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Author Topic:   New Whalers, Saltwater, and Sun
jimh posted 02-20-2015 08:54 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
While in northern Florida, we encountered a boating club that had three Boston Whaler boats for daily or hourly rentals. There was a 220 DAUNTLESS, a 210 MONTAUK, and a 170 MONTAUK. They were all recent models, and they had Mercury engines that were only available in the past year or two.

I was surprised by how much rust and staining was occurring on the stainless steel railings and other fittings on these newer Boston Whaler boats. I suspect that because these boats are in a rental or club-use situation, they might not be getting the same level of care and attention that a boat owned by an individual would receive. They were stored either in the water (the larger boats) or on a trailer (the 170 MONTAUK), but were exposed to the sun all day. I guess even the top-quality hardware and fittings used by Boston Whaler cannot stand up to near tropical saltwater for very long, if not given proper care. Keeping a boat in Bristol condition when it sits in the saltwater and sun for long periods seems like quite a project.

frontier posted 02-20-2015 10:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for frontier  Send Email to frontier     
Boston Whaler uses Type 316 stainless steel which has a higher level of resistance to corrosion than Type 304 stainless.
But I wonder where it comes from.
Some countries internal standards for metals are not the same as the United States. Type 316 is not always OUR Type 316.
In all fairness though, the Florida combination of salt and sun is about as tough as it gets.

Whalrman posted 02-20-2015 11:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalrman  Send Email to Whalrman     
Amen to that frontier, it's brutal come August! At the local show last month I was on the Vantage and was wondering how this boat would look in 5 years after use.
jimh posted 02-20-2015 11:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The Whaler boats weren't the only boats in the marina. There were plenty of other boats. For example, the one we were staying on. It was a c. 2006 boat, and had been in saltwater most of its life. I did not seen any sort of rust or staining on its stainless steel railings. It was a well-cared for boat, but its engine had plenty of running time, well over 100-hours per year, so it was not just a dock-queen. Maybe they don't make stainless steel like they used to.
onlyawhaler posted 02-20-2015 12:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for onlyawhaler  Send Email to onlyawhaler     
This is an interesting topic. I boat up in Utah , 4000ft or above in elevation and fresh water and the rust and harsh sun year around just doesn't happen.

On trips to Seattle, Bellingham, Port Angles I always when I can walk the docks and notice this type of thing on all boats. I fly into Miami in March for fishing in the Keys each year and see it there. The salt water and salt air and sun exposure are really tough on things.

I had several classic 18 Outrages and a newer 20 Outrage, all fresh water use. I have seen classics with rusty stainless along with newer Whalers and when I compare it to a fresh water Whaler its sometimes startling. I don't think the stainless was better back then vs now. Its just an ongoing upkeep thing in salt water


jcdawg83 posted 02-20-2015 03:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for jcdawg83    
There is nothing salt water will not destroy given time. Combine the salt in the air, the salt in the water and the sun in Southern coastal waters and nothing will look new forever without near constant maintenance.

I see salt water boats used on lakes that are 30-40 years old that can be cleaned and waxed and will look almost new and I see the same style boat that is 5-10 years old in a salt water environment that looks beyond restoration. If a boat stays in the water in salt water, it will deteriorate at an alarming rate without routine upkeep.

Jefecinco posted 02-20-2015 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
It's always advisable after boating in salt water to at least give the boat a good fresh water rinse and to flush the engine with fresh water. Use the hose connection on those engines so equipped and rinse well without running the engine.


fno posted 02-20-2015 05:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
If it never stained or rusted it would be called neverstain. Since it does succumb eventually to the elements, some thoughtful person called it stain less.
Don SSDD posted 02-20-2015 06:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Don SSDD    
Chinese stainless is not the same quality as good stainless and many items that are stainless now are not the same quality as the old stuff.
My 1987 Montauk spent its whole life on salt water, at a mooring, so no rinses after each use. No rust issues with the stainless.
I put a new RPS seat with stainless brackets on my 19 Guardian last fall, it already has more rust than my old 1987 ever had, especially on the welds.
Salt is also a good preservative for wood so it has some upside.


