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      Although our Bavaria 33 is currently still in the water, I am worried that the fresh water system might freeze, especially the pipes for the stern shower. Does anyone have any advice as to how to drain the pipes / avoiding freezing when we are not aboard? I do not want to empty the tank since we do occasionally use the boat in the winter.

      Many thanks,


        If the bottom of the water tank is above the outside water level, try a siphon. A small tube inserted into the tank through the filler, suck until you get a mouthful, block the end of the tube with your finger and put the end as low as possible. The water should drain out slowly.
        The problem with the bavaria plumbing is that it is push fit which means if the water freezes one will pop off and wet bilges. Its easy to push it back BUT can you get to every joint?


          I suggest all you really need to do is run the pump until the tank is ’empty’. Then open all the taps, particularly the transom shower, to make sure the feed pipes are empty.

          In my experience (10 years with a Bavaria), the bottom of the boat is kept sufficiently warm (by the seawater) to avoid any low down pipes or water freezing. The transom shower, though, is definitely vulnerable!

          If the boat is ashore, however, you need a complete drain down (by syphon or removal of the lowest connector) as the interior can get as cold as the outside air temperature.


            I agree that whilst afloat the fresh water is unlikely to freeze. The only reason I suggested a syphon is that the water pump has to stay on for ages to empty the pump and its life will be shortened. Worth carrying a spare pump just in case.


              You are correct that the stern shower is the most vulnerable point. Last winter ours froze and split. When we visited the local chandlery for a replacement they said that they had had a run on them!! Would suggest that you take the shower head off and leave open to allow any expansion if you are not totally draining down.



                Michael (Vela),

                The great thing about Bavaria plumbing is that it is all push-fit fittings which makes winterising really easy. If you want to continue using the boat over the winter you will find as others have said that the transom shower head is prone to splitting and although you can buy new ones from Penguin (see http://www.bavariaowners.co.uk/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=275 for details), it is by far easier and cheaper to prevent rather than cure.

                On our B30 I disconnected the transom shower for the winter by switching off the water pump and opening all the taps to release any pressure, entering the transom via the hatch at the rear of the aft cabin, cutting the water supply pipes to the shower mixer and capping off just the feed side with some push-fit stop ends. (http://www.johnguest.com/part_spec.asp?s=PKM46_S1). You will get some water leak out but provided you have released any presure from the system including opening the shower tap it will be containable. After the risk of freezing was past in the spring I removed the stop ends and replaced with straight connectors (http://www.johnguest.com/part_spec.asp?s=PEM04_S1). Push-fits are designed to be able to be removed and I can see no reason why swapping during the autumn and spring should cause any problems.

                If you should decide to do this, I would recommend that you still remove the transom shower head. If you do remove it, make sure that you also remove the black sealing washer from the shower pipe as it is a real pain when you find it missing in the spring, don’t ask how I know!

                The push-fit fittings are available from just about any DIY store. Some, but not all fittings require an insert (http://www.johnguest.com/part_spec.asp?s=TSM_S3) pushed into the end of each pipe at every joint, something that Bavaria don’t fit. These inserts stop the pipe from deforming to help the fitting grip onto the pipe better and I have only ever seen them sold in packets.

                When leaving the boat over the winter months I always leave all taps open and because they are mixer taps I ensure that the handles are in the middle and I top up the water tank to just over 3/4’s full.

                One final tip, I have found that the chrome finish on the taps and lights can suffer badly over the winter, before shutting the boat up I wipe over the taps and lights with extra virgin olive oil which seems to protect them and has the added bonus that it is really easy to clean off when you return.

                Hope you have some great sailing over the winter,



                  Many thanks for the valuable and comprehensive advice.
                  Best regards,
                  Michael (Vela)



                    My pleasure, even though I have just realised that its nearly two years too late…..



                      I have a 2007 Bavaria 37. Does anybody know if ALL pushfit connectors are accessible? What happens if a hidden one pops open. Floor up? Has anybody had a hidden connector pop open after freezing. I haul out every winter and have learnt the lesson about the stern shower head splitting. I too leave the taps open. I have not as yet drained the water tank. I might do if there is a deep freeze.

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