Nirvana in Salt Water?

The Megatech manual says “no!”, but we say “yes!”

We (SailRC) have always contended that Nirvana is as suitable in salt water as any boat in her price range, if not even more suitable.  “Price range” has to do with the quality of the “stainless” steel used in this boat, and some of the other corrosive metals like the rudder post.  The composite construction of the hull/deck, keel, rudder, spars and sails is as good as boats three times the expense.

Electronics do get wet in most sailboats, even very expensive ones – so you need to adopt procedures for maintenance that maintain electronics that are prone to getting wet or working in a damp atmosphere.

Getting wet with salt water and fresh water causes the same immediate issues.  The difference with salt water is that when the water dries the salt remains to attract more moisture.  So sailing in salt water adds the extra maintenance step to rinse salt water off boat (and electronics if they have gotten wet) before drying.

I carry a small fresh water spray bottle to wash salt water off the electronics if they get wet while sailing.  Then after preliminary drying, I always stick a hairdryer (on low) in the electronics compartment for 15-20 minutes to completely heat and dry all the electrical fittings and servos.

Another trick for maintaining electronics is to drown them in Corrosion X at least once a season to keep a protective barrier on your working electrics.  Do NOT use WD 40 or similar.  Corrosion X is the product and it has recently been sold by Home Depot.

The rudder post on Nirvana is a problem, especially around salt water, because of the dissimilar metals used.  The rudder post is a mild steel, and the shaft log is brass.  If not lubricated faithfully, the post will freeze into the shaft log (tube), requiring considerable effort to free and repair.  I make sure to remove the rudder every day or two when sailing in salt water to make sure the lubricant I use is evident and doing the job. ALWAYS lubricate before storing for more than a week!  Any light grease is good, I use Vaseline.

The other metal parts on the boat (screws, wires, etc) may “bleed” a little if not cleaned and dried after sailing, but that is more aesthetic damage than physical.

Bottom line, you can safely enjoy your boat in salt water – it just takes a little care afterwards (as with all boats) to keep certain parts operational.