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Old 07-22-2014, 03:03 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by taime1 View Post
Well, to me it's a boat that has spent all or most of its life in salt water, as opposed to fresh water.
All but the smallest and cheapest boats are designed to be used in water. Any water.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:09 PM   #22
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Slight hijack here.

If someone took a salty and moved it to fresh water, gave it a scrub up and bottom paint, could you really tell the difference anyway?
More than likely, yes. They'll be some pitting someplace, a fitting most likely, wire connections, etc. Could be easily seen, might take some hard looks behind and under things, or it could be internal to the engine cooling or other systems. But, properly taken care of when it was in salt water will limit the damages, if any. Lack of maintenance is the issue, not what type of water it floated in.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:46 PM   #23
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So, to summarize its an over generalization based on a sometimes nugget of truth. You will have to inconvenience yourself to dig a little deeper than one broad statement.

I'll pick on another one, or two.

1.) Smaller boat is cheaper and less complex. Uh....not necessarily. I have a 48foot boat now with twin engines. Compared to my 28 foot sportfish I replaced, it has one extra head, otherwise it has the exact same number of systems as my twin diesel sportfish. They simply get laid out over a larger area. The 28 engines were high performance turbocharged after cooled high maintenance beasts. My 48 has twin naturally aspirated 3208 caterpillars, which are massively more reliable and cheaper easier to maintain, especially without turbo's and after coolers. Also, when I need to do something on the 48, its usually easy to get to. On the 28, there were precious few jobs that did not require stuffing one's body into a hole much too small. Overall, I'd say the 48 is in many ways much easier to maintain. The obvious exceptions being anything that requires washing/polishing/painting, in which case I'd rather have my 23 foot boat back. We almost bought a 43 foot boat, but realized that 45 foot slips were somewhat rare, so it was likely that a 43 or 48 foot boat both required a 50 foot slip, hence the same cost level for moorage. It's really worth paying attention to the details on these points.

2.) Your budget only allows a more inexpensive boat. Ouch. No. I've been through too many boats to know that the most expensive boat you will ever purchase is the cheapest one. Owning a boat is a balancing act of following a planned maintenance program that arrives at a rate of renewal that is slightly greater than the natural rate of decay. Cheap boats are always always project boats, which means that your efforts are going into restoration, allowing for insufficient attention to keep up with natural decay. You work like crazy and only go backwards. If you buy an inexpensive boat, its very possible the repair needs outstrip the purchase cost if you drag the bottom of the barrel. You want to find somebody's completed turnkey boat, one they are taking a loss on. That's the cheapest boat out there and inexpensive has little to do with a high or low sales price.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:51 PM   #24
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An additional consideration is whether it has been kept in a boathouse or covered moorage. Here in Puget Sound, you can walk the docks and look at 30-50 year old boats that never leave the drink and look fabulous because they under cover. I also believe the ambient air temperature has something to do with condition. We don't have the steamy humid summers that taken together with the salt can get corrosion going in unique places, in my opinion. Heck, cars don't even rust here on the shoreline or islands. It is pretty benign.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:53 PM   #25
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This is a very interesting thread.

I've owned boats for the past 30 years. All on fresh water, stored for winter months. They all needed maintenance for mechanical issues to include preventive and remedial maintenece. I'm proud of my boat, so the cosmetic upkeep is important as well. I don't see this as being any different with a boat that lives in salt water. People will maintain their boats at various levels. I'd be more inclined to purchase a 20 year old boat that has been well maintained and sitting in salt water then a 5 year old boat with poor maintenance on a freshwater lake.

