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Author Topic:   First Time Boating in Saltwater
TheSkipper posted 04-16-2002 05:03 PM ET (US)   Profile for TheSkipper  
I recently purchased a 2002 180 Dauntless powered with a 135 Optimax Saltwater Series. Although I have been boating in Michigan for approximately 20 years, I have never used one of my own boats in saltwater.

In May of this year, I am taking a vacation in Carolina Beach, North Carolina. The condo where I am staying does not allow boat/trailer parking. I have located a marina that will rent me a slip for the week, and will allow me to store my trailer on their property. The marina does not have their own ramp, and the city ramp is quite a distance away, so it would be impractical to store the boat on the trailer while it is not being used.

Other than thoroughly washing the hull and flushing the motor at the end of the week, are there any special steps or precautions I should take? Any help will be appreciated.

knothead posted 04-16-2002 06:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for knothead  Send Email to knothead     
Just wax the boat and motor before you go. While at the slip,wash the boat down after each day's use, then wash and flush the motor when you leave, better yet go use the boat in fresh water.
While you're there, take a trip down the Cape Fear River to Southport, then over to Baldhead Island. You can tie up at the Baldhead Marina, rent a golf cart or bicycles and tour the island(no cars allowed). Make sure you go to Old Baldy,the lighthouse built around 1823, the view from the top is great. If the ocean is calm, you can go out the Cape Fear River and run NE parallel to the beaches of Baldhead around Cape Fear and back up to Carolina Beach Inlet. A nice round trip for the day. Another nice day trip is to go up the Cape Fear River to Wilmington, NC. There are some nice restaurants on the water with docks to tie up to. Be sure to carry fenders and enough lines to run fore and aft springs. Check the tides and wind direction before hand as the river can get fairly choppy with the wind against the tide. Also get a chart as the Intercoastal Waterway-Cape Fear River intersection can be confusing.
Ther are plenty of other trips you can make as well as miles of undeveloped beaches. May is a great month, enjoy yourself.
russellbailey posted 04-16-2002 06:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for russellbailey  Send Email to russellbailey     
I was in a similar situation last year, as a Georgia/Alabama lake boater that went to Morehead City (NC) with our 15' Striper. Here is what I learned.

1. I had to get an anchor that would hold in sand.

2. Some type of chart is essential in the sounds - much of the water in the sound is knee deep or less at low tide.

3. Check the tides - I suspect they are 6' or so in that area.

4. The current speed in the inlets is impressive at peak flow and weird waves can form in deep water due to the currents (I'm thinking of the main channel inside the Beaufort inlet here)

I'm sure others will have more seasoned suggestions. These are what stood out to me on my first trip to saltwater.

David Ratusnik posted 04-16-2002 06:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Skipper- Sounds like a great trip. The length of time you are talking about won't seriously impact the engine. Flush it after each use. The week floating in the slip will give the boat a mild "scum line". Before you return home rinse and scrub. Starbrite makes a cleaner that should take care of the subtle discoloration. Nice area. David
knothead posted 04-16-2002 06:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for knothead  Send Email to knothead     
Skipper

The tide can range from 4' to 8' depending on the moon and the wind. Don't let yourself get stranded on an island with your boat high and dry. It pays to check your boat every couple of hours if you pull up to take a hike or eat lunch on an undeveloped island. I've been stuck for as long as 7 hrs in my youth.

On my montauk I carry a lightweight danforth and 75' of polypro line for anchoring, no chain. Not the ultimate for anchoring, but it's worked in 90% of my situations for the last 14 yrs.

Currents, again depending on the wind and tide, can run as much as 8 kts. in some areas. If you anchor and go for a swim, make a note, as you might not be able to swim back to the boat!

In May, sea breeze will cause the ocean to kick up around 1:00pm and begin to lay back down about 5:30pm. Seas are typically out of the SE.

Unless the weather is terrible, you and your boat should be able to handle everything you'll encounter.

knothead

PMUCCIOLO posted 04-17-2002 12:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
TheSkipper,

Experience has taught me that rinsing and flushing the boat immediately upon return simplifies matters. If a delay is encountered, the work becomes exponentially harder.

Also, I'd suggest rinsing the trailer after you put the boat in the water.

Paul

David Ratusnik posted 04-17-2002 08:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Skipper- Paul makes a very good point re rinsing the trailer of saltwater each time in and out. In addition, I make it a point to squirt new grease into each bearing before the trailer goes to bed. Fights saltwater instrusion. .03 David
Bigshot posted 04-17-2002 02:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Guys....salt water is not acid!

One week is not going to corrode doodoo. If they have a hose wash it and flush if desired, if not don't lose any sleep over it. The trailer should be rinsed after dunking but again......

I have never run fresh water and have decades of use without major corrosion problems. Yes fresh water engines last longer but how much is the question.

BabySitter posted 04-18-2002 12:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for BabySitter  Send Email to BabySitter     
Skipper - If you like to fish bring a few 00 Clark spoons and a couple of the small planers or trolling leads. You'll probably find lots of Spanish Mackerel just off the beach ... good eatin' fresh. Knot head planned a good day for you ... Baldhead is a neat spot. Have fun!
CaptCornchowder posted 04-18-2002 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for CaptCornchowder  Send Email to CaptCornchowder     
Skipper- buy a NOAA chart of the area it is prudent to know as much as possible about the conditions you may encounter. Carry emergency equipment,vhf. Pay close attention to weather reports as it can kick up pretty quick. You can also order tidal charts. And don't forget the sticks. cc

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