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Old 12-18-2005, 12:09 PM
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Default So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

Having zero expierence running in salt water, what exactly does salt do to a motor and fiberglass?

The reason I ask is I'm considering downsizing and looking at boats that have been used in salt water, there is alot more to look at then what's available around here.

My choices so far, 23 Parker PIlot House (dealer on Lake St Claire just started carrying them), 24 Scout Abaco, 226 GW Seafarer, 23 Pacific (just have a thing for metal), posisibly the new McKee 24 Pilot House.

Not sure if I'm going new or used yet. It all depends what's out there.

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Old 12-18-2005, 12:20 PM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

with enuf salt applied on a boat, on a real quiet night, you can LISTEN TO IT RUST....

seriously, its like a strip of zinc and hydrochloric acid in the 6th grade old science class experiment... only is a bit slower (but not much)....Put it together with it's old friend UV, and it'll destroy a boat/motor in 3 years without maintenace....
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Old 12-18-2005, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

Salt won't affect fiberglass at all. Salt will attack metal. Poor quality hardware will become pitted. If the engine, drive, etc. are maintained, they will last a long time. If not, there can be internal and external damage. It's hard to tell on a used boat.

Boats are used all the time in salt water and they last many years.
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Old 12-18-2005, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

Sometimes I envy the freshwater boater for his lack of maintenance issues caused by either the salt water or salt air. It is apparently extra salty here. I have have more than a few visitors on my snorkelboat comment on how salty it is here compared to many US coastal locations. The best reason I can find for that to be is that we are in the middle of the Sargasso Sea which is an area of the Atlantic where there is very little current. This means that with evaporation & little churning of water from the depths the surface water is much more salty. Sounds reasonable to me.

To look good all the time stainless steel needs almost weekly attention. Low quality waxes don't last long. Those who want to keep their boats looking good use huge amounts of fresh water washing off boats after every use.

Inspite of the disadvantages, I'd never want to give up the colour, the clarity (100' offshore) or the coral that grows here making it a boating paradise.
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Old 12-18-2005, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

Got to flush the engine and keep the stainless clean. Salt is the enemy. Just keep the boat and engine clean a boat will last for years.
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Old 12-18-2005, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

Also, salt builds up inside the water cooling pathways and can lead to overheating if not flushed regularly.
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Old 12-18-2005, 04:34 PM
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Default RE: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

Most raw water cooled engines, (I/O and / or Inboard), will wear out long before they rust out, if they are used frequently, (at least once a week), maintained and winterized properly. I have seen a 30+' Bayliner with twin 5.7 engines that had the original engines and manifolds for 14 years in brackish water. If this boat had been on the Jersey Shore, the engines and manifolds might have lasted seven to ten years. When the boat is pulled from the water for winter storage, the engine's cooling system needs to be flushed prior to winter storage. I have a 1999 27' cruiser with a 7.4 V8. It has the original engine, and it still has the original manifolds. The engine is 7 years old. The boat will be going into it's 8th season in April. My MerCruiser dealer sees no need to replace the manifolds at this point in time. He has a "blank check" with regards to this service, and as such, he can perform this service at anytime, should he think that there is a potential problem. I let my dealer make the decision in this area of boat maintenance. ----- Just my opinion.
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

salt does to your engine similar to what burbon to your liver..gotta flush it once and a while..
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Old 12-18-2005, 08:26 PM
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Default RE: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

Great Laker,

I noticed your from Michigan. Notice what road salt does to cars??

It will do exactly the same thing to the metal on your boat without proper maintenance.

The salt residue even draws moisture from the air to speed corrosion.

You rarely ever see a painted steel trailer under a slat water boat. They rust from the inside out in no time.
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Old 12-19-2005, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

Don't forget your trailer's hardware. If you are buying one, be sure to get stainless hardware. May cost a few hundred more, but it is worth it.

I have engines that are three years old and flush them after almost every use. I also was my boat down as well.

I just found that my control cables (throttle and shift) entering the engines were corroded to the cable itself.

Buy an anti corrosion spray and spray the internal screws and other exposed metals under the engine cowling to help prevent the corrosion.