I too will soon be trawler shopping. I will look at as many boats as I can. I won't eliminate anything based on one opinion. It's in my best interest to gather as much information as I can to make an informed decision.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:11 PM   #26
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We don't have the steamy humid summers that taken together with the salt can get corrosion going in unique places, in my opinion. Heck, cars don't even rust here on the shoreline or islands. It is pretty benign.
I know. I love it out there on the West Coast, I see boats and cars out there looking like new, still running the streets and waterways- that dissolved here only years after being built.
I flew out to Seattle to look at a Ramcharger 4x4 I saw online.
I'd previously owned 3 of them, and had no idea that's what they're supposed to look like minus rust. Bought it of course. Made it 3 years before it started to dissolve. Now it's in Texas.Click image for larger version

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Old 07-22-2014, 05:37 PM   #27
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do you think that it would just take extra maintenance for the salt water boat to be kept at the same level, or is it simply impossible?
No, it is quite possible, and common.

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I've been through too many boats to know that the most expensive boat you will ever purchase is the cheapest one.
He speaks wisely!

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.... and maintenance are fairly small costs.
Famous last words!
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:38 PM   #28
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A Great Lakes boat of the same age will have between a third and a half the time in the water as for a salt water boat. And the larger ones will have been stored in a heated building the rest of the time. No sun or water damage for the time on the hard. And because they are on the hard during those long, boring winter months, owners tend to tinker with them...shine them up...make improvements. I see it all the time. They don't sit in a slip and collect barnacles and blisters. By the way, I don't know where the earlier comment about fresh water boats being more susceptible to blisters comes from...don't think it's so. In any case, I wouldn't be looking at old slow trawler style boats in your circumstance. A smaller, late model Carver/Cruisers/Sea Ray motor yacht makes a whole lot more sense in that (my) part of the world. Cheap, economical to own, and fast enough to get you places while the kids are growing up. There are hundreds of them on the market at give away prices.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:09 PM   #29
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Greetings,
Mr. s. Boats/manufacturers of hulls prone to blistering will experience the problem more in fresh water because there is less water in salt water.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:55 PM   #30
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A Great Lakes boat of the same age will have between a third and a half the time in the water as for a salt water boat. And the larger ones will have been stored in a heated building the rest of the time. In any case, I wouldn't be looking at old slow trawler style boats in your circumstance. A smaller, late model Carver/Cruisers/Sea Ray motor yacht makes a whole lot more sense in that (my) part of the world. Cheap, economical to own, and fast enough to get you places while the kids are growing up. There are hundreds of them on the market at give away prices.
This might be a dumb question but, why would the larger ones be in heated storage?

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I wouldn't be looking at old slow trawler style boats in your circumstance. A smaller, late model Carver/Cruisers/Sea Ray motor yacht makes a whole lot more sense in that (my) part of the world. Cheap, economical to own, and fast enough to get you places while the kids are growing up. There are hundreds of them on the market at give away prices.
That's also true - I am open to other types, but not many seem to fit the layout that I want, particularily the exterior (walk around decks, easy boarding, good size aft deck, flybridge). I'm also on the fence as to the gas vs. diesel for many different reasons and have more researching to do on that - but that's for another post.

As to speed, we don't really do speed. Not yet anyway. I'm sure the kids will grow out of the snail pace and will want to do wakeboarding or waterskiing, but neither a cruiser or trawler would be good for that. There is some comfort in knowing that you can get back to safety in a hurry to run away from the weather or for medical reasons perhaps.

I really appreciate the discussion and feedback from everyone. It's giving me cause for good reflection. In any event I haven't had any interest in my sailboat, so for now, reflection is about all I can do !
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:02 PM   #31
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May I suggest that you and your mate put on dancen shoes... Of course, "Sperry Stop Sliders" preferred for dancen aboard "Trawlers!" lol

Then get ready to dance on A LOT of power boats. Because... the really good and inexpensive pleasure cruisers (i.e trawlers) are few and far between. But, they do exist!

If you well understand mid sized power boats then you can self-do inexpensive (virtually no-cost) pre surveys on each boat. If you don't then maybe find someone who does (a friend?) and for reasonable cost agrees to take "quick peak" at boat(s) you really like; to see if cost of marine surveyor and marine mechanic is warranted.

