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svs3 12-23-2006 10:29 PM

Fresh water boat to salt water
Hi All,

I hope this in the right forum. If not would a moderator please move it; I almost started this thread in the Gear and Maintenance forum.

I am have been eyeing a boat that has been sitting on Yachtworld for several years now and remains unsold. If I got this boat I would want to move it to the ocean. As near as I tell the boat has been in fresh water at least 15 years, if not 20 years or longer.

What are some of the areas, beyond the usual boat buying issues, I should be concerned with. Is it a good that it has been in fresh water for so long? Could this such a large can of worms that I would be generally better off considering a boat that has spent her whole life in seawater?


labatt 12-23-2006 10:44 PM

Freshwater boats usually fetch a premium over their saltwater equivalents. Boats kept in freshwater, generally, are in much better shape with much less deterioration and corrosion. Also, due to the geographic location of freshwater lakes being in predominantly northern areas, the boats tend to be used for less of the year, further contributing to their better quality. If it's not being sold it could be due to other issues, but usually being in freshwater is not one of them.

Faster 12-23-2006 10:48 PM

Fresh water boats are considered by many to be advantagous over salt water boats. They have been subject to less growth and in many parts of the continent spend near half the year hauled out, which reduces potential blistering issues, and makes the boat "less old" in terms of use than her saltwater sister.

I don't think there's any issue re: moving the boat to the ocean other than determining it had been properly cradled and winterized during the winter months.

Of bigger concern is your statement that it's been on Yachtworld for "years"..... perhaps there's a reason for that.

labatt 12-23-2006 11:46 PM

One thing I forgot to mention... very small hose leaks are not calamitous on freshwater boats and may not be fixed while in freshwater. They can wreak havoc with corrosion very quickly once a boat is moved to saltwater.

sailingfool 12-24-2006 12:19 AM

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I'd say all else being equal, that a boat in fresh water ages about 1/3-1/2 the rate of a salt water boat - that a boat 10-15 years on a lake woulkd have the same wear as 5 years on the ocean. Salt water is very corrosive - you see this aging in most anything in the boat, all metal parts, electronics, etc.
I bought a seven year old C&C 30 on lake Champlain back when, to my eye at the time the boat appeared all but new.

sailingdog 12-24-2006 06:00 PM

The two major issues you will have are 1) the electrolysis zincs will probably all need to be replaced, and 2) the antifouling will probably have to be re-done.

Most boats in freshwater use magnesium zincs, which are too active and will erode very quickly in salt water. The antifouling paint used on most freshwater boats isn't strong enough or aggressive enough for a boat used in salt water.

Also, check the engine cooling system, and make sure it is properly configured for use in salt water.

Shouldn't be an issue otherwise.

svs3 12-30-2006 12:41 PM

:D :D :D :D :D :D

Thanks for the replies. They seem to mirror my own thinking. I just wanted a little feedback to help reassure me that I was not too far off-base. Any additional comments would, of course, be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again,

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