done the electric heater thing in their boat, and does it work?
Will I ask any more questions?
The photo, by the way, is one from the archive: 16th February 2009, Shadow on the GU Leicester Section just north of Crick.
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