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Using my fishing boat and motor in salt water

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General Fishing Questions

I’ve heard that you should never take a freshwater outboard into saltwater, due to corrosion. Is this true? Can I use my ‘freshwater’ boat and motor in the lagoon and ocean?

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3 Answers

  1. Best Answer

    Richard F. on Dec 14, 2012 Reply

    I’ve been fishing for many years, and I have always used my motor in both salt and fresh water… BUT every time I use it in salt water I flush it out thoroughly with fresh water the minute I get home. It doesn’t take too long and I just use a normal hose, and take the time to spray off the rest of the boat as well.

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  2. Harry F. on Dec 14, 2012 Reply

    you can use your fresh water boat in the ocean but its true that it’ll corrode if youre not carefull. if you just use the freshwater outboard and dont clean it afterward you’ll probably have problems. There are people who use fresh water outboards in the sea tho and have no problem, they bring a plastic barrel and hose down the motor with fresh water after using it in the ocean.

    salt will corrode a fresh water outboard if you dont wash it well, tho. A salt water outboard will corrode if its not cared for properly too but it will take a lot longer. There should be fresh water at the marina though, so you can use that to clean up the salt. Youll have to have it put in drydock but that shoud likely be their standard way of doing things anyway. If you get a salt water outboard you should clean that too, most people are too lazy but it’ll last longer.

    Short answer – you can probably use your fresh water outboard in salt water but you need to clean it afterward.

    ps sorry for my spelling and punctuaton, hope its not too hard to read.

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  3. Ivan R. on Dec 15, 2012 Reply

    You can indeed wash out a freshwater outboard engine with fresh water, in order to keep it usable after a saltwater expedition. However, there is another thing you should consider also: the size of your boat. If you have a small fishing boat for inland waters, it may be too light and fragile for the open ocean.

    Though you can get away with a smaller boat by sticking close to the shore and being careful, the ocean is a much more rigorous environment than creeks or even most rivers. So, generally speaking, a larger, more robust boat is better for maritime fishing adventures.

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