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· Old soul
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So when buying your first boat and will most likely always sail in fresh water, what are the negatives about a vessel that has spent most of the boats life sailing in salt water? And what would be the obvious signs that the vessel has sailed in salt water?
Corrosion, and likely more usage. Signs will likely be found in the electrical systems. Junctions, sockets, wire leads ... any place where moisture can get to. Metals will likely show levels of oxidation. Bronze takes on a that green patina. On the positive side, salt water is better for teak decks.

Fresh water boats here in North America will most likely be found in the Great Lakes. The vast majority of these boats will be used about four or five months per year, so their age in years may not reflect the amount of usage. On the flip side, winters can be harsh so you should check to make sure the boat has been properly stored and winterized over the years.

In general, being a "fresh water" boat is a plus, but that's only one of many factors.
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