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Winterizing a Houseboat - Preparing a house boat for Winter

by Penny

Winterizing a houseboat for winter storage.

Winterizing a houseboat for winter storage.

How do I go about winterizing a houseboat, or prepare a house boat for winter storage? Looking to winterize a 1974 Stardust houseboat in bad weather here.

Leaving it outside in a covered slip. Be beginner friendly please, and looking for A-Z instructions. This is my first houseboat and have only had it a month.

Thanks, Penny

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Reply - Answer
Well Penny, congratulations on your houseboat purchase. I imagine it's a sad time of year since you have had it a month, and you now need to winterize it for winter storage :)

One of the biggest recommendations I can make about winterizing a house boat, is to remember that when the temperature drops below freezing, you have to protect items or things that can be damaged.

In other words, the plumbing, outdrive (s), engine (s), interior humidity levels, and the houseboat exterior should be protected from the elements. Since you're in a covered slip, you can decide to what extent that you want to protect the exterior.

You may want to look at what your neighbors are doing regarding whether the lake water freezes or not. If it freezes, you want to use a "bubbler system" to keep the water moving. (this keeps water from freezing around the houseboat)

You will find the following articles on our site of interest to you:

Winter Houseboat Storage Tips

Outdoor Storage Tips for Houseboats

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their winter houseboat storage winterization experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found at the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Winterizing a Houseboat - Preparing a house boat for Winter

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Winterizing a Stardust Cruiser houseboat
by: breinold

With a steel hull like our Stardust Cruiser...

1) We turn on one of the engine heaters & keep an oil filled heater (or any heater that will come back on when the power goes off) on a very low setting.

2) We also have the advantage of our windows facing south, so we keep the window curtains open a little to let the sun help warm up the boat. The hull in the water helps keep the boat warmer.

Our lake, Lake Ouachita in Arkansas, never freezes. Also cover your drains in the sinks as air blows in through those.

Winterizing Catamaran Cruiser... what about holding, septic, and hot water heater?
by: Aquacruiser

I have a similar question... not sure what to do about winterizing our Aquacruiser which we bought used this past summer.

We plan to drain the freshwater holding tank and hot water heater tomorrow by basically running the water until it runs out. That may not be the best way, but it's the only way we know. We'll also disconnect the hose that supplies water from the dock.

We can't get our septic tank pumped out. They stop coming by on Labor Day and our marina won't do it. We have a Thetford toilet with a pedal system.

Should we put RV Anti Freeze down the toilet?

I've heard that Anti Freeze will damage plumbing systems. The last thing I want to do to our septic system is damage it, but can the waste water freeze and damage the tank itself??? It is an 80gal capacity tank.

The bowl of the toilet only holds a tiny bit of water unless you purposely fill it so hopefully no Anti Freeze is needed in the bowl. I fear it would stain the plastic.

We're in Virginia and I've never known our lake to freeze, it was created by a hydroelectric dam and the water moves quite a bit due to the dam activity creating currents.

We are in fairly deep water also at the end of the dock. However, we had a brutally cold winter last year with lows in the single digits so I am worried about the boat systems.

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