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I have a 1968 31 Express and I may be losing my religion when it comes to fresh water cooling and sea strainers. My neighbor on the water has a 10 year old boat with twin v8's I/O. The motors are raw water cooled. Also there are no sea strainers. The boat is higher end and was purchased new from a dealer in CT on Long Island Sound. I have seen other (older) I/O's also having raw water cooling. I understand the value of sea strainers but I am starting to wonder about the clutter that comes with heat exchangers.
#1 Is it true that most salt water I/O's don't bother with heat exchangers?
#2 If it makes sense for I/O's to go with raw water cooling why would it be different with inboards?
#3 My engines (fresh water cooled) are 30 years old. At this point I wonder how much harm is done if I get rid of the heat exchangers and install intake valves so I can flush the engines with fresh water after each time I go out.
I am on salt, if I did not have exchangers I would not be able to sleep right knowing that the insides were eroding away....you could "get away" with it for a while with regular full flushing, but at the end of the day, saltwater is a harsh companion for bare metal...
Oh, and having already dealt with 5 year old failed risers my refresh rate is no more than 4 seasons.
If someone is out there running an I/O in the salt that is THEIR problem, because running salt through a hot motor block and then letting it sit is going to tear up as much as it would in any other inboard application. Yes they may be flushing with tap water later but motor blocks love antifreeze and they hate salt.