The dead sea ranks among the saltiest bodies of water in the world. Due to its high salinity, water in the dead sea is more thicker (more viscous) compared to other seawaters (oceans). Due to the high water thickness in the dead sea, do boats go on the dead sea? Let’s find out.
Boats can go on the dead sea, and for the most part, it has nothing do with the high levels of salinity in the dead sea. The Dead Sea is 34% salty (9.6 times more than oceans), which increases the water’s viscosity (thickness), but the boat can move adequately with that amount of saltness in the dead sea’s water.
With that 34% saltness (9.6 times saltier than oceans), the water in the dead sea will have high thickness and viscosity (fictional water resistance increases). If the water’s saltness exceeds beyond a certain threshold (which is unknown yet), boats may not perform well in that higher saltness levels of the water.
Did you know? Mistakenly publicized as the saltiest body of water globally, the Dead Sea ranks among a handful of hypersaline lakes with over 30 percent salinity. The lake that ranks number one on that list is Don Juan Pond in Antarctica, at more than 40 percent salinity. On the other hand, the Dead Sea has just over 34 percent salinity, according to the latest measurements.FROM THE GRAPEVINE
A boat will do well in the dead sea, but it will lack in performance. Due to high salinity in the water, viscosity increases. If the viscosity increases, the frictional resistance on the boat increases, decreasing the boat speed. So, it consumes more gas to go from A to B in the dead sea than covering the same distance in regular waters.
Viscosity indicates the intermolecular attraction between the molecules. In the dead sea, the intermolecular attraction between the molecules is higher than that of normal water.
Other than those two drawbacks (consuming more fuel and reduction in the speed), using a boat in the dead sea will be FINE. Even now, many people use boats, swims, races, etc. in the dead sea. Check this small video on using a boat in the dead sea.
You can see that in the video that the boat is doing FINE in the dead sea. But only fewer boats go in the dead sea, not many. And there are so many adverse effects of using a boat in salt water, which can damage the boat quickly compared to using it in freshwater. That can be one reason for fewer boats in the dead sea.
Saltwater damages the metal 5 times faster than freshwater. At the same time, saltwater in the dead sea is 9.6 times saltier than the ocean’s water. So, using a boat in more saline waters (dead sea) will result in serious problems. However, there are appropriate measures you can take to prevent that.
Can a boat sink in the dead sea?
Now that you have gotten some idea about whether boats go in the dead sea or not. (since the water in the dead sea is high viscous) We will see now whether a boat can sink in the dead sea or not?.
A boat can sink in the dead sea if it has a hole in it or if the boat is capsized; the dead sea’s waters are still WATER (with high salinity), so a boat can sink in the dead sea just like in other waters. Since the boat is in the dead sea, it doesn’t mean that it won’t sink at all in the dead sea.
Until the boat stays in the upright position, a boat will not sink in the dead sea. If the boat has a hole in it or the boat is capsized, the water will get into the boat, and it will definitely sink. So, higher salinity in the water doesn’t mean that the boat will not sink; it can sink if it has a hole or capsized.
Although if the boat sinks in the dead sea due to a hole or if the boat capsizes and sinks, you don’t have to worry about drowning in the water because high salinity increases the viscosity (thickness of the given fluid), and you will float in the water.
Viscosity indicates the intermolecular attraction between the molecules. In the dead sea, the intermolecular attraction between the molecules is higher than that of normal water. So, you will float in the dead sea. If it is less (viscosity), you will sink (drown) in the dead sea, just like in other waters.
Not only in the dead sea, but the viscosity of salt water (seawater) is also greater than normal water at all temperatures in general. Thus, at a given temperature, seawater is more viscous than freshwater. That doesn’t mean that you will float in seawater; you will only float if the viscosity is high (like in the dead sea).
Effects of boating on a dead sea
We will now see the effects of boating in the dead sea and what problems most people encounter.
Note – If you take your own boat in the dead sea, you need to worry about the effects of boating in the dead sea (for which chances are very less).
1. Reduction in the boat’s performance
Reduction in boat performance is the most significant drawback of boating in high salty waters. The viscosity increases with saltness; if the water is saltier, the viscosity will be more, increasing frictional resistance between the water and the boat. An important thing to note here is viscosity and density are different, not the same as many think.
In fluid dynamics, viscosity is the parameter to measure the thickness or thinness of any given fluid. Density is the measure of spaces between two particles in a given fluid. Viscosity and density are fluid characteristics, but there is no direct relation between viscosity and density.Byju’s
Viscosity indicates the intermolecular attraction between the molecules. The intermolecular attraction between the molecules will be high if the fluid is more viscous in nature. Since the water in the dead sea is more viscous, the frictional resistance increases, making it harder to move a boat in that water.
That increase in frictional resistance decreases the speed, and the boat will consume more gas to move it from one place to another in the water. So, a boat consumes more fuel, and it covers less distance, which is a drawback. However, if you take your boat in the dead sea, you need to worry about this (for which chances are very less).
2. Corrosion problems
This is the most common problem in the boats, especially for the ones that go in saltwater. Generally, saltwater corrodes metal 5 times faster than freshwater. And in the dead sea, which is 9.6 times saltier than seawater, will corrode the metals 9.6 times more than in seawater (saltwater)
However, if you take your own boat in the dead sea, you need to worry about this (for which chances are very less). Saltwater affects the boat more than any other waters due to its saltiness. There are so many things that get affected due to saltwater, not only the metal parts. Here are the things that get affected by saltwater in the boat.
- Boat hull (constructed material)
- Outboard or inboard or i/o motor and its parts
- Trim tabs
- Anchor and anchor line
- Bottom paint will wear off or fade out quickly
- Electric hardware and bolts
Related post – Check my article on the Effects of saltwater on boats to know about those 6 effects in a detailed way.
Boats can actually go on the dead sea, and for the most part, it has nothing do with more saltness in the dead sea. The Dead Sea has just over 34 percent salinity, which is more viscous in nature, but the boat can float and move in the dead sea. If it contains higher salt percents beyond a certain threshold, a boat may not do well in the dead sea.
Due to the increase in the water’s viscosity, a boat may struggle in the water to move quickly, and that whole process may result in an increase in fuel consumption. So, a boat can move in the dead sea, but it may consume more gas and slow down a bit due to increased frictional resistance between the boat and the water (viscosity).
If the water you are boating in contains higher salt percents beyond a certain threshold (it increases the thickness of the given fluid (water) more), a boat may not do well in that water. But the dead sea has around 34% percent of salinity, which will not resist a boat to move in that water.