Corrosion is a major concern for boats, since the process occurs in every type of water. In simple terms, all water vessels designed for leisure are built with metal components as part of the structure. When the metal comes in contact with water, a chemical reaction will occur, causing the breakdown of the boat. This is corrosion. The consequences of corrosion are highly significant for the vessel. The degradation of components will necessitate expensive repairs, and if the problem is not resolved in a timely manner, the damage could be permanent. Fortunately, you can prevent these detriments by taking protective measures. Here are simple guidelines to help you prevent the corrosion of your water vessel.
The use of a cathodic protection system is a highly effective method for protecting the natural corrosion of your boat. When properly used, the technique will completely prevent and halt the degradation. Basically, this protection process works by diverting the corrosion process from your boat components to a special strip of metal known as a sacrificial anode. In simple terms, this metal rod is highly reactive, so it will always be corroded or consumed in preference over the vessel. You can choose between different anodes, usually zinc, aluminium and magnesium. Aluminium is ideal for brackish, fresh and salt water while zinc and magnesium are used in salt and fresh water respectively.
Regular Surface Maintenance
You should perform regular maintenance on the boat structure to enhance corrosion protection. In general, the vessel surfaces should be properly painted with the correct coating system. This will minimise the contact between the corrosion factors and the boat. It is advisable to engage a professional boat painter for this maintenance work. This is because there are some important processes which must be followed for optimal performance of the coating. For example, copper anti-fouling should not be used directly on the bare metal surfaces because the copper content promotes conductivity, which leads to electrolytic corrosion. Therefore, a primer must be used to isolate the metal from the anti-fouling. Additionally, inspect your vessel regularly in order to identify early signs of corrosion.
Proper Electrical Installation
Improper installation of electrical modules will promote current leakage from the vessel and subsequent electrolytic corrosion. You can avoid these issues by ensuring that the electrical installation in your boat is exceptional. For example, you should use high-quality wires with proper insulation, and the connectors should be corrosion-resistant. In addition, the components should be correctly fused and kept away from potential wet sections like the bilge area.