vze2gbs4 posted 02-20-2015 07:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for vze2gbs4  Send Email to vze2gbs4     
Don nailed it. Chinese stainless. Garbage - unfortunately whaler just like most of the boat builders are using it to cut the cost.Nothing to do with sun.salt not polishing etc. Look at the boats from 70-80 and look at he condition of hardware . Yes,stained,dented ,darkened but not rusted.American 2005 210 was leaking rust under the rub rail from every single screw to hold hull and cap together . Had to remove EVERY single one and replace with West Marine expensive 316 ( they claimed Made in US but I will doubt that as well. Just spend 2 days helping my cousin replace Every single piece of hardware from his 2003 Parker 2120 pilothouse inside the cabin. Rusted beyond beileve. Inside cabin-no salt , not much sun. Sad reality - but they still charge an arm and a leg for finish product that looks great on showroom floor - few years down the road when warranty start expiring hardware starts falling apart.They timed it perfectly.
Its all about the mighty dollar and Chinese are screwing us big time.They sending us back all that scrap metal they buy cheap here making their own formula overseas that we all know is cheap but mostly garbage.
Jefecinco posted 02-21-2015 08:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Where is the evidence that Boston Whaler boats are built using stainless steel of an inferior quality sourced from China?

My 2009 190 Montauk has shown no rust on the stainless steel railings and fittings. The Montauks use is at least 99 per cent in salt water. The Montauk does get a fresh water rinse or a good washing after each use.

I believe the stainless steel on my Montauk is chrome plated or so claims the literature.

I believe some folks are leaping to conclusions.


wezie posted 02-21-2015 08:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for wezie    
What else do the Chinese have to do with their toxic waste?

Yesterday we twisted the head off a 1/2 inch bolt with a short open end.
No rust, just China Crap.

elvis posted 02-21-2015 09:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for elvis  Send Email to elvis     
I always use a magnet to test any stainless...if a magnet sticks to it at all, I don't use it on my whaler. If no stick, then ok.

Not sure this is the right way or best way to check, but only way I know of short of a pedigree from screw seller. Thoughts on this?

jimh posted 02-21-2015 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
We just bought a new refrigerator with stainless steel appearance. I was wondering if the usual refrigerator door magnets will stick to the door. If they don't our household is going to lose an important means of communication among residents.

The magnetic properties of stainless steel are described at

The extant condition of any Boston Whaler boat exposed to continuous tropical saltwater and sun is probably determined by the care it gets. I am sure that JEFECINCO (Butch) does a good job of rinsing his boat in fresh water after use, and he probably keeps it covered. The new Boston Whaler boats in this club and rental service were likely to not have been as well cared for.

17 bodega posted 02-21-2015 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
My experience tells me that not all stainless is equal, as discussed above, but even so, the newer boats all seem to be using imported stainless (likely from China) on the newer boats.

I live on the West Coast of Northern California and "walking the docks" also shows me the wear and tear on boats and hardware. Unlike Florida, which has salt and sun, we have fog, mist, sun and saltwater. Not sure which is worse but the rust is brutal out here! My boat was built in 1971, and virtually all the stainless is rust free. I notice that many parts I buy that are stainless (and usually are imported) do not have the quality of the older stainless parts. Even the chrome plated bronze or brass holds up better than the newer stainless steel.

martyn1075 posted 02-22-2015 03:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
The extant condition of any Boston Whaler boat exposed to continuous tropical saltwater and sun is probably determined by the care it gets.

Some climates just require more care and attention. Its amazing what just a cover can do for your boat. A garage is like a castle if you can fit it in there. Salt in the air clings to everything. In tropical areas its a constant battle. Where we live on the west coast its not so much the heat and salt as it is the dust and dirt that is in the air around the city. Its hard to explain its just a a hard dust dark particle that gets everywhere. It washes off quite easily but if you leave it more than a week or two its very difficult to remove without scratching the gel-coat. Special care and technique is involved and its more time. I personally don't mind the time. Continuous and religious like waxing and a decent quality cover used as much as one can put up with all year is probably your best weapon against premature aging. Mechanical is a totally other story.

Don SSDD posted 02-22-2015 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Don SSDD    
Elvis, the magnet is a good test. A magnet will not even be attracted to good stainless.


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