saltwater and freshwater boat? difference? HELP!?

so long story short, my parents are splitting up and giving me the sea ray boat.

being in upstate new york all the lakes are freshwater.

next year me and my girlfriend are moving to south beach florida. i want to take the boat with. HOWEVER, i understand theres a difference between boats made for freshwater and boats in saltwater? or at least so im told...

so, what can be done to my boat to make it so the engine isn't killed with salty water over time instead of having to rinse the engine out everytime i use it.

or do i need to just get a boat made for saltwater?

(i dont know if there is really a difference between salt and freshwater boats... ive been told there is. sooo no BS please if its a stupid question. i already feel like it is but wanna check)


this is the closest i can find about what it looks like. its either a 16' or 18' boat. open bow.

i clearly dont plan on taking it out at sea. it would be suicide. just a nice calm protected bay area for me and my lady to cruise and float around in and relax.

my only concern is one, costs of any adjustments. and the different water type killing the boat.

the boat itself is like 17 years old. but its in REALLY good condition and was taken care of. i prefer to keep it that way.

7 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    First what model and size is the Sea Ray? That will help us to determine if the boat is a lake boat, bay boat or what it'll be able to do. You can run that boat in either fresh or salt waters. You just need to remember to flush the engine and drive unit with freshwater after you're done. There's really no difference between a Freshwater boat and a Saltwater boat other than the amount of "Freeboard". An alternative is to have a "Closed Water Cooling System" installed on the engine. Then the engine is safe regardless of where you operate the boat. I have an ORCA system installed on my 26' Express Cruiser and it's really nice. In 9 years, I've not had any problems.

    My guess is that you have a Sport Boat which was used for the lakes, so I would be careful about using the boat very far from shore. Sport boats are OK for use in Bays and "Protected" waters, but they are not ocean boats. Ocean boats will have closed bows and plenty of "Freeboard".

    If you use the boat in salt water, hose everything down well and give it a quick wipe down. The areas that are going to show the most are the metal rails, cleats and windshield frame. If you keep those clean and polished, you'll be fine. If not, they will dull and "pit" from the salt eating away at it. The outdrive unit will need to be serviced after 100 hours of use when used in saltwater. Saltwater breaks down components and seals faster than freshwater.

    BTW, I own two Sea Rays so I know the line very well.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago


    Source(s): Boat Plans
  • shutts
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Freshwater Boats

  • 9 years ago

    i live on the gulf coast and i/os don't do well here.not to say that there aren't any, and i love 'em but salt water is outboard country.your boat,if not fresh water cooled,will require manifolds and risers very will need to flush and rinse EVERYTHING when you're finished using it,and spray the engine with some type of light lube (i use crc6-56 but wd40 will do).also, all of the bright work will need to be wiped down.people around here use "woody wax" but wd40 on a rag works well too. the zincs will have to be in good shape.fresh water tends to coat them with something and they wont work well unless wire brushed or replaced.mercathode is a good thing if equipped. do not leave the boat in the water any longer than you need to,you will be amazed at how fast barnacles will attach to the hull.a good coat of wax will help. when you get to FLA. , start checking for a good repair shop before you need them.word of mouth is good advertisement and can't be bought like some glossy ad. the bottom line is ,your boat will require special maintenance in salt water. use it,enjoy it ,and stay on top of things.good luck!

    Source(s): 30+years auto/boat tech
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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    My advice is SELL IT THERE and buy a saltwater ready when you get to the saltwater. I've seem people try to do this before.. they have a BEAUTIFUL boat that has spent all it's life in Freshwater.. then they bring it to Florida or Louisiana of any of the Gulf States. and within a YEAR that beautiful freshwater boat is just as trashed out as all the saltwater boats are... SELL IT THERE.. it will NEVER be worth more than it is now.

  • mark t
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    That boat is made to be used wherever you want. before keeping it in salt water you need to change the sacrificial anodes. Boats used in fresh water use anodes with a high magnesium content, while boats in salt water use zinc anodes. It is a very easy change. Make sure you have the bottom painted unless you are trailering and just wash her down when you are done to keep the salt deposits off her. Enjoy!

  • 4 years ago

    Complete Boat Building Guide :

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