Saltwater vs. Freshwater

There are many questions asked on a daily basis dealing with freshwater vs saltwater boats. What boat is better for either bodies of water? Can one boat be used in both freshwater and saltwater? While all water is wet; it’s not all water is equal. This is leaving many of you wondering if you can drop your freshwater boat in a salty body of water and vice versa. Here are some facts you’ll need to know when choosing the right boat for you.

Knowing where you are going to be using your boat is the first thing. Are you using it in freshwater, saltwater, or maybe even both? Once you’ve made your decision then you can look at other factors.

Most boats used in freshwater have a hull strength that was designed to be close to shore. Most any boat can go into salty, ocean waters; however, the owner must be aware that rough waters and rocky shores can pose danger if the hull strength of your boat is not made for such. If you do venture into ocean waters, stay near the shore enough to avoid large waves, but far enough away to not be washed into rocks.

Boats that are docked in salt water, or are being used long-term in saltwater settings, their cooling systems may vary slightly. Saltwater boats often have closed cooling systems as well as flushing systems to help remove saltwater from settling in motors after use. For boats that will be spending a weekend in the bay, there’s no major concern about modifications for saltwater use.

There is one question that trumps them all, is a boat that’s been used in salt water ok to be used in freshwater? The answer is yes, any boat that has seen time in salt water should be thoroughly rinsed with fresh water and should have its engine flushed.

Keep in mind that boats used in saltwater have a shorter life expectancy than the boats used in fresh water. It’s something to consider if you are planning to purchase a boat that’s been used in salt water. If your boat that’s used in salt water is properly maintained and rinsed after every use, you should have no problems.