Fresh water and it's effects on encapsulated wood.

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Feb 23, 2006
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Southern California
I was talking to my buddy that is a marine diesel mechanic. He works on the biggies and knows a lot about boats.

Now, my biggest concern when buying a used Parker was the gas tank. Did not want to buy something and have to spend a fortune replacing the tank.

I was mentioning to him the other day that I have to replace the in deck inspection covers and that I noticed fresh water had leaked in. I told him I was glad it was fresh water and not salt.

He told me that salt water is bad for many things, but fresh water is bad for encapsulated wood (stringers and transom) as it can rot it out faster than salt.

Anybody else hear this or aware of this?
He's right. Salt in the saltwater actually preserves the wood for a period of time, i.e., could take 20 years or more for a transom to "rot" in saltwater where it would rot in years if freshwater.

I grew up on wood boats and believe me ... RAIN water was the enemy, not the salt water the boat was berthed in.