Salt water is a harsher environment than fresh water. Gear in salt water (heat exchangers, standing rigging, lifelines, etc.) will wear out faster in salt water. I don't know how much faster, but definitely faster. Regarding engine, there is a big difference between raw water and fresh water cooling. My engine is fresh water cooled and my boat is in salt water. I expect that my heat exchanger may wear out, but the engine should last as long as a fresh water engine.
I live and sail in the north east. The water is salt, but the season is fairly short, so I think that helps keep boats in good condition. My boat isn't even in any water from November until April.
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY
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