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Engine heating pad? Winterizing!

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Michael211_2000

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1,312
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Splendora, Texas
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1975 Sidewinder of Wisconsin (jetboat)
2006 Seadoo RXT (PWC)
For those of us who's SeaDoo's don't get to hibernate in heated garages, I've been pondering the idea of putting a heating pad (or better yet, an actual engine heating pad designed for warming engine oil pans!) inside my SeaDoo for the winter. I found they actually make 2 inch by 5 inche 50W heating pads that adhere to the engine surface and warm the engine when plugged in.

We've had a couple nights below or near freezing this past week or so here near Houson, and just out of curiosity I put a wireless temperature remote inside the hull of my SeaDoo RXT (it's stored covered under an outside carport). I'm noticing that with the seat latched down completely and the cover on, the inside temp of the hull lags the outside air temp by 10 to 15 degrees at all times. When the outside air temp hit 32 degrees around midnight the other night, the hull temp of my SeaDoo was still nearly 50 degrees. The next morning, as the air temp rose to 45 degrees the SeaDoo's hull temp remained near 36 degrees and was very slow to climb. I'm guessing when it's all buttoned up, the hull is actually rather well insulated.

So I'm thinking the addition of a small 50 watt heating pad to the side of the engine would 1) keep the engine warm and 2) keep the inside of the hull warm as well.

Thoughts?

I've already pumped antifreeze thru mine's exhaust cooling system and jetpump, I'm just thinking I'd like to still keep the hull above freezing inside if possible and this might just be the ticket. Surely can't hurt anything can it?

The engine heater pad I'm looking at is designed to attach to ATV's or Snowmobiles to make them easier to start in freezing temps, and isn't very expensive. While I know there's no way to reach the underside of my SeaDoo's engine with it installed in the hull, I think I could slap this pad onto the side of the engine underneith the exhaust manifold near the starter... there's a pretty good area of engine block under there where the pad could be attached to warm the engine.

- Michael
 

SabrToothSqrl

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5,666
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PA
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2002 GTX & XP
winter

cheap / fast way we do with boats is a 60 watt bulb (NOT CFL) in the bilge..

keeps it toasty...

or just winterize it...
 

Dr Honda

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A 50w heating pad would be fine... but becarefull... if the engine freezes, and it's not winterized... you could crack the cyl and exh.
 

Michael211_2000

New Member
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Location
Splendora, Texas
Water Crafts
1975 Sidewinder of Wisconsin (jetboat)
2006 Seadoo RXT (PWC)
I'm not suggesting this as an alternative to winterizing with anti-freeze, but more as a supplement to winterizing with anti-freeze and a little extra peace-of-mind. Also easy to do. :)

Thanks guys.

- Michael
 

SabrToothSqrl

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5,666
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PA
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garage

just build a garage :)

or carry the ski to your living room...
 

feld1128

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Pennsylvannia
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Two 2006 RXT 215 HP
The big advantage to some sort of heat source is that it will keep the engine compartment dry, it will prevent condensation when temps change drastically. I had wolverine oil pan heaters on my diesels, which is an adhesive pad which sticks to the bottom of the oil pan. Kept the engine room bone dry even when the boat was in the water all winter.
 

Michael211_2000

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Location
Splendora, Texas
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1975 Sidewinder of Wisconsin (jetboat)
2006 Seadoo RXT (PWC)
just build a garage :)

or carry the ski to your living room...
Well this RXT weighs nearly 900lbs... you gonna come help me carry it in? :confused:

Sure would be nice to relax and kick back on it while watching TV in the living room though... :willy_nilly:

- Michael
 

Michael211_2000

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1,312
Location
Splendora, Texas
Water Crafts
1975 Sidewinder of Wisconsin (jetboat)
2006 Seadoo RXT (PWC)
The big advantage to some sort of heat source is that it will keep the engine compartment dry, it will prevent condensation when temps change drastically. I had wolverine oil pan heaters on my diesels, which is an adhesive pad which sticks to the bottom of the oil pan. Kept the engine room bone dry even when the boat was in the water all winter.
Yet another plus! I went ahead and ordered the 50watt pad this afternoon, going to see if I can place it on the side of the engine under the exhaust manifold. I'll keep the remote thermometer in the hull so I can easily see what the temp is in there from my living room. :cool:

I may get a 100watt pad for my jetboat engine also... just because. The engine is open-air in it, but the boat has a heavy custom fabric cover covering it so it should still help to keep it warmer in there. The 100watt heating pad runs just under $40 delivered on Ebay, the 50watt pad just a little over $30. Search on Engine Heater (100watt, 50watt) and you'll find them if you're interested in obtaining one.

