Mooring - Fresh or Salt Water


New member
17 Jan 2011
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I remember reading somewhere that there is quite a difference in terms of aquatic build-up on your hull depending on whether one moors in fresh or salt water – but I can’t remember which is better. I’m currently considering either a salt or high estuary mooring so hence my question as I want to minimise the damage to my hull. The boat is currently anti-fouled with a salt water version so if I decided to moor high on the river/estuary, what would I need to do, if anything.

Thank you.


Active member
23 Nov 2010
The Tropics of the English Riviera!
Hi Sheppy,

As I launch my boat when I use it rather than using moorings, I'm not really qualified to answer your post, but I came across it while researching anti-fouling for a friend also in a tidal river. I noticed that you had no replies and probably concluded we were a hostile bunch on here... :eek: That's really not been my experience as a newbie, but suspect lack of feedback may be because it was your first post and these have to be 'approved' before they become visible and if there was a lot of posting that day, it might have drifted down the list before it was even visible? My reply will bump your question up a bit and you might get some replies!

Have you found any answers yet elsewhere? I did come across this post too:-

It may help, but not many replies there either! :confused: Where in the UK are you? That may be a factor in the amount of growth on the hull. I would guess that water flow and pollutants could also perhaps be factors as farm run-off would probably be rich in organic matter/nitrates etc?

You could also try posting on the PBO Reader to Reader forum as that seems to be more 'technical' in terms of maintenance etc?

Hope this helps & welcome to forums :D


P.S. As a tip, putting 'anti-foul' in post title might also improve your readership ;) (I searched on anti-foul otherwise might not have found/read)
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Well-known member
19 Jan 2009
Stratford on Avon
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Your main area of concern will be the anodes, zinc or aluminium for salt, magnesium for fresh water. If your boat is moored in fresh water with salt water anodes, your sterngear will be the weakest link in the chain. This is OK for excursions between the 2 on a now and again basis, but not regularly.

I don't believe there is a huge difference in antifouls between the 2 , other than usually in freshwater, there are speed restrictions, so no need for hard antifoul.

Generally you will not get barnacles etc in freshwater, and the growth rate of "beard" is much slower.

I am moored on the R Severn, and antifoul and anodes last me 2 seasons. this would not be the case in saltwater, where erosion is much more aggessive.

My assumption is that you will be connected to shorepower, which accelerates the anode erosion rate. I disconnect when I don't need heaters running.