Boat Maintenance

With a deicer under the dock, this marina in upper Chesapeake Bay is clear of encroaching ice.

Keeping Ice at Bay

PS testers ask: Which heavy-duty ‘bubbler’ rises to the top?

Southern sailors often put their boats away for a few months when the water gets a little cool. Northern sailors have a more definitive reason; they put their boats away when the water gets hard. Often, freezing is limited to harbor areas, where shallow water, freshwater input, and limited tidal flushing encourage ice formation. Far north, you can walk on it for weeks, while in the mid-Atlantic, the layer is often thin and transitory. And while a few inches of ice are generally harmless to a sound boat, thick moving ice can damage paint, exposed steering gear, and planking. Although we can’t make the weather any warmer, there are measures boat owners can take to keep ice at bay.

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