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Salt water

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Hector Mackenzie29/01/2018 10:57:29
11 forum posts

Your views and comments would be appreciated. I have read instructions advice etc. convening saving RC boats in salt water and if I remember correctly itnwas a no no! I reside a couple of hundred yards from the shore and there is a almost enclosed tidal lagoon which is very tempting. I recall seeing in various boating ponds situated by the sea and , from memory a number of them would be tidal.Does anybody use them for sailing RC boats? I realise the dangers of water egress together with corrosion aspect. I can see the danger control wise in open water(lookout Canada here I come!). Give me your thoughts........Cheers Hector

david taylor29/01/2018 13:02:05
27 forum posts
117 photos

hi hector, I have sailed my boats on salt water over the past 15 years since moving to n wales. near were I live I have a lake that is all salt water , and as long as you wash down all paint work with fresh water and keep your prop shaft well oiled,( or, I use grease.) some one will say no to grease but I have never had any problems. that's the best advice I can give as some will say no. I often watch the local lifeboat do the same washing down all the paint work on the hull when they have been out on a shout, or training, first job when they take it out of the sea to protect it.


David Marks 130/01/2018 08:22:44
273 forum posts
44 photos

Anyone that attended the Mod. Eng. Show at Ally Pally about 10 days ago will have seen the model of the Ark Royal 1/72 scale and therefore 12 feet in length. The builder was in attendance and stated that it was always sailed in salt water. I think he is based in Cornwall and has no real choice, in the main I would expect due to the length of the model. As David Taylor has previously stated just a good wash down on clean water is undertaken after each sailing.

Byron Rees...(Ron)30/01/2018 11:49:35
101 forum posts

Hi All,

Over the years I have sailed models in fresh and salt water. We all know that water and electronics don't mix, but electronics and salt water is just the worst as its not just the water but the corrosion that does the most damage. I would say that apart from good cleaning down and shaft lubrication as mentioned, if you have to sail in salt water then take extra precautions like waterproof radio boxes and the like if you have the space, or even just sealed compartments that protect most of the electronics.

An 'End of Season' strip down, like taking out rudder and prop shafts, cleaning and oiling them, a new bag of silica gel in the radio box is a good idea as well. Don't just leave a model used in salt water to sit and dry over time, you are asking for trouble, Apart from those not too arduous tasks there is no more danger in salt than fresh, just don't drink it!.


Tim Rowe30/01/2018 16:52:17
572 forum posts
577 photos

Hello Hector
​I have only ever had models in the sea or estuarine rivers. Ron's advice about the annual strip-down is very good whether you sail in salt or fresh water and will help greatly in general reliability.
​You can buy waterproof servos and although I haven't used them I can see applications where they could be very useful.
​It helps to remember that sea / salt water conducts electricity and damp salty conditions can cause equipment to behave erratically on its way to failing and that could be dangerous. Another way of protecting receivers, battery packs is to put them inside balloons with the ends tied off maybe with a bit of silicone grease or similar.
​Keep wires and connectors routed away from hatches and openings and do not let wires rest in the bottom of the hull where they are sure to get wet.


The red boat is my International One Metre (IOM) racing in a harbour using the medium rig. It was top end conditions for that rig but nobody changed for the smallest.


Here we are this time impersonating a submarine.


​Here is the open sea and at the moment the boat is dismantled having its annual refit and a few mods.

Hector Mackenzie02/02/2018 16:33:06
11 forum posts

Hi guys, thank you very much for your prompt responses and the wealth of sound advice supplied. I am most grateful...................Cheers Hector.

Peter Fitness02/02/2018 21:30:13
510 forum posts
215 photos

Our club lake, in Ballina, northern NSW, is salt water, and that's all I sail in, apart from the odd visit to Brisbane clubs which sail in fresh water. A good wash down after sailing is all that's necessary to keep everything functioning properly. My boats are all in good condition after up to 15 years of salt water sailing.

I will reiterate what Ron Rees said about rudder shafts, they need to be removed and greased periodically, as the salt water can cause them to seize.


Edited By Peter Fitness on 02/02/2018 21:33:54

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