- Michael
 

djredman99

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908
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Pittsburgh, Pa
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2015 Spark HO 2up,
2011 RXT-X 260,
1998 GSX Limited
Don't forget that you should not keep your seat completely latched down and hood shut. You need to vent the inside a little as gas fumes will build up.
 

Michael211_2000

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Location
Splendora, Texas
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1975 Sidewinder of Wisconsin (jetboat)
2006 Seadoo RXT (PWC)
Good point that! And yes mine are latched down and shut tight right now in fact. But, most pretty days I go out and uncover and open everything for a few hours if not all day long. I've not smelled any gas fumes upon opening it up after being closed a week or two... if it's not leaking gas inside, I'm not sure why any fumes would build up in there. I open it up on pretty clear days just to let any humidity inside dry out.

Perplexed now. Why would gas fumes build up if there are no leaking lines? The fuel tank is vented to the outside of the hull, I've seen the ports for it and the battery vent just under the rubrail.

- Michael
 

crisso

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Gold Coast Australia
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Dec.1998 GTX Limited
1750 Bullet200 merc
32 carvel hull trawler.Spotted gum.11.1 ton
2012 GTI 130
winter

I don't have the problem of extreme cold that you guys have because we may be able to ride all year round.But what is the major problems you guys have because of the extreme cold.?Is it mechanical or MANchenical as a lot of smartbutts would say.You guys always seem to ride in really cold water.As a guy from oz,I was just wondering.Does it get that really cold?AND you still ride? I don't own a wetsuit to ride in.Hey guys.Just wondering
 

crisso

New Member
Messages
1,543
Location
Gold Coast Australia
Water Crafts
Dec.1998 GTX Limited
1750 Bullet200 merc
32 carvel hull trawler.Spotted gum.11.1 ton
2012 GTI 130
winter

I don't have the problem of extreme cold that you guys have because we may be able to ride all year round.But what is the major problems you guys have because of the extreme cold.?Is it mechanical or MANchenical as a lot of smartbutts would say.You guys always seem to ride in really cold water.As a guy from oz,I was just wondering.Does it get that really cold?AND you still ride? I don't own a wetsuit to ride in.Hey guys.Just wondering.It must get so cold over there.
Crisso
 

BMANN06

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Messages
1,537
Location
Belleville, ON CANADA
Water Crafts
04' RXP
Partial winterizing?

I'm assuming that you still want to ride through winter (lucky bastards!)? And just want to be on safe side in event of an overnight freeze? I would stick with antifreeze, and just drain it out when you go to use it. Put it back in when your done. I have mine full of antifreeze and it sits outside all year. And it gets damn cold up here. This way if you take off on a holiday and your power goes out your still good to go.

BTW my good friend works at a marina down the street here they are a BRP dealer too. They've prolly got about a quarter mil of seadoo inventory all shrinkwrapped and full of antifreeze that sit outside all winter too. It can get down to around -32F. They've got really good techs there too and i trust their opinion, so I'd just stick with antifreeze.
 

Michael211_2000

New Member
Messages
1,312
Location
Splendora, Texas
Water Crafts
1975 Sidewinder of Wisconsin (jetboat)
2006 Seadoo RXT (PWC)
I don't have the problem of extreme cold that you guys have because we may be able to ride all year round.But what is the major problems you guys have because of the extreme cold.?Is it mechanical or MANchenical as a lot of smartbutts would say.You guys always seem to ride in really cold water.As a guy from oz,I was just wondering.Does it get that really cold?AND you still ride? I don't own a wetsuit to ride in.Hey guys.Just wondering.It must get so cold over there.
Crisso
Ok you're just showing off now! :rolleyes:

It's supposed to get down into the mid-20's F overnight here near Houston Texas by middle of next week... Brrrr! That's cold enough to crack engine blocks and burst lines if anti-freeze isn't in there. In the northern US states their highs often don't get out of the 20's during the winter months, and their lows go into the negative! Eeek!

