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  1. #1
    Registered uneasy-rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004

    salt water boats???

    I have never thought I would worry about salt water until know. I am looking to step up a knotch and see a lot of boats that could have been in salt water. What should I look for??? Any help please...

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Platinum Member mcollinstn's Avatar
    My Boats:
    1991 F311SR1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001

    Re: salt water boats???

    won't be hard to tell.

    Look for repainted fasteners in and around the engine(s).
    Look for repainted outdrive or transom assembly (sometimes a new outdrive is a tipoff).

    An improperly maintained salt boat will have rotted exhaust manifolds and can be even worse. A closed cooling boat will still have saltwater exhausts.

    Salt boats CAN be just fine if religiously tended to.
    I see London, I see France...

  3. #3

    Re: salt water boats???

    If you have a choice, don't buy a salt water boat (unless meticulously maintained and stored on a lift). Before I owned it, my boat was on a lake for 20 yrs. and everything metal was nearly pristine. Now, after sitting in salt water at my dock for only 6 months, the amount of corrosion/galvanic deterioration is incredible. I predict my TRS is going to be mush in less than a year. I do not have the option of a lift. I am using zincs and a Mercathode.

    If the boat(s) you are looking at spent any time in salt water and were not flushed/maintained, you will notice corrosion without having to look too hard. If the boat WAS flushed/maintained/lifted, the biggest worry might be manifolds, risers and circulation pump...not too expensive to replace.

    D. Ocean
    Pompano Beach, FLA

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Platinum Member Quiet Storm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Lake Michigan

    Re: salt water boats???

    Find a fresh water boat. Its not worth taking the risk. Everyone selling them will tell you what you want to hear.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Solomons Island, Md

    Re: salt water boats???

    Not enough can be said about closed cooling. I would rather have a saltwater 496 than a freshwater 502. I boat in brackish water (8 parts per thousand). After 3 years of use I pulled the thermostat out of one of my 496HO's. It was all shiny and looked like it just came out of the box.

    My prevous boat had a 502 and was run mainly in fresh water. After 3 years I pulled the thermostat out of it. It literally crumbled in my hand.

  6. #6
    Charter Member Charter Member Dean Ferry's Avatar
    My Boats:
    2006 Hustler 388, 2004 Hustler Talon 25, 1999 30 Spectre cat and 2007 21' hydrostream voyager w/ Merc. 225 EFI
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Merritt Is. Fl. USA

    Re: salt water boats???

    If properly maintained, salt water boats are just fine. I have boated in salt water and brackish water, and my boats are/were stored on lifts/trailers, engines flushed, boat washed, everytime, and my boats look great.
    I have never had a saltwater/corrsion related failure in 14 years of boating in FL.

  7. #7
    Registered The Menace's Avatar
    My Boats:
    46 turbined Skater
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Bonita Springs, Florida

    Re: salt water boats???

    The probelm with salt water boats is the owners have not properly flushed, washed or CRC'd all the vital parts after EVERY use. I have seen several engines torn down from salt water boats that were incredibly corroded to the point that the entire area between a port and valve area was mssing! Heads, outdrives, cooling systems essentially completely destroyed.

    Boats that have been sitting in repo yards from salt water areas etc that have been neglected for long periods of times are scary and very risky.

    Even fresh water boats should be winterized so nothing contnues sto grow in an engine during winter lay ups.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000

    Re: salt water boats???

    I've owned salt water boats for 20 years and have never had a corrosion "failure", but I always flush (Salt Away), clean, oil, etc.
    Also, because it's fresh water doesn't mean it won't corrode parts. Lake Texoma and some other lakes are "fresh water", but are very alkaline.

    Like any vehicle: condition is directly related to the maintenance.

  9. #9

    Re: salt water boats???

    Like any vehicle: condition is directly related to the maintenance.
    I second that!

  10. #10
    Registered restabr's Avatar
    My Boats:
    2004, Formula, 353
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Pascagoula, MS/Orange Beach, AL

    Re: salt water boats???

    I've boated in saltwater all of my life and had very few problems. Saltwater just makes it easier to tell who is willing to spend the time, money and effort to really care for their boat. I wouldn't do anything buying a salt water boat that I wouldn't do on a fresh twater boat. Compression check, pull the risers (hopefully), and a thorough inspection. The general condition of the boat will tell you a lot. I'd also look through the maintance records as salt water boats, if maintained, will have had some "preventive" parts replacement. Dependant upon hours, thermostats, impellars, risers and exhaust manifolds would be normal.

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