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Thoughts on salt water boats?


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I’m starting to look for bigger boats.  I  would really like a 30’ pursuit.  Most seem to have spent some of there life in salt water.  For those who have bought salt water boats have you had any issues like wiring corrosion, gel coat issues, hardware issues.  Or just issues in general that you experienced?  I have heard some say no big deal if it’s a closed cooling system, and I have been told to stay away from salt water boats.  

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Cooling systems on outboards are easily cleaned.
My son and I run an 87 boat with a 2006 outboard we picked up three years ago with no complaints.


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If you buy a salt boat, expect to spend more money in repairs after purchased.  If you go into it with that mindset, you will be better off.  Get a reliable marine survey done.  

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9 minutes ago, mathews_hunter said:

Gambler any boat I buy I expect there to be unknown issues and repairs.  Like you mentioned a survey will be a must have. Why do you think a salt boat will have more repairs?   Thanks.   

Gremlins caused by corrosion mostly.....if you are good at chasing things down and troubleshooting it shouldn't be a big deal - that being said if it was me - for any problem I encounter (for example say an oil pressure sending unit that isn't working properly) - not only replace the faulty part (new sending unit)  - but pull brand new wiring and clean every contact in the system related to the system at a minimum - do it once - do it right.  

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2 hours ago, mathews_hunter said:

Gambler any boat I buy I expect there to be unknown issues and repairs.  Like you mentioned a survey will be a must have. Why do you think a salt boat will have more repairs?   Thanks.   

Like AnglingAddict stated corrosion.  My buddy just put new risers and a motor from a salt boat he bought.  A well taken care of salt boat can be good but salt takes its toll.  

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If you have money to burn take a look at the 31 ft Whaler:smile:

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Saltwater is hard on motors.  I would never do it again. Cost me $8500. for a new IO. The original only had 600hrs, on it. Lesson learned.

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My last 3 boats were all straight inboards with closed cooling. Still running the 1987 and 1995 with absolutely zero issues bc of salt water. As noted th only thing you may want to change are the risers, depending on when they were changed last. Most closed systems run coolant through the exhaust manifolds. Outboard's if properly maintained ,flushed and stored or raised out of the water generally are trouble free bc of salt as well. Sometimes if the hardware is breaking down you may see some rust stains running from some chrome parts,  never had that on any of my 3 but have noticed it on some salt hulls. Never any wiring issues or corrosion on connections .I would buy my next boat from salt again in a heartbeat if the price was right ,all based on passing a survey.

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14 hours ago, mathews_hunter said:

I’m starting to look for bigger boats.  I  would really like a 30’ pursuit.  

There are a lot of freshwater Pursuits on the Great Lakes. You need to be searching Lake Erie and Michigan boats for sale thru brokers or private sellers. Can also be found in upstate NY also in Alexander Bay Area. IMO, as stated above you need to be a very competent troubleshooter when dealing with an older saltwater boat. 

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56 minutes ago, UNREEL said:

There are a lot of freshwater Pursuits on the Great Lakes. You need to be searching Lake Erie and Michigan boats for sale thru brokers or private sellers. Can also be found in upstate NY also in Alexander Bay Area. IMO, as stated above you need to be a very competent troubleshooter when dealing with an older saltwater boat. 

Thanks unreel.  Do you have info on brokers?   I have been looking boat trader but not much to be had for freshwater.  It would be great to find one out of ABay since I live close to there

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There was a Pursuit sitting at the marina next to me for sale. Looked to be in the 28' to 30' range. I'm on Lake Erie in Ohio, so likely a fresh water boat. I'm heading to the OBX later this week, but when I get back, I'll see if its still there.

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14 hours ago, GAMBLER said:

If you buy a salt boat, expect to spend more money in repairs after purchased.  If you go into it with that mindset, you will be better off.  Get a reliable marine survey done.  

I agree. I have owned boats all of my life and used them mostly in salt water. I will say after the first time exposed to salt water most if not all fasteners will be much more difficult to remove. It the boat was left at a marina or on a moring for extended periods on time the corrosion will be noticeable. 

