Essential Tips to Convert a Freshwater Boat to a Saltwater Boat

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A common myth among some boat owners is that a freshwater boat dies in saltwater. Although saltwater indeed corrodes most metals, there is no reason why you shouldn't use your freshwater boat in coastal waters. However, you can take some steps to allow your freshwater boat to perform equally well in the ocean. The steps increase your boat's resistance to corrosion caused by saltwater. While the process comes at a cost, you will not be disappointed with the results. This article provides an insight into the critical steps you should take to convert your boat from a freshwater to a saltwater machine.

Use Closed Cooling System

If you know little about boat engines, then you might not know the type of cooling system your boat runs. Most freshwater boats use a raw water cooling system where the engine sucks in the freshwater for cooling purposes. As such, it is an inexpensive way to cool your engine because you do not need another source of water for your boat's cooling needs. However, it doesn't mean that the raw water cooling system can be used in coastal water. Notably, you might end up clogging the engine's interior, thereby reducing the vessel's performance.  Therefore, the first step is to replace the boat's cooling system from a raw water cooling system to a closed cooling system. Since the latter method relies on coolant to cool the engine, you do not need water.

Install Bilge Pump

If you choose a half-closed cooling system, it is more likely that some saltwater will find its way into your boat's engine. Therefore, you need to hose the entire engine every time you use the boat in saltwater. Equipping your engine with a bilge pump helps to remove excess saltwater from the engine, thereby preventing corrosive action of essential engine parts.  

Antifouling Paint

While your boat can get away with a bare engine house in freshwater, it doesn't stand a chance in saltwater. This is because marine water promotes marine growth on outboard engine housing which is challenging to remove. Therefore, using antifouling paint is a critical part of protecting your boat's engine from the effects of marine growth. That said, the type of antifouling paint you use depends on the type of boat you own as well as your location because different regions experience different marine growth. Most importantly, the antifouling paint you choose should match your engine's specific protection needs.

For more information, contact companies in your area that offer diesel marine engine services.