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Is saltwater bad for a boat – Facts about saltwater boating

Not all boats are compatible with seawater bodies. Before you bring your vessel into a saline body, make sure that you check your facts regarding saltwater and boats. There are a lot of differences between saltwater boats and freshwater boats and you might have to pay a heavy price for it if you ever use the wrong kind of water body for your sailboat. However, you cannot ignore the fact that saline water is generally a bad choice for most of the marine vessels. You need to be very careful when deciding to buy a boat for yourself considering what waters you are planning to use it in. 

Is saltwater bad for a boat

To answer your question “Is saltwater bad for a boat?”, let me take you through the effects of seawater on boats and some facts on saltwater vs freshwater boats.

Most of your crafts and yachts are designed for use in freshwater, but you can take them in seawater as well. Using a freshwater boat in saltwater is also acceptable as long as you are prepared to protect your tub beforehand. Below mentioned are some factors that might affect your regular freshwater boat if you happen to use it in saline water bodies.

Aluminum Anodes for Saltwater boatsSaltwater boats

Freshwater ships use magnesium anodes whereas if you plan on using the same ship in seawater, you might want to replace those anodes with zinc or aluminum ones. These anodes are supposed to be changed each year, depending on the usage and overall damage. In some cases, these anodes might last for up to four years if the boat has been kept on a trailer and proper care is taken over the years. It is advised to use aluminum anodes for saltwater boating.

Corrosion-free outboard motor

Make sure that you keep your outboard motor clean and away from ocean water. If at all you have to use your vehicle in the ocean, you can flush the outboard motor with fresh water once it reaches the shore. This can be done easily with the hose attachments that come with the outboard. Some people go up to the extent of detaching the motor and bringing it home so that it’s easier to get the saline water off the moving parts, while the ship stays at the marina. This also has a perk that nobody can steal your engine.

Bottom paint to maintain the shineBottom paint to maintain the shine

Freshwater tends to do little to no damage to the paint on your vehicle. You need to make sure to get fresh anti-fouling paint at the bottom of it, unless you have a boat lift, before putting it in the briny water. Get it done professionally so that you can get the best quality work depending on where, when, and how of your boating. Using a boat in saltwater assures that the paint will look a bit deprecated as the salt is abrasive to the paint and can damage the look and finish of the fiberglass and wood.

Premium-quality Electrical and Hardware

It is essential to use marine-grade quality hardware and electrical connections when you are boating in ocean water. You need to make sure that the bilge is dry of any brine or else it will corrode and take other hardware and electricals with it. You are advised to reseal them if necessary so that it can be corrosion-free for a longer period.

Stay away from Barnacles and Vegetation

If you happen to store your vehicle in an ocean harbor, there are chances of barnacle buildup. Algae and vegetation are also of concern for some as they can be of invasive species and harm it. You can take the help of the hull cleaning service provided by the harbor and make sure of any vegetation you need to be aware of.

Lubrication and Maintenance is the keyLubrication and Maintenance

Make sure that you use a good quality marine grease for lubricating any moving parts made of metal. Lubricating will help your engine, tube, tilt, outboard steer, and gimbal bearing to last longer and stay away from damages. You can also take care of washing the parts of your ship so there is less corrosion due to the buildup of detrimental saltwater. You can also follow the same set of rules for your trailer. Make sure that it is also maintained properly to give your vehicle a healthy long life.

Final Thoughts

Now that you are well aware of all the things you must keep in mind for saltwater boating, you can make the required changes to your boat before putting it in saline water. Remember that saltwater vehicle maintenance and care is the only way you can enjoy your boating time. Follow these simple steps and have a fun evening on your boat in the salt waters.

Tracie Kaneshiro

Hi there! I am Tracie Kaneshiro from Ohio. Having spent most of my life in boats with my dad, I picked up many useful tips from him about their maintenance and care. Through this blog, I am sharing my expertise with all my fellow boat enthusiasts. I hope you benefit from my posts. Thank you for stopping by!

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