Boating is the keystone of summer recreation in Canada. Whether it’s a thrilling water sport like water skiing or tubing, a fishing expedition or just a long day spent relaxing out on the water, boats open the door to many of the most enjoyable warm weather activities. Most Canadians limit their recreational boating to lakes and rivers but some have begun to venture into the boundless waters of the open ocean.
If you’re interested in saltwater boating, it’s important to understand that there are some major differences from freshwater boating. Because the ocean is so much larger and more unpredictable than any lake, taking your boat out on it involves many more uncertainties and risks. On the other hand, the opportunities for adventure are practically endless. Keep reading to learn some of the key differences between saltwater and freshwater boating.
Differences Between Boating in a Lake and at Sea
The first question that many boat owners have is whether they can take their freshwater boat on the ocean. While the answer is yes, there are some factors you need to consider. Saltwater corrodes metal about 5 times faster than freshwater does due to being much more conductive. If you want your boat to stay in good shape while being used in saltwater, you’ll need to outfit your boat with the right anodes to protect against rapid corrosion from electric currents in the water. While magnesium anodes work well in freshwater, aluminum and zinc anodes are far better choices for saltwater boating.
Saltwater also has a detrimental effect on the engine of your boat. Because of this, it’s important to thoroughly flush out your boat’s engine with freshwater after every time you take it out to sea. When you pull your boat out of the water, you should also rinse off the hull and the deck to keep lingering salt from causing corrosion.
The design of the hull tends to be the most substantial difference between vessels intended for freshwater boating and those built for saltwater boating. Freshwater boats usually have a much flatter hull that is perfect for the smaller waves and shallower waters of lakes and rivers. Saltwater boats have a sturdier and deeper hull that allows them to function properly during rough waves when at sea. So if you take your freshwater boat out on the ocean, be very wary of larger waves which might easily capsize a boat not designed to break through them.
Finally, you need to consider the different risks associated with freshwater and saltwater boating. As long as you follow standard safety guidelines, freshwater boating is a pretty safe activity. Even on large lakes, waves are almost never large enough to capsize boats and even if the worst does happen, you should be able to swim back to shore. However, saltwater boating is dangerous for the inexperienced. Large waves can easily capsize boats, and the colder waters and stronger currents of the ocean can be extremely dangerous if you capsize. If you’re new to saltwater boating, it’s best to stick to calmer bays and never to travel so far out that the shoreline isn’t in view.
By contrast to bringing a freshwater boat into saltwater, if you want to bring your saltwater boat onto the lake, it’s pretty easy. Because they’re designed to endure tougher conditions than freshwater boats, saltwater boats should have no trouble transitioning to a freshwater environment. The only concern you need to be aware of is that saltwater boats have deeper hauls, so you run a higher risk of scraping the bottom, especially when near the shoreline.
At Lake or at Sea, Get Your Boat on Shore With Roll-n-Go
Whether you’re using your watercraft in freshwater, in saltwater or in both, Innovative Outdoors’ Roll-n-Go On-Shore Docking System will make it amazingly easy to get your boat back out of the water. Roll-n-Go comes in a variety of sizes that are compatible with all kinds of boats. Get in contact with Roll-n-Go today if you would like to purchase one of our premium boat docking systems to be used anywhere in Canada!