Freshwater vs Saltwater - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-18-2009 Thread Starter
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Freshwater vs Saltwater

While searching for boats I've noticed some that advertise "never been in saltwater." I'm assuming this is just a marketing line b/c freshwater isn't as harsh on a boat as saltwater. If I plan on buying one of these boats and then taking it cruising in saltwater, is there any special preparation that needs to be done to prepare it for saltwater, or should a "freshwater only" boat be able to handle saltwater as is? Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-18-2009
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Well the bottom paint might be different (slime vs. ablative), the grounding system might not be up to standard and you will need some zincs. Other than that you should be ok unless I’m completely missing something.

“Greatness Is Not In Where We Stand, But In What Direction We Are Moving. We Must Sail Sometimes With The Wind And Sometimes Against It – But Sail We Must, And Not Drift, Nor Lie At Anchor.”
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-18-2009
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I just bought a freshwater boat and put it in salt water. It had zincs on it but they werent at all worn. I replaced them anyway. I also did a bottom job to put on new bottom paint. Other than that nothing needed doing.

But there are definite benefits to a freshwater boat. Salt water is corrosive and a boat that spent its life in fresh water is very likely to be in better shape. Also, many of the freshwater boats come from the Great Lakes which have a relatively short sailing season and so they have fewer miles on them.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-18-2009
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A boat that has spent 15years in salt water is worth 40-50% less than the same boat from fresh water due to corrosion. and UV degradation.
Fresh water cooling is strongly advised for salt water use over raw water cooling.

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