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Author Topic:   Saltwater v. Freshwater
martinberry1 posted 05-01-2007 06:39 PM ET (US)   Profile for martinberry1   Send Email to martinberry1  
I am a fairly new boater. What problems may I encounter if I purchase a Boston Whaler that has been used in saltwater in Florida? I plan to use the boat in freshwater. Anything to look out for here?
Buckda posted 05-01-2007 07:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
If the boat has been well-cared for, you shouldn't have any problems.

Depending on the age of the Whaler and motor, you will want to look for increased corrosion.

Also - due to the UV exposure in southern climates such as Florida and the year-round boating atmosphere, look for UV degredation of gelcoat, crazing on plexiglass and paint problems on the outboard.

Corrosion will also be more prevalent on the railings and hardware and wood. You should take this with a grain of salt (so to speak), since similar maintenance regimens in the Great Lakes vs. Florida will yield vastly different outcomes. I.e. what will keep a Whaler in great shape up here may not do much to keep the boat in good shape down there.

Ask the owner about his maintenance regimens - how often the boat is waxed, where it is stored, etc. These all have effects on the overall condition of the boat and what you should expect.

Hope that helps some. Give us some specifics on the boat/motor/trailer combination and we'll help you on specific things to look out for.


jimh posted 05-01-2007 11:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In the context of the discussion area, Boston Whaler boats first designed after c.1990, I do not find much that affects this.

Boston Whaler boats designed after c.1990 tend to have less wooden components which are exposed, so a Boston Whaler boat designed after c.1990 might be better suited to saltwater exposure because of this.

Boston Whaler boats designed prior to c.1990 were intended for saltwater use, as well. Therefore I do not think that this is really a topic which has much distinction between pre- and post-1990 Boston Whaler boats.

I recommend you move your inquiry to THE GAM, and get a general discussion on this subject. There really is not much that I can see that the design epoch of the Boston Whaler boat will affect with regard to saltwater versus freshwater use.

martinberry1 posted 05-02-2007 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for martinberry1  Send Email to martinberry1     
I am looking at a 1994 outrage from florida -- does this help ?
Mobjack posted 05-04-2007 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mobjack  Send Email to Mobjack     
These are the things you need to know:

Trailered, kept on a lift, or slipped.

Bottom Painted? If so, what type of paint and when was it applied last?

How many hours on the engine? Was it flushed after use in saltwater?

Wherever it was kept, was it covered(i.e. covered slip, boat cover on trailer, or in garage)
This is not so much a saltwater thing, but more for the latitude, The UV rays in Florida can destroy a hull quickly if it was not properly waxed and maintained. Hell on some colored hulls down there they have to turn the boat in the slip every three weeks or so to keep one side from fading out of sync with the other

I will give you a case in point: Last year I purchased a 1983 montauk that had been owned by the same man since 1985. He kept it in the water(salt), in a covered slip where there was no wave action, kept the bottom well painted every year.

When I purchased the boat, it had 342 hours on the original engine, but the engine looks terrible. It has run for me like a top now for 150 hours or so with no problem, but the mounting hardware and parts of the tilt/trim assembly , basically anything that was in or close to the water for those twenty years looks bad, with lots of paint loss and surface corrosion. But the engine runs great. The hull, which was in the water, but covered, was in immaculate condition. Even the teak, which needed a coat of oil only, was in great shape. The hull had very little chalking, no spider cracks, and it was basically spotless, and that was after twenty years, sitting in the salt.

Based on this my assessment would definitely be to look at the whole picture. Many freshwater guys abhor the idea that a boat has ever been in saltwater, because they believe it to be so destructive, and it can be if proper precautions are not taken. However, a post-classic whaler with no wood on it was designed to be used in saltwater with no ill effect. Its your motor that can really be problematic if it has not been properly cared for. Watch out for a Florida boat though to be sure that its hull has not been left out in the baking sun for years on end without proper care.

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