The Occoquan River does freeze over in some winters. When it does, that means your bilge is also below freezing. Through hull fittings, even bronze, can freeze and crack if not properly winterized. (Some bronze seacocks–like mine– have internal spaces that must be separately drained through a plug in the side.) Plastic parts used on many sterndrives and other installations are quite prone to freezing and cracking. During a cold winter three years ago, 6 boats at FYC sank due to improper winterization.
There have been changes to many insurance policies during the past few years, and many will not cover freeze damage or sinking unless you can prove the boat was properly winterized.
If you intend to rely solely on electric heaters, please be aware that power outages at FYC are frequent, usually due to Dominion Energy issues. Also, during ice and snow storms, the roads into FYC may be impassable.
FYC cannot be responsible if your boat sinks due to power failure or any other cause. Be sure that your contact phone numbers are up to date in case FYC has to contact you in an emergency
FYC does sometimes install de-icers to protect the power cables by the ramps to the floating open docks. FYC does not install de-icing equipment for slips. It is your choice and your responsibility to install any slip de-icers.
Reports are that anti-freeze may be in short supply this year. Do not wait until the last minute to purchase yours, or to contract for winterization. The Dockmaster or FYC will NOT winterize your boat for you.
Water to the piers is usually turned off about the second week of November. Since air compressor rentals are in short supply during the winterizing season, FYC has no flexibility once a compressor rental is reserved. At that time, the pump out will also be drained and inactivated. Don’t wait until the last minute to empty your holding tank.