Fresh Water Better Than Salt Water? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 04-04-2007
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Question Fresh Water Better Than Salt Water?

I am looking at a Bristol 29.9 and the Broker keeps telling me it is better because it has been in fresh water most of it's life? Why? I don't buy it most of the boats throughout the world are in salt water and if maintained last just as long? Is this sales hype or is there any validity to his claim?
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Old 04-04-2007
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I would agree with the broker. Less corosion in fresh water over the same period of time. Key word "maintenance"
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Old 04-04-2007
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I think it matters for one thing salt water over time will eat the insides of the engine if it is raw water cooled. So it depends on the age of the boat and the engine it has. Also a boat that I have seen from the late 69 had standard plumbing fittings for their water lines (engine cooling lines) and I believe these would corrode over time using salt water. Also I think there will be more fouling on the hull if the boat sits in salt water unless the owner has kept up with bottom painting. Just some thoughts, I am a newbie but from my reading and discussions thats what I have gathered. I am sure additional people will chime in to hopfully validate my response. Hope it helps!
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Old 04-04-2007
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Fresh water is better. Over the years salt really takes a toll on everything; including items that are difficult, if not impossible to maintain; electronics, navigation lights, plumbing, heating, refrigeration, upholstery etc.
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Old 04-04-2007
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Ditto...salt bad...water good!
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Old 04-04-2007
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I agree that fresh is better than salt, but the offset $$ wise if not that much as I recall. Contact a surveyor. Something off the top of my mind is like 5-10% difference in purchase price for a boat that has been fresh all of its life.

Maybe CardiacPaul could help on this one.

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Old 04-04-2007
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Be prepared to deal with the fact that if you bring a boat that has been in fresh all its working life into a salt water environment, you could have rapid and destructive failures of some gear.

I have the original 34 year old rigging (which I inspect yearly) on my 1973 never seen salt 33 footer, plus a variety of original thruhulls (I replaced the seacocks/ball valves from the original "garden type" gate valves, however). I also have raw water cooling and a 180F thermostat for the Atomic 4. Were I to go into salt, I would have to immediately consider a standing rigging change, because I'm going to do it "just because" in a couple of years for fresh water anyway. I would have to get the brass off the boat in certain areas and pop for bronze or Marelon. I would have to retrofit for FWC on the engine, because 30 year old Atomic 4s don't want yearly acidic flushes. Did I mention I'd need a new thermostat?

Lots to consider here that to my mind wipe out the premium...unless of course you are KEEPING the freshwater Bristol in fresh water. Then it's whatever the market will bear.

You would be amazed at how many really old FG production boats are still in use here on the Great Lakes. Part of that is the absence of salt.
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Old 04-04-2007
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Salt v. Fresh water... Pick the Fresh water everytime. The salt water environment (not just the water itself) will speed up corosion of EVERYTHING metal on the boat; electronics, engine, plumbing, electrical system, etc....
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Old 04-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente
Be prepared to deal with the fact that if you bring a boat that has been in fresh all its working life into a salt water environment, you could have rapid and destructive failures of some gear.

I have the original 34 year old rigging (which I inspect yearly) on my 1973 never seen salt 33 footer, plus a variety of original thruhulls (I replaced the seacocks/ball valves from the original "garden type" gate valves, however). I also have raw water cooling and a 180F thermostat for the Atomic 4. Were I to go into salt, I would have to immediately consider a standing rigging change, because I'm going to do it "just because" in a couple of years for fresh water anyway. I would have to get the brass off the boat in certain areas and pop for bronze or Marelon. I would have to retrofit for FWC on the engine, because 30 year old Atomic 4s don't want yearly acidic flushes. Did I mention I'd need a new thermostat?

Lots to consider here that to my mind wipe out the premium...unless of course you are KEEPING the freshwater Bristol in fresh water. Then it's whatever the market will bear.

You would be amazed at how many really old FG production boats are still in use here on the Great Lakes. Part of that is the absence of salt.
Keep in mind that you may have to make all of those updates anyway just as general maintainence if the boat has been in salt all its life. If the difference comes down to the thermostat, let me know, I send you one.
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Old 04-04-2007
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Also, make sure if you move a boat from freshwater to salt water that you upgrade all the zincs. The ones used in freshwater won't last much more than a month in salt water...
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