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Old 07-03-2020, 01:41 AM   #1
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Default Salt water impact

First time boat owner and will be the first to admit I don’t know Jack. Trying my best to learn and find myself relying on advice from various sources, here included. I own a 2000 Maxum 1900 SR. Had some fairly expensive repair work done to it and when I picked it up today I mentioned that I was excited it was repaired because I'm looking forward to taking my son on a fishing trip to the outer banks in a few weeks. The mechanic said I should not take this boat in to salt water. That the engine is not aluminum but cast iron and salt water will extremely shorten what little life there is left. He said, "Listen, to be honest the expected life span of a stern drive boat like this is about 20 yrs. And you're at that point now. If you run this thing in salt water you're just asking for trouble."
I'm really bummed because my son is psyched about the trip.
Any of you experienced owners have a thought about his advice?
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Old 07-03-2020, 10:33 AM   #2
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Salt phobia! There are boats that have been operating in salt water that are 30-50 years old. Yes salt does greatly accelerate corrosion in iron as well as other metals including aluminum. However I/Os die from lots of reasons including bearing failure. The ones that die from salt are ones where the exhaust manifolds and risers which typically wear out first arenít changed and result in water intrusion into the engine through the exhaust valves. If this is an occasional trip and you flush with fresh water afterwards I doubt youíll notice and shortening of life that doesnít already exist for a 20+ year old boat. How many hours are on it. Iíve seen them die at 500 hrs due to poor maintenance but also go 2000+ hrs in salt water.
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Old 07-03-2020, 01:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mmwjr View Post
Salt phobia! There are boats that have been operating in salt water that are 30-50 years old. Yes salt does greatly accelerate corrosion in iron as well as other metals including aluminum. However I/Os die from lots of reasons including bearing failure. The ones that die from salt are ones where the exhaust manifolds and risers which typically wear out first arenít changed and result in water intrusion into the engine through the exhaust valves. If this is an occasional trip and you flush with fresh water afterwards I doubt youíll notice and shortening of life that doesnít already exist for a 20+ year old boat. How many hours are on it. Iíve seen them die at 500 hrs due to poor maintenance but also go 2000+ hrs in salt water.
Thanks for the reply. No guage that I can see showing hours. I guess I should've asked the mechanic to plug in a computer and see? But maybe thats not even possible on a 2000. I asked the mechanic about flushing it and he said, "Sure but you need to do it daily, before the salt water can dry overnight." That's going to be difficult to do as ive rented a slip near the rental house in NC. But if doing that will make a big difference i will try and figure out a way to get it done.
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Old 07-03-2020, 04:43 PM   #4
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You might want to take a look at the current condition of your exhaust manifolds and risers to see if you have any blockage. If not just keep an eye on your temp gauge as thats a sign of them getting blocked. Otherwise, use it and enjoy it.
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Old 07-06-2020, 01:31 AM   #5
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Roger that, thanks. I've been trying to learn as much as I can about flushing the engine. I have muffs and a hose attachment and there is fresh water available at the slip that it will be in for 5 days but there is no boat lift. I see a lot of conflicting information out there about how to best flush it and even some that says I don't have to flush it as long as it's in the water and only need to flush it when I pull it out to go home
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:50 AM   #6
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My boat is a 2004 and has lived its whole life in salt water, year round. I just replaced the risers last year. They were overdue by at least a season or two and caused an overheat issue before I changed them, but fixed and probably good for another ten years now.

I don’t understand the concern. Is it because you have raw water cooling instead of closed cooling? If it’s closed cooling, you can operate in salt water no problem.
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Old 07-06-2020, 03:57 PM   #7
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If only in the slip for 5 days just flush it when you get it home...
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:25 PM   #8
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Many (most) saltwater boats have heat exchangers, which act like radiators. They cool antifreeze running through the block. This isolates salt-water to the heat exchanger and the manifolds and risers. Manifolds and risers get replaced much more frequently and heat exchangers themselves are serviced and replaced periodically as well.

A short visit won't 'KILL' the boat. I would run the outdrive on muffs with freshwater each time it is hauled. A week in a slip won't kill it either. However, if you're trailoring it, flush it each time you pull it. The saltwater itself doesn't really kill it. It's the salt deposits that are left once everything dries that is really the culprit.
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