View Full Version : Lake froze around boat

01-08-2014, 08:12 AM
Speaking to some of the seasoned boaters on my dock, they've only seen the lake freeze 1 time before in the last 20 or so years. With this cold snap, Percy Priest is frozen over. Everyone's boat is still in the water. Marina cut off the water supply, but thankfully the electric has been going strong. I've checked on my boat every day for the past 4 days and the Marine Airrr is keeping it's 55 degree setting just fine. My water exhausts between my pontoons, which is oddly keeping the water from freezing completely around my boat. My outboards are surrounded by ice and the exterior size of the pontoons are also surrounded.

I called Sailabration and he told me the boat should be fine as long as the ice doesn't get too thick. He said he'd be more concerned about the pontoons than the outboard. At any rate, the temp will be up in the mid 50s this weekend, so I'll fire the engines up and find out if there is any damage.

If there is damage, I'm praying it would be covered by insurance.

01-08-2014, 08:43 AM
I too have a light icing around my boat. I would like advice from those who deal with this as it has been 30 years since this happened before. Neither I nor my dock mates know the dangers to our boats/motors and what to do.

01-08-2014, 09:50 AM
No ice on the Albemarle Sound yet, but it has been in the 'teens the last couple of nights, and hardly above freezing during the midday sunshine. We were advised early on to always lower the motors to their vertical position, rather than tilted up out of the water when especially cold weather threatened. So far, it seems to work... but we will let the oil return to its liquid state before we see how the motors weathered this last cold snap.

01-08-2014, 10:15 AM
I pull my boat every year and cover it. the ones who don't pull(75 & 64 ft.somersets) don't do anything unless the river starts to freeze, then they put out bubblers.one on each side off the bow.seems to work good for them.

01-09-2014, 10:59 AM
GoVols - how deep is the water in your slip. It got below zero up here in northeast TN and South Holston did not freeze. Even with the lake at winter pool, I am in over 50 feet of water.

01-09-2014, 12:13 PM
HA! In summer pool, I'm floating in ~20' of water - Winter is ~14'.

01-09-2014, 06:04 PM
The thing you have to look out for is when the thaw comes you need to look for thru hulls that may have frozen and busted. Boaters assume that when the ice goes away on the lake they are home free. Not always - check your bilge!!!

Frantically Relaxing
01-11-2014, 10:23 AM
In 8 seasons of owning our boat it's sat in ice for 5 winters. Right now it's on its 3rd winter in a row. I was going to pull it this year but my work schedule and low water prevented it. Never had a problem, but I DO keep a 3500 gph waterfall pump under the diving deck connected to a Thermo-cube switch because I don't want the drives froze. Our harbor is totally enclosed so no blocks of lake ice can make their way in.

Here's a couple of screenshots from the harbor webcam (wish someone would clean the glass bowl!), the pump keeps the water from freezing nicely out back-


Miller Tyme
01-11-2014, 01:18 PM
I have wintered in water for the past 18 years and have yet to have any issues with my boat being in the ice. I worked at a marina in 1978 when we had a blizzard around these parts and the Ohio River froze over and you could walk across it. The marina my dad keep his boat at was frozen 10" thick and there where no issues with any of the boats.

01-13-2014, 06:31 AM
Thanks for the advice guys. I'm optimistic at this point.

01-13-2014, 08:30 AM
Thanks for the replies!

01-15-2014, 11:51 AM
Went down to the dock yesterday to prep the boat for more freezing temperatures in the next few days. Yesterday's high was in the mid 50s, so I figured I'd try to start and run the engines while there. Thankfully, both started right up and ran as normal.

Some of you may not know, but outboards don't need to be winterized because the water is designed to drain from the block each time it's turned off. What I was concerned about was the poor impellers that were below the frozen water line. Engines ran for over an hour with a strong pee stream coming from each, so it seems all is OK.....for now!