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How do these boats hold up in salt water use?

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  • How do these boats hold up in salt water use?

    I'm considering running a 96 ProStar in brackish or even salt water. Should that be avoided at all costs?

  • #2
    I ran my 93 in brackish/salt for about 150 of it's current 775 hours. I flushed it after every use. I also made the effort or running it in a freshwater lake every 5-10 outings. The risers and manifolds were replaced proactively 1 time. They had some corrosion, but were still functional. I chucked them.

    The Mastercraft trailer on the other hand, did not fare as well. Despite flushing the inside after each use, it basically turned into red dust. As much thought that went into the boat manufacturing, the trailer is a very poor design from the standpoint of water contamination and rot from the inside. DO NOT PUT A TUBE TYPE TRAILER IN BRACKISH SALT! EVER. My lesson cost me about $4500.

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    • #3
      The boat will need to be flushed on a regular daily basis. The remaining life of the engine will reduced even with flushing. Occasional use ok if immediately flushed after pulling it out of the water. The trailer won't like being dunked into that type of water very often unless it's galvanized.
      sigpic...A bad day water skiing still beats a good day at work...1995 Pro Star 205....

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      • #4
        I used my '96 in salt. The boat held up just fine, but I was nuts about flushing and cleaning it. I was so nuts that it was not even worth it any longer and I stopped dumping it in the salt.

        My buddy and I went in halves on a cheap outboard for the salt. We used it for about 4 years without an issue and then sold it for $1500... initial investment was $3500. I should have done that in the first place, as it was cheaper than the fresh water cooling system we had installed on it and the trailer refurb I did after I stopped dunking it in the salt bath.
        -Cameron
        2007 ProStar 197
        1996 ProStar 190

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        • #5
          as stated, the boat is fine with a little flushing. The trailer on the other hand hasn't done as well
          1981 MasterCraft
          19' Skier 351W PowerSlot
          Long gone is the Trans AM waiting for another

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          • #6
            I run in salt water and just finished a major redo (see 1998 205 redo in resto section) The boats don't hold up well if you aren't nuts about cleaning, and protecting . especially where you have dissimilar metals. I bought a used engine and tranny from a Team talk owner as he was upgunning. He ran exclusively on salt water and had a closed cooling system which is a must if you are gonna run all the time in salt in my opinion. The engine is and runs beautifully. a tribute to good owner care. You will get about 500-600 hours out of manifolds. Corrossion on other parts is where owners really mess up in my opinion. Couplings clamps electical assemblies. Keep it sprayed, washed off and protected it will be OK. Not as nice as some of the exclusive freshwater boats but I want to ski, own a Mastercraft and Im not moving from the beach. Cheers, Wing

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            • #7
              I have the same experience. I live and boat on brackish water. The water will literally eat the trailer in a season. If you dunk your trailer in salt or brackish, you need to flush all of the trailer rails copiously with fresh water. As for the engine, if you use a flush kit, keep the engine box propped when not in use, and the metals coated with an anti-corrosive coating, you should be fine. The manifolds and risers will go a little quicker than freshwater usage, but they will go at some point regardless. Good luck.
              Brian

              Current: 2000 ProStar 205

              Former: 1987 ProStar 190

              sigpic

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