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I'm currently living in Portland Oregon and planning at this point to retire in the Bay Area in two years. I'll be buying my first sailboat, probably a 25' to 27' Catalina or something similar with a budget of around 13-15k.

I'm wondering how much of an advantage is it buying a boat thats been mostly in fresh verses saltwater?

As I'm able to checkout boats here on the Columbia river that have been mostly based in fresh water, would the advantage of buying one here outweigh the cost of having it sailed down to somewhere in the bay or Santa Cruz or not worth the hassle?
 

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ancient mariner
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fresh water boats do not have the corrosion problems of vessels sailed in salt water. i have a 1994 nimble 30 express with no corrosion problems. i sail on lake superior.
 

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Salt water is really not that big a deal. You will see some rust on the stainless fittings that will clean off. If the boat you are looking at has an inboard then I would water the engine to have the heat exchanger option so that the salt water has not been circulating though it.
My current boat spent 20 years in salt water and really what you see is what you get. A good inspection should show most problems if any.
 

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Senior Moment Member
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For what it's worth, the boat hospice here is the freshwater Fraser river - that's where boats go to die. :D

Nothing on the Fraser seems to be in any better shape than the boats on salt. The bottoms stay cleaner but the weather on the topside is the same.

Raw cooled engines do better in fresh and Great Lakes boats wear well but I think that's more the short season than the fresh water.
 

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From my experience boats definitely have a shorter life span if they are on the salt water. However, if they are well-maintained they can last even longer than freshwater boats. I think it's mostly in the way they've been maintained.
 

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I think I would sooner have a boat that stays in the salt water year round (as they do on the west coast) rather than one that endures the freeze/thaw cycles that boats in the Great Lakes suffer when hauled out.
 

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Barquito
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I think I would sooner have a boat that stays in the salt water year round (as they do on the west coast) rather than one that endures the freeze/thaw cycles that boats in the Great Lakes suffer when hauled out.
However, boats from the Great Lakes are only sailed for 6 months out of the year, and I think more owners have time to take care of their boats because... well... what else are we going to do for those 6 months!
 
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