Whether you’re new to the world of boating or are already an avid boater, it’s a good idea to know the facts about galvanic corrosion. Those who are properly informed about this form of metal deterioration can take the necessary precautions to ensure they will get the maximum life out of their equipment.
So what is galvanic corrosion? It is the process by which deterioration occurs when two dissimilar materials (such as two different metals) come in contact with each other as a result of a conductive material (i.e. saltwater.)
Boaters who have had their watercraft on the water for a while may have noticed pitting on their drives, props, and other metal components below the waterline. This is the direct result of galvanic corrosion. This corrosion, if not addressed can lead to catastrophic failure of crucial components.
So what can be done to prevent this costly nuisance? Simple zinc or aluminum anodes are often the answer. Sacrificial anode is a metal that will begin corroding long before the other components of your boat begin to.
If your components are made of aluminum, zinc would be the best protection. If your components are primarily brass or steel, then aluminum anodes can be used, which will last a fair deal longer than zinc. However, be sure not to mix the two types of anodes when outfitting your boat. If you use the two types together, the anodes will protect each other but not the components you’re hoping to save.
Also be sure your anodes are kept in good condition and replace those that begin to deteriorate too much. An anode that is crumbing is not nearly as effective in preventing corrosion damage. With the proper use of anodes on your watercraft, you can save yourself the headache of trying to repair costly components.
From your friends at S3 Maritime, we wish you a fun, and problem free boating experience.