Be sure you know size, style, power source(s), speed, hull type, interior layout, Master stateroom accommodations necessary, galley location, # of heads and beds... etc before you really go looking. Having full knowledge of what you seek reduces stress, quickens the search and usually improves the outcome.

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Old 07-22-2014, 08:55 PM   #32
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Maintenance is going to cost, regardless.

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Old 07-22-2014, 08:58 PM   #33
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Greetings,
Mr. s. Boats/manufacturers of hulls prone to blistering will experience the problem more in fresh water because there is less water in salt water.
But in the U.S. of A, the salt water tends to be warmer, often much warmer.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:37 PM   #34
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[QUOTE=taime1;251837]This might be a dumb question but, why would the larger ones be in heated storage?

Maybe the owners have the cash for heat....but I think it's mostly that it's a better payoff in the comparison of winterizing cost/effort versus premium paid for heat. Bigger boat is a bigger PITA to prep for the freezing temps.


That's also true - I am open to other types, but not many seem to fit the layout that I want, particularily the exterior (walk around decks, easy boarding, good size aft deck, flybridge). I'm also on the fence as to the gas vs. diesel for many different reasons and have more researching to do on that - but that's for another post.

I'm looking out the window at a Carver 352...reasonable walkaround decks, nice aft deck, flybridge, huge interior volume for the exterior size...

Regarding dspeed, I was thinking in terms of getting from place to place on weekends. Seven knots sux if you want to venture around on the Lakes. Sell it and get a trawler when the kids are gone and life slows down.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:38 PM   #35
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Like anything, there is good & bad in all. If you discount saltwater boats, you have decreased your choices by a significant percentage. In your area, there may be a lot of "freshwater" boats, but overall - the large majority of trawler style boats have been in salt water.

btw - How do you tell which is a fresh water boat?? .......... Condition! yes - that is what you should be looking at, rather than listening to what the salesman is telling you.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:07 PM   #36
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My boats have all been saltwater boats for all or at least most of their life. Be they glass or wood; 1960's to now! Taint the water type that really makes for a good boat. It is due to manufacturer quality and upkeep from previous owner(s).

That said - for first time in my boat owning life, for last five years, we have kept our 1977 glass Tollycraft in SF Delta fresh water. Man, it really does relieve much of the upkeep on bottom, water borne metal parts/equipment, and drive train in general.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:41 PM   #37
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A transient boat shared our dock with us for a few days last week. The owner had purchased the boat, an early 2000's vintage 40 foot Formula, in Florida and hauled it up to the Great Lakes. Beautiful boat that was cosmetically great. But he was having trouble with a solenoid in the starting circuit for one of the Cummins diesels. The part arrived overnite mail at the marina. He spent most of the next day cursing salt water boats as he fought corrosion in both the mounting bracketry and the wiring connectors (which virtually disintegrated). Ruined that guy's summer vacation.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:58 AM   #38
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AThe owner had purchased the boat, an early 2000's vintage 40 foot Formula, in Florida and hauled it up to the Great Lakes.
Early 2000's vintage?
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:06 AM   #39
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I guess my question can be boiled down to: is it reasonable to eliminate salt water boats from my list of potential boats?
No.

But it will usually be less expensive to bring to your home port a boat purchased more locally. IOW, consider initial transportation as part of your acquisition costs.

FWIW, salt water content here on the Chesapeake (since you mention MD) is relatively benign compared to south Florida, etc.

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Old 07-23-2014, 10:17 AM   #40
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Early 2000's vintage?

See number 3 below (Merriam-Webster)

1
a (1) : a season's yield of grapes or wine from a vineyard (2) : wine; especially : a usually superior wine all or most of which comes from a single year
b : a collection of contemporaneous and similar persons or things : crop
2
: the act or time of harvesting grapes or making wine

3
a : a period of origin or manufacture <a piano of 1845 vintage>
b : length of existence : age
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