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Old 12-19-2005, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

Most raw water cooled engines, (I/O and / or Inboard), will wear out long before they rust out,

Technically speaking most outboards are raw water cooled.
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Old 12-19-2005, 08:59 AM
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Default RE: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???


Maintenance is the key in salt water. If you take care of them, you will be fine. All three of my I/O boats have been docked for 5-6 months at a time in salt water here in NJ. Owned my first two for 8 years. The third is now four years old, without any issues due to being kept in salt water. It has been my experience that flushing the outdrive, (even with the boat in the water), is the key after each weekend of use. My latest boat has the factory installed flush kit to run fresh water through the system. Found out the hard way with the first boat, when I needed manifolds after just four years. Once I started flushing the motor I never had another issue. On my outboards I do the same. Then at the end of the season use Salt Away. Other than that, keep your chrome waxed, and you won't have any issues.
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Old 12-19-2005, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

One other thing salt will do is get into small spaces, and expand when it crystallizes. Similar to rain water freeze/thaw cycles, it can seriously distort metals, jam zippers, and work fasteners loose.

In addition salt crystals are fairly hard, and very very sharp; soft goods will be slowly cut to ribbons from salt crystals. Shows up as general weakening of fabric.

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Old 12-19-2005, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

My company, Brigantine, services the lower legs of outboards and i/oís for salt-water fishing camp operators. Realize these have been worked hard all season and have never been flushed with fresh water. What we find is that crystallized salt clogs the main water cooling inlet plus thereís marine critters (barnacles) that like this and they grow to add to the problem.

These barnacles are so thick we chip them off with an air hammer.

As for salt water the best advice I got was to treat it like sulfuric acid and wash it off at the earliest opportunity However, even then it doesnít always work. I had a flushing kit for my trailerís drum brakes yet still went through a set a season. I now have stainless steel disc brakes and they seem to have held up so far.

However the biggy in watch how salt corrodes is keeping a sharp look at your sacrificial anodes. If they start eroding replace them pronto and make sure your bonding wires arenít either missing or rotted out. Remember, the anodes only corrode where thereís an incomplete electrical circuit that salt water completes. Before you put your boat in salt water you MUST check to see if the bonding circuit is complete.

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Old 12-19-2005, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

My company, Brigantine, services the lower legs of outboards and i/oís for salt-water fishing camp operators. Realize these have been worked hard all season and have never been flushed with fresh water. What we find is that crystallized salt clogs the main water cooling inlet plus thereís marine critters (barnacles) that like this and they grow to add to the problem.

These barnacles are so thick we chip them off with an air hammer.

As for salt water the best advice I got was to treat it like sulfuric acid and wash it off at the earliest opportunity However, even then it doesnít always work. I had a flushing kit for my trailerís drum brakes yet still went through a set a season. I now have stainless steel disc brakes and they seem to have held up so far.

However the biggy in watch how salt corrodes is keeping a sharp look at your sacrificial anodes. If they start eroding replace them pronto and make sure your bonding wires arenít either missing or rotted out. Remember, the anodes only corrode where thereís an incomplete electrical circuit that salt water completes. Before you put your boat in salt water you MUST check to see if the bonding circuit is complete.

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Old 12-19-2005, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

sometimes my jacket zipper jams up and its a pain in the butt to get it loose.
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Old 12-19-2005, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

There are many good salt damage prevention products to like Salt X, Salt Away and others I am sure are out there. Very in-expensive compared to no treatment. Run the de-salter in the motor flush cowl and spray on all S/S and general salt exposed areas and it helps with fighting salt damage tremendously.
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

Quote:
..... Before you put your boat in salt water you MUST check to see if the bonding circuit is complete.
Not as critical if you store the boat out of the water, but still a good idea.
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: So what exactly does salt to do a boat/engine???

Quote:
miike - 12/19/2005 11:44 PM

sometimes my jacket zipper jams up and its a pain in the butt to get it loose.
There are retail products to protect zippers and snaps from corrosion. Chapstick probably works as well.
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