Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly grease two loaf tins.
Combine water and raisins in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in baking soda and let cool.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Stir in molasses, vanilla and salt. Stir in flour and then beat in raisin mixture until well combined. Spoon batter into prepared tins.
Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into centre of the loaf comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in tins on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature.