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Old     (chaser)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-20-2006, 3:19 PM Reply   
Looking at a few boats that were used in saltwater. One has over 500 hours and it has a flush system. Would you steer clear of a salt water used boat?
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       09-20-2006, 3:30 PM Reply   
I bought one that was used in brackish water most of it's life and looked to be well maintained. For the year I owned it I alwyas had rust problems, and ended up replacing one of the exhaust risers due to being rusted out. I had hoses that were deteriorated by the brackish water too. The baot (96 PS 190) had a flush kit on it....but after about 3 months it craked and broke on me, lol. I sold the boat and made about $4k on it.
Old     (mars)      Join Date: Aug 2005       09-20-2006, 4:33 PM Reply   
Depends on the care it received. If the owner used salt-away and was diligent with upkeep they are fine. Many will tell you that a closed cooling system is a must or that it negates the need for diligent upkeep in salt-both are false. In my experience the care a boat gets is more important than the water it was used in. i.e. the presence of a flush system means little if it was not used regularly.
You can probably expect to pay just a tick less for a brackish/salt used boat. It's just plain a fact that risers don't last as long in those conditions-not that they last forever in fresh either. Likewise for the cosmetic state of fitttins. Bottom line: if it's the boat you want, salt use is not reason enough not to buy. I'd buy a well maintained salt boat over a neglected fresh boat.
Besides, I'd be more worried about the trailer than the boat. Look for a galvanized or aluminum trailer. painted trailers don't hold up well with brackish use. Brakes take a beating also.
Old     (mac_attack)      Join Date: Oct 2003       09-20-2006, 7:43 PM Reply   
Never. Just look harder.
Old     (curtisco24)      Join Date: Dec 2005       09-20-2006, 7:46 PM Reply   
Not unless you are going to use it in salt water.
Old     (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       09-20-2006, 8:43 PM Reply   
Why take a chance?
Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       09-20-2006, 9:15 PM Reply   
no. run, dont walk away
Old     (peterc4)      Join Date: Aug 2005       09-20-2006, 9:43 PM Reply   
Would not consider it unless I was to use it in salt water.
Old     (socalwakepunk)      Join Date: Dec 2002       09-20-2006, 10:05 PM Reply   
No. Next question.
Old     (mars)      Join Date: Aug 2005       09-20-2006, 10:39 PM Reply   
The poster was looking for advice and informed opinion not myth and urban legend.
When one consideres boats in general Fishing, cruising, etc., not just ski boats, one quickly realizes that a majority are used in salty or brackish environs. Manufacturers use pretty much the same compononents thoughout. The Mercuriser found in your ski boat is pretty much the same plant that can be found in countless craft created for salt water use. I am mystified where the notion that there is something majical about ski boats that prevents their touching salt water comes from.
True, they typically lack small tweaks like sacrificial anodes ($2.00 pieces of zinc easily added) but I suspect this stems as much from their intended use as trailer boats as it does from their traditional fresh water lake use.
As ski boats grow in size and popularity, more will be seen in estuaries and bays where salt/brackish conditions are the norm. The industry and market are evolving.
Old     (supra24ssv)      Join Date: Mar 2006       09-21-2006, 6:14 AM Reply   
no, do not buy a salt water boat, it doesn't matter what kind ski, fishing, power, cruiser, etc, salt water is hell on all boats, you are exactly right mars, it doesn't matter what kind
Old     (dreevs)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-21-2006, 6:27 AM Reply   
I'm with Mars - depends on the care it gets. I have a twice a year rule with mine - I put it in salt twice a year max, but I live in Florida - the ocean is to big of a body to ignore. I am freakishly meticulous about cleaning it afterwards - Salt Away rinse inside and out and a complete rinse of every part including the carpet. My boat spends 3 days a week - every week, in fresh water. So far salt build up hasnt really stood a chance against the hours I use it in fresh.
Old     (alindquist)      Join Date: Mar 2004       09-21-2006, 6:45 AM Reply   
I did, and would again... If it's maintained right you won't have any more problems then a fresh water boat...
Old    walt            09-21-2006, 6:50 AM Reply   
I've owned a few saltwater boats and have seen first hand what the effects can be. Besides the common stuff like eating up manifolds, risers, brakes and trailers both of My saltwater boats ended up having corrosion issues with the wiring. On My last cuddy I found green (corroded) wires all the way up in the cuddy part of the boat. It was some crazy stuff to see how the corrosion would work it's way up the inside of the insulated wire. Tell Me how I could of avoided this with maintenance ? I could only imagine how bad it could get on a V-drive or DD with salt water splashing around in the bilge.

Iron is very pourus so IMHO no matter how well you flush Your engine there will be corrosion.

Why would You even consider buying a saltwater boat when You don't have too ?

Do a search on this topic because it's been discussed several time before.
Old     (trx1noob)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-21-2006, 7:10 AM Reply   
we just bought one, and will NEVER buy another one. rust in places you wouldn't think possible.
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-21-2006, 7:48 AM Reply   
This gets me fired up primarily because of the boat manufactures claims of quality; the use of the finest materials and stainless hardware. Bunk! I've owned mastercrafts, malibus, correct crafts and supremes. They are all the same.

Maybe one day these ski boat companies who claim to be so innovative will build a boat that is truly set up for salt water. I think its cheaper and better for sales to market quality than to build it.
Old     (trx1noob)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-21-2006, 9:35 AM Reply   
Hey Tim, we thought the same thing. we got a smoking good deal on the boat, and now we see why. rust stains around the gas caps, every pop out cleat, all the hinges were rusted right out on the back hatch doors, the one side of the motor is just completely covered, the rudder looks like it's corroding. would never touch a salt water boat again. unless your taking it back into salt water, find a deal like we got and who cares. but our resale will prob be 10000 off up here in canada, i'd be surprised if we even sold it. pretty dissappointing. what's even worse is that we were dumb enough to buy it in the first place. oh well
Old     (big_xstar)      Join Date: Nov 2004       09-21-2006, 10:05 AM Reply   
So Tim. does your belief hold true to the "Saltwater Series" boats by MC are not worthy of saltwater?
Old     (fogey)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-21-2006, 10:09 AM Reply   
The question is, "Would you steer clear of a salt water used boat?" It is not "Are salt water boats okay?"

A few say they would consider salt water boats, but the majority say they would not. I'm with the majority. None of the points made in support of salt-water boats leads me to rethink my position. There just is no way to be sure that the boat was properly taken care of, and salt-related problems can arise even in boats and trailers that are well maintained.

Also, the fact that a majority would take a pass may affect resale value of a ski/wakeboard boat.
Old     (malibuboarder75)      Join Date: Jan 2004       09-21-2006, 12:48 PM Reply   
Just make sure you dont get an engine with aluminum heads. I have been riding 950 hours in brackish water. It is actually fresh water until hurricane season and all the salt gets pushed into all of our bayous. We flush the boat every time for 5 minutes, but at 800 hours we got bad corrosion on the heads and had to get the heads resurfaced. The engine block was still in very good shape with no corrosion. So basically we shouldnt have gotten aluminum heads for brackish water. We probably wouldnt have had any problems with cast iron heads. I talked to a guy in Destin who had a 1986 nautique with 1000 hours in salt water. He flushed the engine every trip also, and rebuilt the engine. He said there was very little corrosion. Cant remember why he rebuilt the engine.
Old     (cp3)      Join Date: Dec 2005       09-21-2006, 4:03 PM Reply   
It depends on who owned it. I have see boats that live and salt water and look and run better than ones that have been run in fresh. It is all on how it is taken care of. If someone really takes care of it it should be fine to get. but then again it is all your choice.
Old    The Original            09-21-2006, 4:59 PM Reply   
I would venture a guess that most of the ppl on this thread who have said no, have never used a boat in salt water.

And what is this about only if your going to bring it back to salt water? That's by-far the strangest one I have heard!

I had an issue with my MC because of BAD maintenance by 2 different dealers. Since I took 100% control of the maintenance I have not had a single problem. Infact the boat runs better today then it did the first season!

I have over 600 hours on the boat and other then the tin parts rusting and some minor rusting in a few remote places, the boat looks pretty good for being very very well used entirely in a salt-water environment.

The ignorance of most ppl on this topic is nothing short of amazing.
Old    walt            09-21-2006, 6:16 PM Reply   
Your venture to guess in My case would be wrong !

So I'll ask again.
Why would You even consider buying a saltwater boat when You don't have too ? Unless they were giving it away at a price you just can't pass up.

Even if I intended to use the boat in salt I'd find a fresh water boat to buy over a salt boat.
There's no easy way of telling how good of a job the previous owner did on wash downs and maintenance. And I don't give a crap how anal You are You can't get to all the salt.

I had 850 hours on My last salt boat and it ran and looked fine. But if You pulled a manifold off and took a look at the water jackets the picture wasn't so pretty. I flushed the crap out of that thing and I still had to replace Manifolds , risers and thermostat housings.

Some people are just in denial I guess.
Old     (trx1noob)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-21-2006, 6:29 PM Reply   
kg,not sure if your post was meant for me. just after seeing what our boat was like, it's not a pretty site. it's actually dads boat, and don't know what he was thinking, but i wouldn't have touched the boat. my wife and i are going in to morrow to order an 07 centurion enzo.
Old    The Original            09-21-2006, 10:11 PM Reply   
Walt, Ryan, your both safe, not personally attacking. Just in general saying that most (more specifically ppl on this board) tend to talk out their butt's! It really stabs me when ppl talk about something they know very little about.

There have been some GREAT threads and discussions about this topic over the years, some I have been a part of, others I choose not to post, but the general concenses was that most didn't know squat about the effects of saltwater and the components of the boat.
further to this, most of the time its not actually the saltwater that does the boat in, it's electrolysis that destroys a boat in 1-2 seasons and you don't realize it till it's too late. Now this presents an entirely new scenario that ppl tend to 'think' they know something about when infact they know less about electrolysis then they do about the effects of saltwater on a boats components. Vicious cycle and and only gets deeper with every word.

I don't intentionally call ppl out. I know what I know and when it comes to this topic, ppl had better have their facts and information solid was really the point I was trying to make.

...and for anyone that is curious, I stated boating when I was 11yrs old. Driving on my own(no parents) at 13, winterizing outboards at 15, towing/trailering the boat on my own at 17....I'm 32 now. My 2001 Mastercraft Maristar 210VRS has seen 1 day in fresh water, has over 600 hours and will do 46mph with 3ppl and 1200lbs of I guess the salt has really damaged it beyond being worthy! (I don't know anything other than saltwater)
Old     (scanboarder)      Join Date: Feb 2005       09-22-2006, 6:02 AM Reply   
my 2 cents : If wakeboard boats cant't stand saltwater then truly they are crap ! I've had several kinds of boats, both european and american built, and with just common sense worth of care they have all survived a life in salt water. My first boat still runs round here and is now close to 40 years old with tha same saltwater-cooled engine.
It's all in the maintenace.
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-22-2006, 1:47 PM Reply   
Master Craft appears to be going in the right direction with the saltwater series but I'll reserve judgement for now as I have not seen the results firsthand.

In the past the biggest annoyance I had were fastners used behind hardware such as handrails, fuel breathers, lifting rings, speaker screws, dash screws,lifting shocks and their brackets, seat slides, engine mounts. You should see the pitting in my wedge after two weeks in salt. A zinc has solved that problem.

Although I may bitch, it won't keep me out of the water. The cleaning and maintenance is just a little more work.

The key to salt water is to run the boat often. Keeps everything lubed and loose. And a good cleaning every use.

There is nothing better than putting the fresh water boat on the lift and walking away without having to clean.

There is not need to panic about a saltwater boat. Just like any fresh water boat, you need look at it very close, make a list of issues and crunch the numbers. However, all thing being equial my preference would always be fresh water.
Old     (jayc)      Join Date: Sep 2002       09-23-2006, 9:26 AM Reply   
Would i buy a boat used in saltwater? Yes.
Would I use a boat in saltwater? Yes.

I have run boats in the sea for over 20 years. An as long as you flus and wash after each use and apply plenty of WD40 then they will last just as long as a freshwater boat.

We have a 1978 MC overhere in the UK that has spent its entire life in saltwater, is never flushed as it spends 6 months of the year moored in saltwater and is still on the same engine block. Sure it has done a few sets of manifolds and riser but its proof that saltwater doesn't do as much damage as people think.
Old     (fogey)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-23-2006, 10:45 AM Reply   
In light of KG's comment, I want to revise my response to the original post. Here's the new version:

You asked whether I would "steer clear of a salt water used boat." Even though you expressly asked for personal choices that readers might make, I'm not allowed to tell you my personal preference because I never have owned a boat used in saltwater. I hope this non-information is helpful to you.
Old     (big_ed_x2)      Join Date: Jul 2004       09-23-2006, 12:27 PM Reply   
There are boats that don't come out of the salt water and they last a long time as well,granted not wakeboats but boats with engines in them nevertheless.I grew up on the beach and people never trailer their boats just leave them tied up at the marina(hell,I don't think I saw a trailer anywhere)how about those boats??
Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       09-25-2006, 2:00 AM Reply   
My experience is non-saltwater series wakeboard/ski boats cant handle the salt as well as a lot of I/O's on the market. They can handle it but just not as well. I saw one v drive at a shop that I couldnt believe what the bottom of the motor, motor mounts, and surrounding area looked like the corrosion was that bad. D and V drives tend to be worse also due to the inherent fact of the drive shaft packing leaking and most I/O's are designed to keep all water out. I just heard about a friends boat that was sold some months ago had a trailer failure of some sort recently by the new owner, told him not to buy a steel trailer for use in or around salt. Poor guy who bought it got all the hidden corrosion INSIDE the trailer. The key like others have said is maintenance and it will most likely be clearly visible as it was on the outside of his trailer. Keep your head about you when inspecting and dont let your excitment blind you from your inspection, make a checklist. My personal view is that the risk goes up purchasing a salt boat and would steer clear unless it was a killer deal.
Old     (mars)      Join Date: Aug 2005       09-25-2006, 6:46 AM Reply   
Bob: many of the newer ski boats can be equipped with "salt kits"--look for brass vice steel elbows, flush kits, dripless shaft packing glands, etc.

I see a consensus forming...
1. salt use is not reason enough alone to pass by an otherwise intersting boat.
2. maintenance and care of the boat are at least as important if not more important than type of water use.
3. If the trailer is not aluminum or galvanized and has been used in salt, be prepared for problems.

I will add that I would expect to pay a bit less for a salt water boat when compared to a fresh water boat assuming both had been cared for equally well. I would NEVER buy a boat that showed signs of poor maintenance or if I got a "this owner has no idea of how to care for a boat" vibe. The latter will be immediately appearant with casual questions about their boat's TLC routine. Keep in mind "fresh" water is not always all that "fresh". Lakes and rivers vary in their dissolved minerals, industrial "additives", and cooling passage clogging "schmutz".
Old    wakesetter23lsv            10-18-2006, 4:16 PM Reply   
no you idiot. you are .


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