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Can You Use A Bass Boat In Saltwater?

Can You Use A Bass Boat In Saltwater?

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Bass boat in saltwater? Really? Going fishing on a fine sunny day might come to your mind. However, you only have a bass boat as your best companion. It leaves you to question if you can use your boat in saltwater?

Saltwater contains a tremendous amount of salt, as the name suggests. This salt speeds up the rusting process and thus, can corrode certain parts of your bass boat. Hence, it may be risky to use bass boats in saltwater.

First, let’s discuss the adverse effects salt water can cause on your bass boat.

Can You Use A Bass Boat In Saltwater? How Damaging Is It?

Effect Of The Saltwater On Bass Boat’s Flooring

Carpet flooring is typical in bass boats. Saltwater would jump and flow into the boat’s floor as you rush through the waves. The bass boat’s carpet usually captures and holds a large amount of salt on its surface. This salt can rot the rug and the sub-flooring of your watercraft.

Effect On Bass Boat’s Engine

Inspecting whether your bass boat’s engine has anti-corrosive components is essential. But such machines are usually costly, so most companies don’t install these in bass boats. Saltwater can cause certain parts of the boat’s engine, such as the propeller, skeg, and motor mount, to corrode, which affects the boat’s performance. If you take your bass boat for a saltwater ride, you must immediately wash the engine with fresh water before any rust surfaces.


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Effect Of Saltwater On Trolling Motor

Trolling motor holds a boat in a fixed spot during harsh environmental conditions such as currents or strong winds. Trolling motor is of two types; the first type is only suitable in freshwater, and the other one can be both in fresh and saltwater. The one made for saltwater is costly and usually not used in bass boats to keep the boat’s price in an affordable range. 

A simple trolling motor designed in freshwater can only quickly catch rust when exposed to saltwater. The trolling engine is quite expensive, so it’s better to keep it from saltwater exposure rather than spending extra bucks for a new one! (source)

Effect Of Saltwater On Electrical Systems

Just like any other vehicle, bass boats contain different electrical systems. It includes the cables, batteries, headlights, etc. When exposed to saltwater, these systems quickly catch rust and stop functioning. However, the electrical systems installed in saltwater boats work on different principles that make them almost susceptible to corrosion.

How Do We Protect Bass Boats From The Harmful Effects Of Saltwater?

Here are a few tips that would reduce the wild effects of saltwater on your bass boat: (source)

Wash The Boat With Freshwater

After you have finished your ride in the saltwater, the first thing that you must do is wash the bass boat entirely with freshwater. It includes cleaning the deck, flooring, engine, and trolling motor. 

You may also use soap or water and scrub for deep cleaning, as freshwater washes away all the salt and prevents different parts from rusting.

Apply Marine Wax

They say: “The best saltwater removal tip is prevention.” When applied all over the boat’s surface, Marine wax creates a protective coating and prevents the salt from sticking onto different parts. A marine wax should be suitable at the beginning and the end of every prime season.


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Use Suitable Cleaning Equipment

You need good cleaning equipment to remove the salt from the boat. It includes a microfiber cloth, which is best for deep cleaning purposes. A stain remover can also remove salt crystals and dirt and prevent corrosion. 

Repair Scratched Paint Surfaces

It is vital to repair any spots where the paint is scratched and the metallic surface is exposed. When exposed to saline water, these marked spots quickly react with oxygen and air to form rust. A good coating of paint designed for aluminum protects the boat’s surface from rusting.

Avoid The Usage Of Graphite Aluminum Lubricants

A boat’s lubricant solution contains many chemicals such as grease and graphite. The graphite in the lubricant can damage the boat’s surface. Graphite reacts with the chloride ions in saltwater and damages the boat’s surface by wearing it down.

Saltwater Boats; Designed For Usage In Saltwater

There are boats available in the market that work in freshwater and saltwater environment. These boats are known as saltwater boats.

Here are a few examples of saltwater boats:

Bay Ranger

Bay ranger is a boat designed and manufactured by the Ranger boat company. The Bay Ranger has a superb performance and an appealing and comfortable interior. Most of the Bay Ranger 2510s come at above $100,000! (source)

The Intracoastal Z5201L

The Intracoastal Z5201L is another saltwater boat manufactured by the Ranger boat company. The 2020 model of this boat comes for $74,955.


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Skeeter Boats

Skeeter is another famous name among the list of esteemed saltwater boats. Their size ranges from 20-24 feet long. (source)

Triton Boats

It will be an injustice if we don’t mention the name of Triton boats while discussing different bass boat manufacturers. The company manufactures saltwater boats along with freshwater bass boats. The company offers a’ Bay series boats’, which are three in number, and come in the lengths of 22′, 24′, and 26′.

The 8’6″ beam attached to these three boats provides excellent stability, crucial if you want to grab a massive fish! Their lightweight and high horsepower engine enable them to move swiftly across the water. For example, the 22’ Triton weighs 2200 pounds!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Can All Boats Go In Saltwater?

Not all boats suit well in saltwater. While freshwater boats can float in saltwater, their flat hulls make them vulnerable to waves, and the highly salty water degrades the hull and propulsion system. There are unique saltwater boats available specifically for saline water usage.

  1.  Is Bass Boat Worth Buying?

Bass boats are great fishing boats! They’re well-suited for performing in various water types, but saltwater was never one of them. However, today’s bass boat makers create versions that could be in saltwater. Aluminum or galvanized trailers, stainless steel parts, and saltwater rating trolling motors are used for this purpose, all built to perform well in a saltwater environment.

  1. What Are The Best Boat Brands?

Selecting the best boat brands among a huge available list is quite a hectic task since there is a big difference between the best fishing boats, the best cruisers, and the best daysailers. However, certain companies are the best, thanks to satisfied customers and good resale values. Here are the names of some of the best boat brands: (source)

  1. Bertram
  2. Boston Whaler 
  3. Chapparal
  4. Grady-White
  5. Lund


A bass boat can go in saltwater, but it’s advisable to keep it from saltwater because many components of your boat’s system cannot survive the corrosive nature of saltwater boating.


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Most boaters keep their boats docked in the water between seasons rather than actively pushing them in and out of the water. However, leaving a watercraft in saltwater for a prolonged period will cause considerable damage, ranging from corroded hulls to rusty engine parts.

When you remove your bass boat from saltwater, thoroughly clean it to remove the salt crystals and take preventive measures. It shall prolong the service life of your bass boat.

Links To Boat Brands Mentioned Above

  1. Bertram 


  1. Boston Whaler 


  1. Chapparal


  1. Grady-White



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  1. Lund




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