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Navigating in salt water with Crusaders

GAS engine, transmission and generator repair and maintenance discussion forum.
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Navigating in salt water with Crusaders

Postby JimCarver » September 13th, 2021, 4:06 am

My home port is in Gananoque, Ontario where my 360 Mariner with Crusader engines has ran in fresh water its whole life (650 hours). I'm considering navigating to South Carolina for the winter and spending 5 months in salt water, and was wondering if my engines are made to run in salt water or not.
Since my engines use Prestone, I believe they're closed cooling.
Your answers are very much appreciated.

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Re: Navigating in salt water with Crusaders

Postby Viper » September 13th, 2021, 7:15 am

Having a "closed cooled" or "fresh water cooled" (coolant filled) block is what you want, the question is whether your exhaust manifolds are closed cooled. If they're not, it's not a deal breaker but they're life will be shortened running in salt water. The typical benchmark to start worrying about their condition in salt water applications is 5 to 8 years. That doesn't mean automatic replacement at that point, it's just something you have to keep in mind and consider adding periodic inspect as part of your overall maintenance schedule. When ignored for too long you're running on borrowed time and a failure can be catastrophic for the engine.
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Re: Navigating in salt water with Crusaders

Postby uchu » September 13th, 2021, 9:53 am

We're talking about a roughly 1,200 mi. trip, each way. Hopefully you'll give your boat a thorough inspection before undertaking such journey! It certainly requires careful preparation.
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Re: Navigating in salt water with Crusaders

Postby g36 » September 13th, 2021, 10:56 am

That sounds like a great trip
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Re: Navigating in salt water with Crusaders

Postby km1125 » September 13th, 2021, 11:40 am

I'm jealous. Sounds like a great plan.

The engines will be fine with some saltwater, but just note Viper's comments.

Bring plenty of spares for the trip (impellers, filters, etc) because just saving a few hours instead of waiting for parts can save you days in the commute and avoid a lot of frustration.
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Re: Navigating in salt water with Crusaders

Postby buster53 » September 13th, 2021, 4:36 pm

Even if you have fresh water cooled engines, you still have a raw water side. On my boat, all of my sea strainers have connections that I can hook up a fresh water hose to. In a manner of minutes, I can flush my engines, genset and AC system. Makes winterizing a breeze as well.

BTW, many, many thousands of Crusaders have and are being used in salt water and have been for years. I would say the vast majority are fresh water cooled which extends the life of the engine.

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