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Old 19-10-2014, 16:44   #1
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Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

So I posted this under power category and I got no response so I will try again. I interested in hearing from boaters who started out boating on the great lakes then went south to boat. My experience is only on lake Ontario in the great lakes Canadian side( I don't think that matters ). My wife and myself would like to boat in warmer waters probably around Florida mainly coastal possibly Bahamas from Florida. We would either ship or buy a boat in Florida. I'm not asking how to boat just are there any majors issues with this and should we charter first. I don't know if this matter but it would be power not sail. I don't know how to sail
thanks Rob
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Old 27-10-2014, 14:42   #2
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

My opinion...

By the time you have your boat in FL, how will you get back and forth? How often?

Expect your maintenance budget to multiply by 3-4 in salt water. Its foul stuff.
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Old 27-10-2014, 16:52   #3
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

I did all my boating in the Great Lakes before moving to the East Coast and beyond. The largest difference is getting used to salt water. No more jumping in at the end of a day to get clean, and it tastes funny. The next big thing is that you spend a lot more time cleaning the decks and stainless - salt really does a job on those.

As far as the boating itself - there really isn't any difference. You don't need to charter or gain any specific salt water experience - your first day in FL will show you that no one else has...

Mark
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Old 27-10-2014, 16:53   #4
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

We would use the boat as a winter cottage to go to Bahamas so extended stays, 3 to 4 wks at a time. Basically instead of renting a cottage at $2000-$3000 a week and not bring my dog. We would get a larger boat around 35 ft to stay on and travel in the winter months. I've sailed with friends but have no experience to confidently sail in the ocean. We are on the Ontario ,New York border so I its about 24 hrs to drive so 2 days to get there. Maintenance for salt water is something I have no knowledge about and is definitely something I'm trying to find out about. We know people that do this on sailboats but I don't know anyone that does this with a power boat.
Thanks Rob
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Old 28-10-2014, 01:12   #5
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

Hello Rob,

I know your area being a Montrealer and sailed/motored extensively in Lake Ontario. I now live in Spain (Majorca) and getting my Saily thing refitted in Turkey; leaving for a RTW in Jul 15.

A first thought, find a secure, VERY secure harbour. Hurricanes are not nice. You will be surprised at the prices... not in a nice way!

Then think about your maintenance budget... The engines will need flushing every 2 years, all systems will need constant inspection. ... (if your SS is not prime grade, your boat will look like s*** within 3 months. )You'll also run at high power and need overhauls every 1500 hours. If you have 300 HP engines, these will be costly.

Antifoul is a yearly thing... including haul out, through hull checks, props cleaned, genset could need a raw water clean out yearly. (Mine does)

What boat do you own now? Why not bring her down the Hudson on her hull, Intracoastal waterway to FL?? Gorgeous trip. Should take you a month if you pootle...

GL.
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Old 28-10-2014, 09:03   #6
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

Hi Eleuthera
Right now I have a 1966 fjord consul 26. It has a beam of 10ft but its only 26 ft. She is powered by 2 omc v6's with 185 hp per side. she is a very solid boat , from what I researched it was built in Norway and then shipped to Canada to be sold. The engines are not a closed loop system so I was wondering how long it would take for the salt to affect the engines. I do all my own work from the engine to the electrical so my maintenance costs are low .I would think that she is a little on the small size to do the intercoastal waterway. Because its 10ft it's classified as a wide load so trailering would be a hassle. So this was the only solution I could think of was keep this one in Canada and having something larger to keep down south. usually we just fly to the Caribbean for a holiday but tiring of that, I mean staying at resorts.
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Old 28-10-2014, 09:25   #7
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

Hello Rob,

Congratulations on your mechanical skills; few sailors can claim this.

Your vessel is indeed well built and will resist the elements... except for the engines. I think they'll be toast within 12 months without closed circuit cooling.

So you have to reengine at some time. I would think a single 300 HP diesel (V6??) would do the job and if you add a bow thruster, manoeuvring in harbour would be easy.

Get a kicker to back up the power unit and you will have a nice boat.

Alternatively, a new boat from FL may be cheaper. But careful out there... FL boats (in fact all sunny weather boats) are normally sunburnt and the gel coat will be dusty. Lots of elbow grease will cure that. GET A SURVEY by a chartered surveyor.

Review the ICW... you will find that your boat will do just fine. Far larger boats than yours run up and down each year.
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Old 28-10-2014, 11:16   #8
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

Hi Eleuthera
Thanks for the compliment, I spent almost 20 yrs. doing electrical and electronics in the military and grew up in a farming community. To me the principles are the same whether its marine or land based equipment ie engines and electrical system. Its just a matter of learning the small differences like block thickness ,cooling but an engine is still an engine. As for electrical- marine standard and mil spec for components are actually the same. But I am rambling. I have been looking at repowering but I figured my boat would be to small to do the IWC and down the coast so I figured buying another boat was the way to go.
Thanks Rob
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Old 28-10-2014, 11:23   #9
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

Hi Rob,

EX Mil also... good school for work standards.

I think your best option is to buy a 32-35 footer in FL with 2 good diesels and AC.. perhaps a genset too.

GL
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Old 28-10-2014, 11:36   #10
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

Food for thought...

YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale

If you want very sound advice about these types of boats, I could refer you to someone who can fill in the blanks with knowledge. No point wasting your moolah!

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Old 28-10-2014, 11:36   #11
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

Totally ignorant question about something I know nothing about, but is it practical to find a slip a days motoring inland somewhere in Florida? You'd have to budget a couple extra days for getting to the Bahamas, but if practical at all I would suspect that the other 7-8 months of the year a freshwater anchorage with some land buffer between you and any hurricanes would be beneficial. Additionally, since the boat isn't being used all the time an extra day to find all the things that have gone wonky since the last time used would be helpful, as would be obtaining parts.
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Old 28-10-2014, 11:39   #12
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

Additionally, I read once that freshwater fouling is killed by saltwater, and vice versa so hopefully you could get away with less bottom cleaning. Again, no experience on my end but if true is another factor to consider.
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Old 28-10-2014, 12:45   #13
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

Hi Eleuthera
I have been shopping on yachtworld. I was leaning towards a 32-34ft power cat, I couldn't decide on twin diesels or outboards. I would definitely appreciate the contact info for your guy. The more expert advice the better.
Hi MBwhite
I like that idea, I unfortunately have no idea what rivers that are navigable from the coast. I'm still researching the idea, I feel I'm at a bit of a disadvantage because I have literally travelled around the world but I can honestly say that I have never drove the 2 days to Florida. So any info on rivers would definitely be appreciated.
Thanks for all the help
Rob
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Old 28-10-2014, 13:56   #14
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

I sent you a PM...

Cheers
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Old 28-10-2014, 17:33   #15
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Re: Transitioning from fresh to saltwater boating

When going from fresh to salt make sure your zincs are zinc. Magnesium anodes are used in fresh water and they will burn like crazy in salt, often lifting paint. Make sure zinc pencils are kept up in the engine cooling system, if any are used. Raw water cooling in salt water will ultimately corrode the engine block, but not in a matter of months as has been said. It will last a few years, or more, if gas don't worry too much about it as they don't last that long anyhow. (a raw water diesel would be very unusual)
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