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Thread: Saltwater motor, what's the dif?

  1. #1
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Saltwater motor, what's the dif?

    OK, I sometimes poke around looking @ boats on C/L just in case I see a screaming deal on a good 115 outboard. I occasionally see newer saltwater motors come up for pretty cheap. What is the difference? Can you mount a jet unit to a 115 saltwater merc and take off? I assume that the fluid passages are coated to resist corrosion but I am honestly just not sure what the deal is.

    I am guessing that most salt motors have higher hours on average. I know I run my river boat to a point then shut it down and fish. I don't troll like a salt rig would likely do. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    I think the salt water versions have more stainless in them. I just make sure I fresh water rinse mine each and everytime I use it.

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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    OK, I sometimes poke around looking @ boats on C/L just in case I see a screaming deal on a good 115 outboard. I occasionally see newer saltwater motors come up for pretty cheap. What is the difference? Can you mount a jet unit to a 115 saltwater merc and take off? I assume that the fluid passages are coated to resist corrosion but I am honestly just not sure what the deal is.

    I am guessing that most salt motors have higher hours on average. I know I run my river boat to a point then shut it down and fish. I don't troll like a salt rig would likely do. Thoughts?
    It may be the more hours thing, but I have a feeling it is more related to just being exposed to the harsher salt water environment that would "age" the motors faster. Many boats running in salt water are left at the docks or in a slip in the water. They are exposed to the salt water for longer durations than fresh water motors would be exposed to fresh water. Just normal running in salt water as compared to fresh water is going to wear on an engine faster.

    I don't know about an official designation, but it seems to me that a motor that is designed for salt water would typically be more expensive rather than less as you indicated in your post for what you are seeing.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The only concern I'd have is how often has the lower end been dropped to replace the water pump, and coat the threads with anti seize. Ideally this is done yearly, at most every other year. If the bottom end hasn't been dropped in several years, and the lower end has lived in salt water, those bolts might be a real nightmare to remove to swap lower ends.

    Other then that, to me it just comes down to how many hours are on the motor, and how well it was maintained. I figure a consistant diet of rocks and gravel in fresh water can't be much easier on an engine.

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