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Which bilge heater for 260 Signature?

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I'm looking to install a bilge heater in my 260 Signature and am wondering if anyone has the same boat where it came from the factory. Which brand did they use? How many watts?

I'm leaning towards the Xtreme 450W with the quick release. However, the 260 has a pretty sizable engine room which might bump me up to the 600W. I'd like to hear y'alls thoughts.

Also, where is the stock location? Where would I go for power (110v)?

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A caution about using ANY TYPE OF HEATER...........Be a negative thinking person like me on this topic.

What is a worst case thing that could happen ?

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not using it and being stuck with a cracked block.

We already had a low of 38 on Saturday night. Yet it was sunny and in the upper 70s on Wednesday. These heaters are spark-tested and marinized. Chapparal (and most other manufacturers for that matter) ship their boats with these things. They've come a long way in terms of safety. I honestly can't remember reading of a single incident where anything went wrong due to proper use of a marine bilge heater. Freeze-cracked blocks on the other hand...

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the Xtreme engine room heaters (an all the others, I'm sure) are rated for engine room size. you can measure out the engine compartment and see how big a heater you will need. also depends on how cold the outside air is. doesn't get all that cold here in seattle so not as big a heater is required. check out the website and they have the info there.

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Xtreme has a room volume calculator (simply LxWxH), but I couldn't find a reference to volume for each of their heaters, only boat length, and a brief description.

for the 450W:

Our medium Heater can handle larger engine compartments typically found on runabout boats, to smaller “pocket” cruisers, up to about 26’ in length, or can be selected for extra protection on smaller boats in colder climates.

and then it goes on to say

What's in your engine room? In smaller boats, most likely you are protecting a single engine and one or two batteries. On larger cruisers, multiple engines, a generator, plumbing systems, air conditioning and water heaters may form part of the equation. The more equipment there is to protect, and the more cluttered an engine space is, the more challenging it is to circulate the warm air produced by your Xtreme heater.

this input isn't as discrete as I'd like

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I have the 600 watt for my 276 Signature with an 8.1L VP. I figured that you can't go wrong with more heat since it shuts off and on as needed. Mine is not hardwired. I run the cord up through the hatch and plug it into my cockpit outlet.

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I have the 600 watt for my 276 Signature with an 8.1L VP. I figured that you can't go wrong with more heat since it shuts off and on as needed. Mine is not hardwired. I run the cord up through the hatch and plug it into my cockpit outlet.

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What can reduce the heat loss in my boat is closing all the breather openings at the top rear of the engine room.

I still just do a full drain & have the keel slightly pitched downward.

See ya all are below the Mason Dixon line. Still would at least remove all the drain plugs If very cold & power failed. Last winter caught a lot of water filled engine blocks

Drive will fill up quick enough each launch.

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I will still use the boat and not winterize until around Thanksgiving time. Bilge heater is for any quick surprises until then. Any forecasted long freeze spells will get a drain and anti-freeze flush.

Yangster, thanks for the input. I'm leaning towards what you did.

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