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Old 03-05-2011, 10:04 PM
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Default How damaging is saltwater to a boat.

I am new to the boating world, I live in the Antioch CA area and plan to do most of my fishing in the delta, with the occasional trip to the bay. I've read a lot about how damaging saltwater is to a boat and it's motor, so my questions are....

Outboard or inboard?
What steps should be taken to clean the boat and motor after using it in saltwater?
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Old 03-06-2011, 03:42 AM
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Consider saltwater acid and clean accordingly! Outboard is the way to go.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:10 AM
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I would stay away form boats with carpet that not removable. Out boards would be better and easier to clean.
Always wash boat inside and out when done. Flush motor after every use. Before first trip spray all electrical connections with a electrical corrosion preventive product. Spray under the engine cowling with corrosion X.
Maintance is the key to keeping her in good shape.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:16 AM
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I have run boats in salt exclusively for over 25 years. Some I have been meticulous with others not. Salt does create issues but they are not insurmountable. Go outboard IMO especially if you will be leaving it in. If trailering or on a lift maintainence is easier. I think the key is rinsing after use and the use of lubricants/protectorants to keep salt off.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:18 AM
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Just keep in mind that there is nothing salt water will not corrode, pit, eat up, rust, fade, rot or simply destroy except 14k gold!

You will need a bucket, brush, fresh water hose and time to keep it clean!

Less work on outboards.

Welcome to the boating world; enjoy!
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:02 AM
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Where I live, boats spend there seasons' on moorings and are flushed once when they are hauled and maybe again prior to being launched and that really is just to get the motor running. Do the proper maintenance (i.e. lubricate the motor and replace your anodes when they need it) and don't worry about it. Part of that may be a shorter season, maybe June through early October, and colder water, but i also think it is the result of a couple generations of folks doing the same and everything working out just fine.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:21 AM
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I would recommend flushing the outboards regularly with a hose attachment, and giving the boat a quick rinse every time you go out- you don't even need to break every time, just occasionally. If you are on a mooring this will be more difficult. Just a quick rinse every time has resulted in not even a speck of rust or pitting in four seasons in 100% saltwater usage. Haven't had any impeller issues either


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Old 03-06-2011, 07:22 AM
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Plenty of boats spend long lives sitting in salt water 24/7 close to 365 days each year with only short hauls out of the water every now and then.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:55 AM
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I once read an excellent description (and I think it was on this site...) "There are only two things that salt water won't f#$% up...and that's FISH and SALT WATER." ...just had to throw that in there
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:19 AM
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Depends on the boat too. If you buy a boat that wasn't built for the saltwater environment then it probably won't hold up no matter how well you maintain it.

I think that regular use has a lot to do with it also. Salt will get into everything so if it sits for long periods important things like steering and throttles and thermostats and pumps tend to freeze up. Change your water pump and grease your prop shaft every few years or you may not be able to disassemble the lower unit when necessary.

Saltwater will absolutely destroy a painted steel trailer so be sure to get galvanized or aluminum.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:20 AM
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Why is it that freshwater boaters are so terrified of saltwater? Must be saltwater boaters trying to scare them off 'their' water.

Here in Bermuda, we have very high salt content in our water. The best reason we can come up with is that we are in an area of the Atlantic with little water mixing so through evaporation the salt content is very high.

Here, boats that you all consider trailerboats stay in the water for the season. That season typically lasts May to October. OB motors do not get flushed at all during that time.

These motors don't last as long as a pampered freshwater motor or even a saltwater used trailerboat but over ten years is not unusual.

A freshwater used motor is not going to selfdestruct after a couple weeks in saltwater.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nancy D View Post
Where I live, boats spend there seasons' on moorings and are flushed once when they are hauled and maybe again prior to being launched and that really is just to get the motor running. Do the proper maintenance (i.e. lubricate the motor and replace your anodes when they need it) and don't worry about it. Part of that may be a shorter season, maybe June through early October, and colder water, but i also think it is the result of a couple generations of folks doing the same and everything working out just fine.
This has been my experience as well. Salt is more corrosive, but after enough people repeat that phrase, many would have you believe that a boat touching slat water will start to dissolve it.

My last boat was going on ten year old, stayed in salt water all summer long, and was flushed at the beginning and end of the season. And it was an i/o! The only reason I sold it was wife got deployed to Iraq and home alone with a little one resulted in no boating for a year.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:46 AM
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While its hard to say salt water is good for your boat its only real bad if you don't take a few easy steps to prevent problems. I use WD40 (some say its bad for the wires but I have never had any issues) and spray down the motor under the hood about once a month after a mild sray down with fresh water. I also hit the switches twice a year and wire conections. Learn what should be greased and do that as needed. Keep the boat washed down and in the worse case hit it with a hose if your in a rush. Flush the motor after ever use. Thats what I do and it seems to work.
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:48 PM
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If the boat is going to be kept on a trailer go outboard and flush after each use. If the boat is slipped go inboard/outboard or inboard but it "must" have fresh water cooling.
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Old 03-06-2011, 03:38 PM
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boat and motor will quickly dissolve, avoid at all costs
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:07 PM
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Saltwater won't rot wood, old wooden sail boats had salt bins built in between the frames on the inside to salt the fresh water that got in. Freshwater will rot wood.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:53 PM
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never boat in salt water
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:06 AM
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Thanks for all the input. It seems that the occasional trip to saltwater is not that big of a deal, and cleanliness is next to godliness, so to speak.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slingshot View Post
I once read an excellent description (and I think it was on this site...) "There are only two things that salt water won't f#$% up...and that's FISH and SALT WATER." ...just had to throw that in there
One of my favorite quotes but TRUE


Just clean the boat well, flush the motor when you can and use one of the spray on corrosion protectors as well and you will be fine
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:32 AM
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HP, welcome to boating. The Delta is a fantastic boating area. There is a California Delta forum filled with locals over at BoaterEd.com which is a great resource, as is fishthedelta.com.
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