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Volvo Neutra Salt Real-World Test

We purchased our current Demo Boat in February of 2020 (Just in time for the Pandemic!) and found that the previous owner had no idea what the Neutra Salt system was for. He kept the boat on a lift a good distance up the St Lucie river, so the engines and exhaust were flushed with mostly fresh water. I reconnected the Neutra Salt systems correctly and added the Neutra Salt solution to each tank. I have been using the system every time we return to the dock. I should probably use it when we anchor overnight, but usually forget to do it.

After finding a few broken/missing hose clamps (Can you believe how cheap the OEM ones are??) and some cracking on the exhaust hoses, I decided to replace all the hoses and clamps. The hoses I purchased came with hose clamps (only one at each end) that were lower quality than the OEM clamps. My preference for all hose clamps on a boat are the ABA type that do not have slots that chew up hoses. The ABA clamps I use are made by Scandvik, and have a 7mm hex head worm. I sure wish my 11-in-One screwdrivers had a 7mm nut driver!

For the hose replacement I decided to pull the exhaust elbows off the twin Volvo Penta 8.1 OSi-D engines to make removal and installation easier, and to inspect the cast iron components. The manifolds and elbows were replaced new in early 2019, so they have been dealing with South Florida seawater for three and a half years. They have been regularly treated with NeutraSalt for about two and a half years. Here are photos of how they looked when they came apart:

I think the manifolds and elbows look pretty good for their age and about 200 hours of use. I cleaned them up and touched up the paint, then reinstalled with new gaskets. They should be good for several more years!

Happy Cruising!
Tim Allen

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