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We bought a boat from North Carolina and had it delivered, the boat only had 88 hours on it when we bought it (Yamaha 150 OB). I hired a surveyor to go through the boat (about 316.00 dollars). The boat had very little sign of salt water use however some of the wiring compartment under the dash did have some salt crystals present. The speaker wiring which is pretty thin and the speakers themselves for some reason also showed signs of damage. Inside the motor, some of the fittings steel also showed signs of salt water. I used the boat for three years and put a 150 hours on it, and got rid of it on a trade for more than we paid for it.

 

If you go this route, be sure to get a survey from an accredited marine surveyor, it's worth every penny. If I had to do it over again, I would. I have seen other examples where salt water damage was much more noticeable as not everyone takes care of their boat and equipment. The trailer had more signs of use than the boat, brake lines rusted, brake pads and rotors shot, etc...the marina we bought the boat from paid for those repairs as part of the deal. I was skeptical about buying a salt water boat, but because the boat we purchased had low hours and was taken care of, there were no issues. It can work out.

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1 hour ago, mathews_hunter said:

Thanks unreel.  Do you have info on brokers?   I have been looking boat trader but not much to be had for freshwater.  It would be great to find one out of ABay since I live close to there

I know of one in Port Clinton OH. Waypoint Marine deals in used Pursuits and Tiaras. There used to be one in A-Bay that sold a lot of Pusuits over the years but not they’re not showing any inventory on their website. Walstrom Marine in Michigan is another. Good luck

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Which ever way you choose don't assume because its a fresh water boat it must be good. You could find a salt water used boat in far better shape than a fresh water boat as taking care of a boat is work, and some people either don't know how or don't want to do what it takes to take care of a boat.

 

Many boats I looked at locally were flower pots. If it appears to be in rough shape, it probably is worse than you might imagine.. The boat we have now is our 9th so I have seen quite a few over the years, not my first rodeo :-)

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On 6/6/2021 at 10:17 PM, GAMBLER said:

Like AnglingAddict stated corrosion.  My buddy just put new risers and a motor from a salt boat he bought.  A well taken care of salt boat can be good but salt takes its toll.  

 

On 6/7/2021 at 2:17 PM, JSfish said:

Which ever way you choose don't assume because its a fresh water boat it must be good. You could find a salt water used boat in far better shape than a fresh water boat as taking care of a boat is work, and some people either don't know how or don't want to do what it takes to take care of a boat.

 

Many boats I looked at locally were flower pots. If it appears to be in rough shape, it probably is worse than you might imagine.. The boat we have now is our 9th so I have seen quite a few over the years, not my first rodeo :-)

That would be myself. Had survey done. Missed alot. But still got a good price on boat. 

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We bought a Pursuit 2007 2670LS from the keys that wasn't taken care of as much as I would have liked but its the model I wanted. We went thru it and the quality of the build came thru on limiting the effects of the salt water and air. A survey was done and I think I could have done a better job. I went thru the boat after the purchase. No regrets for us as we know why we have. This is our second Pursuit and love it. If you buy a boat from a reputable manufacture and are willing to put some money and sweat into it its a great way to go. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another from the salt.

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On 6/11/2021 at 6:03 PM, mathews_hunter said:

I’m guessing the term flower pot is not a good thing.   I’m keeping my eyes open to all options.  Just looking for a solid boat for the family.  I know no matter how new or old they are problems arise. 

Flower pot = 

flowerpot.jpg

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If it is an outboard that has been taken care of properly or an inboard with a closed cooling system I wouldnt hesitate but  I would get a survey of course.  I/O's have no place in saltwater I wouldnt even consider that.  I have a 1991 mercury 150 that was used in saltwater in the keys, I ran it on lake o for a probably 8 years and then took it abck to florida.  I use it everytime I go down to fish reds and snook.  Still running strong, I flush after every use.  Just my 2 cents!

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I mean wouldn’t you want to get the survey before your purchase?  After money and title exchange I mean its a done deal. If your survey after purchase shows significant problems you’re kind of **** out of luck

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