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Old 10-05-2013, 21:28   #1
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I/O operation in salt water

This may have been gone over many times, just wondering what I will need to do taking my 245 vista i/o from fresh water into gulf and coastal (keys) water. Zincs? Flushing daily as I have been told? Just cannot do for the winter months. Why? We are planning a 6 month here (northern mn) and 6 month keys area. If not practical with current boat, need to know and why. Thanks for any productive ideas.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:50   #2
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Re: I/O operation in salt water

Might partially depend on your cooling system -- fresh water or raw water? -- and whether you might be able to keep it a boatel or marina with a lift, or on your trailer, instead of in the water.

If your boat is freshwater cooled, salt water won't be routed into the engine cooling passages (where the antifreeze is), only into the heat exchanger system and related exhaust. It could be relatively easy to flush the raw water system (heat exchanger, etc.) especially if you add a simple flush adapter to your seawater inlet line (see Groco for parts ideas) -- assuming you might not have one already.

If the boat is raw water cooled (no antifreeze, seawater travels through the engine's cooling passages), that's a different story, but again, flushing after each use -- perhaps with an adapter, if necessary -- might solve that easily enough. (I'm not expert.)

Most I/Os don't tilt out of the water enough to be perfect for in-water storage down there, but if the boat is to be stored on your trailer or in a boatel or on a lift... salt water contact on the outdrive while you're actually onboard shouldn't be a big deal.

You'll want different anodes than you use for freshwater, zinc or maybe aluminum instead of magnesium.

I'm told by owners of gas boats in our club that risers and elbows are good for about 5 years max, and that you can't see internal corrosion or inmpending failure from the outside. IOW, they usually do a change-out at the 5 year mark as precautionary maintenance.

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Old 11-05-2013, 07:50   #3
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Re: I/O operation in salt water

There are THOUSANDS of I/O boats in salt water here in Florida. Late model I/O's are DESIGNED for salt water use and suffer not at all if the manufacturer's service recommendations are done. Even raw water cooled engines which are used daily will not have any problems; disuse is your enemy! Have your out drive painted with a TBT paint, keep your zincs up and enjoy your gas bill boat!
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:07   #4
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Re: I/O operation in salt water

Sorry about that, it is a raw water cooled boat. Local "experts" tell me that I cannot even use a fresh water, ie: raw water cooled boat in salt water. Only salt water around here is in bottom of margarita glass. Just looking for advise. Have considered buying another boat for the southern area we want to enjoy and keep our other boat here. Somewhat easier, but double expense. We have been considering the Erie Canal and great lakes the next year or so, may just look for a larger boat for south. And thank you, we do enjoy the gas bill much more than waiting for the wind and motoring anyway. We have it down to about 1.77/gph @6knot constant. Works for us.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:25   #5
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Re: I/O operation in salt water

paint the outdrive with aluminum safe paint (micron 33 comes in spray cans), make sure your zincs are new and checked every few months. Dont paint the zincs! There have been many raw water cooled boats used in salt over the years. Do you have a manual? You might have engine zincs also. Best thing would be to convert to freshwater cooled. Is your boat GM based engine? (5.0, 5.7 etc engine?) San Juan engineering is the go to vendor for those systems. They are around all over used also.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:35   #6
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Re: I/O operation in salt water

Just make sure you have zinc anodes instead of freshwater anodes installed.
Lots of raw water cooled boats in salt water, not a problem (well, not best solution, but works).
Keep zincs in good condition. If zincs are gone your I/O will dissolve before your eyes!



I/O units sitting in salt water have a limited life, but they have a life.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:58   #7
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Re: I/O operation in salt water

Was going to paint lower unit soon,anyway. Will look for aluminum friendly paint(per your instruction) instead. Will keep salt water anodes(zincs) fresh for sure. Have thought of converting unit into a closed cooling system. Looks to be not too major of a job. The motor is a 350 chevy w/carb. Has a OMC cobra(I know) which was re-built completely last summer and motor has 250 hrs. on it, could hardly turn down the $4200 sale price with very nice tandem axle trailer. We were looking for a 30'-35'er for our plans, but had to go this route and will make do with it for now. Just did not know much at all about salt water application. Will get ahold of San Juan Eng. starting today. Many thanks to everybody. Any other ideas are always welcome.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:09   #8
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Re: I/O operation in salt water

There are a lot of Project boats in yards at giveaway prices. Many of these will never run again, and many of them have 305/350 chevy engines with fresh water cooling. You could offer someone $ for the cooling system. I also see FW cooling systems on Craig's list and Ebay. Doesnt look too complicated to add to the Chevy... but of course everything boat oriented is harder than it looks!
There is a place locally up here doing it for $1000 installed.
For reference h ere are some kits off Fleabay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-5-7L-V6-...ht_1018wt_1203

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Volvo-Penta-Fresh-Water-Cooling-Kit-3860567-3862181-Boat-Engine-Marine-/130887712169?hash=item1e7983fda9&item=130887712169 &pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&vxp=mtr#ht_1160wt_ 965

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-5-7L-V8-Marine-Engine-Fresh-Water-Kit-New-5-7-GM-Closed-Cooling-Kit-99-Up-/261213235896?hash=item3cd185aab8&item=261213235896 &pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&vxp=mtr#ht_815wt_1 203
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Old 11-05-2013, 19:04   #9
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Re: I/O operation in salt water

Quote:
Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
There are THOUSANDS of I/O boats in salt water here in Florida. Late model I/O's are DESIGNED for salt water use and suffer not at all if the manufacturer's service recommendations are done. Even raw water cooled engines which are used daily will not have any problems; disuse is your enemy! Have your out drive painted with a TBT paint, keep your zincs up and enjoy your gas bill boat!
Of course there are and not just in Florida, all over the world.

The only thing I would add is that for a boat used in salt water, the manifolds and risers may need to be replaced more often than if the boat is used in fresh water.

One more. If the boat is kept in the water in an area with a lot of bottom growth, make sure the water inlets on the outdrive are cleaned of any growth on a regular basis.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:58   #10
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Re: I/O operation in salt water

Hello, I am a boat noob and just reading a lot of these threads to learn. What are the "zincs" that you all are talking about?
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:47   #11
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Re: I/O operation in salt water

Again, I am farrrrr from expert, but zinc anodes are put in place to stop corrosion of metal parts of outdrive,manifolds,etc. That is what I know about it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:49   #12
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Re: I/O operation in salt water

OK, thank you. So this is something I should probably think about doing to my little Sea Ray when I move to Florida in a couple of weeks then.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:42   #13
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Re: I/O operation in salt water

Anodes are sacrificial, to combat the electrolysis effects of stray electric current in the water around your boat. The less noble anode gradually wears off to gild the electricity source, while your more important metals (steel, aluminum, bronze, etc.) stay put.

Zinc ones are for operation in saltwater, as are aluminum. I think magnesium are the ones used in fresh water (but somebody will correct if I mis-remembered).

-Chris
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:04   #14
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Re: I/O operation in salt water

I used a Raw Water cooled Chevy in a plywood Owens for years in the keys as a young man.
Fished Amberjack off Islemorada @ 10 cent a pound, thats what 20 miles out? rode it hard and put away wet.

You should have no probs but expect to change manifolds (barrs the cheap brand) every two or three years. Outdrives are considerd bad because of the frequency of running aground. It's seldom sand you hit and never mud. I had a 18' Thunderbird with volvo out drive and spent two nights on a flat off long key after hitting it, ripping the outdrive off and sending my drunk arse flipping off the bow!
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