Winter Weather Cause For Tulsa Man's Boat Sinking In Grand Lake

Friday, January 10th 2014, 11:25 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa man's plan to hit the water this weekend sunk, right along with his boat, thanks to our recent cold snap.

Boat experts say many boat owners have been spoiled by Oklahoma's mild winters.

They say, in this instance, the boat owner did just about everything right, but neglecting one thing turned out to be an $80,000 mistake.

"All the fabrics, the wood, everything in the boat is saturated in oil," said Wade Silzer with TowBoatUS Grand Lake.

He said when his company pulled the boat up, all the electrical lines were corroded and both $15,000 engines were useless.

"The owner thought he had taken all the proper precautions," Silzer said. "He's devastated and heartbroken on top of that."

Silzer said the boat's dock lost electricity, cutting power to the boat's heating systems.

The water filtration system froze and then burst in the -2 degree temperatures, allowing gallon after gallon of water to seep in.

"They're made of glass or plastic, so they're the weakest link," Silzer said.

Silzer said if you don't take the proper precautions, the freezing weather can also cause your engine block to crack costing thousands of dollars.

Winterizing your boat will only cost a few hundred.

You can see tips about winterizing your boat here.

"I drain out all the water out of the engines and I suck five gallons of RV anti-freeze though every engine size," said Silzer.

Silzer said if you don't want to shelve your boat for the winter you should have a thermometer that can be monitored daily, if you have too, close the water intake valves, use a boat safe heater, and make sure you watch in constantly.

"Because they, [the owners], live a little ways away, they're, [the boats], not monitored. Sometimes they put a light on there just so you know the electricity is on," said Silzer.

He said no one saw the boat's light go out. If they had, the boat's generator could have been turned on before it was too late.

Silzer said this has been a slow year, but in 2011, more than 600 boats were totaled due to the weather on Grand Lake.

Silzer said there's not a certain temperature when owners should get concerned, below freezing for sure, but also when it stays cold for hours at a time.