Last winter here in this part of Texas, we had a cold spell that kept our temps below freezing for 5 days straight... water pipes practically EVERYWHERE burst! You could drive thru neighborhoods and just see water gushing all over people's yards from burst pipes, city water pressures plummetted as a result (problematic for firefighters who rely on city water hydrants to fight fires), it was a general MESS!

Even though my model SeaDoo has an enclosed engine cooling system with anti-freeze in it year round, the intercooler and exhaust cooling system as well as the internal water-routes inside the jetpump all have fresh water in them from boating.... that stuff can and will freeze solid within a few hours of temps below freezing! When water freezes it expands with tremendous power and can bust things.

Also freezing weather can shorten the life of batteries, and this blasted SeaDoo battery is over $100 dollars (my car, truck and jetboat batteries only run around $60 at Walmart, but this SeaDoo battery costs almost twice as much! Eeek!).

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure come springtime. I don't like boating in ice-cold water, so it's not like I'm planning to ride this thing for the next 4 to 5 months anyways so might as well winterize it and enjoy my hottub/spa and fly r/c model helicopters (when weather permits) instead. :cool:

- Michael
 

djredman99

New Member
Messages
908
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa
Water Crafts
2015 Spark HO 2up,
2011 RXT-X 260,
1998 GSX Limited
Perplexed now. Why would gas fumes build up if there are no leaking lines? The fuel tank is vented to the outside of the hull, I've seen the ports for it and the battery vent just under the rubrail.
Sorry, I mis-spoke and should have said "could" build up.
 

djredman99

New Member
Messages
908
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa
Water Crafts
2015 Spark HO 2up,
2011 RXT-X 260,
1998 GSX Limited
Well I sure don't want mine to become a fiberglass bomb waiting to go off! That would be bad, very very bad. :(

- Michael
I have actually heard stories of this happening. :(

Bomb aside, seadoo recommends leaving the seat slightly open to prevent condensation build up which leads to rusting. Not sure if the heater you plan to use eliminates that entirely. Does the heater have a thermostat on it and operates to a specific temp?
 
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Michael211_2000

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Messages
1,312
Location
Splendora, Texas
Water Crafts
1975 Sidewinder of Wisconsin (jetboat)
2006 Seadoo RXT (PWC)
I don't think it has any form of thermostat... it's just like a heating pad heater you might use for your lower back, only locked into Medium/Low setting. 50 watts should put out about as much heat as a standard light bulb, but more evenly (flat pad) and with better transference (since it's siliconed to the block). I only want to warm the engine/engine compartment, I don't want to catch anything on fire!!! I'll keep the remote thermometer in the hull with it so I can monitor the temps in there, and I'll let ya'll know how it works. I should have it by early next week, hopefully before our temps get back down into the 20's at night... we're supposed to hit 80 F today though ahead of this next cold front! Wow!

- Michael
 

divergary

New Member
Messages
9
Location
sargent
Water Crafts
1998 GTX Limited
engine compartment freeze protection/humidity

I went directly to this thread and reviewed numerous ideas. I want to maintain a low humidity (dry engine compartment year round) to reduce corrosion. I plan on keeping the cover over the Seadoo, the seats opened slightly, drain plugs open). Should any fuel vapors be present I expect the vapors to rise and exit the seats openings. I am open to suggestions for the heating source that is as safe as possible. I used electric dehumidifier units in the cabin of sailboats to keep dry, however they are too bulky to fit there. I also considered a vaporizer heater similar to what is used below refrigerator cases, drain line heaters along the block. So keep compartment warmer and dry in winter and summer. I will still anti-freeze per manual as the post about loosing power would put the block at risk without anti-freeze.
thanks.
 
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