Freeze claims related with the winterization of your boats
Fresh water expands in volume by about nine percent when it freezes and can push outwards with a force of tens of thousands of pounds per square inch. That expansion can crack an engine block, damage fiberglass, split hoses, or destroy a refrigeration system overnight. An analysis of ten years of freeze claims files found that more than three-quarters involved cracks in the engine block or the exhaust manifolds that occurred because water remained in the engine or cooling system during a hard freeze. Those claims come from all over the country, not just from the states that get snow every year. Boaters in the frozen North know they need to winterize, so their freeze claims almost always involve a problem with how the boat was winterized.
In the temperate South, the claim files include many more claims where the boat wasn’t winterized at all, or where the boater was depending upon a heater to keep the engine from freezing and the electricity went out. While winter layup lists can run to several pages and take a month of Sundays to complete, many of those lists include maintenance and cosmetic items that, while nice, don’t make it any more likely your boat will get through the winter unscathed. Even if we have the best of intentions in September when we put together our fall work list for the boat, life tends to get in the way, and all too often we find ourselves rushing to the boat the weekend before a hard freeze is forecast. At that point, all we have time for are the essentials that will protect our boat from damage.