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  #1  
Old 03-12-2013, 07:18 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Aluminum hull in salt water

Will salt water eat up a light guage aluminum boat?

I have my fathers old fishing boat. It is a lovely design which goes through the water like a smooth fish. With one adult it will get up on plane with a six horse motor. It is lightweight and can easily be loaded to a car roof by one person. I am thinking of giving it to my son to use in Florida.

Will the salt water eat it up?

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  #2  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
Will salt water eat up a light guage aluminum boat?

I have my fathers old fishing boat. It is a lovely design which goes through the water like a smooth fish. With one adult it will get up on plane with a six horse motor. It is lightweight and can easily be loaded to a car roof by one person. I am thinking of giving it to my son to use in Florida.

Will the salt water eat it up?
If he'll be keeping it in the water, use an aluminum alloy sacrificial anode (as opposed to a zinc or magnesium alloy) to protect it from galvanic action. It needs to be in the water so it will require drilling a hole below the waterline.

If it's going to be taken out of the water after each use, a good cleaning would likely suffice but given its history I'd probably add an anode for an extra layer of protection.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
If he'll be keeping it in the water, use an aluminum alloy sacrificial anode (as opposed to a zinc or magnesium alloy) to protect it from galvanic action. It needs to be in the water so it will require drilling a hole below the waterline.

If it's going to be taken out of the water after each use, a good cleaning would likely suffice but given its history I'd probably add an anode for an extra layer of protection.
Could you mount the anode on an arm from the top of the transom?
Avoid any making a hole in the hull itself?
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  #4  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:59 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
If he'll be keeping it in the water, use an aluminum alloy sacrificial anode (as opposed to a zinc or magnesium alloy) to protect it from galvanic action. It needs to be in the water so it will require drilling a hole below the waterline.

If it's going to be taken out of the water after each use, a good cleaning would likely suffice but given its history I'd probably add an anode for an extra layer of protection.
So can these sacrificial anodes be bought at a marine shop?
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2013, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
So can these sacrificial anodes be bought at a marine shop?
Yes, sir. And online from places like
West Marine, Defender, USAZincs, etc.
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2013, 09:31 AM
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Thanks Swamp!
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #7  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:21 AM
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The motor may already have a zinc on it. If it does, check for continuity between the hull of the boat and the zinc on the motor. If good, you're good to go.
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  #8  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:27 AM
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Completely off topic, can I run sacrificial anodes on my truck?
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  #9  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by David Wilson View Post
The motor may already have a zinc on it. If it does, check for continuity between the hull of the boat and the zinc on the motor. If good, you're good to go.
Tom, not knowing your boating experience, I just wanted to add if you're utilizing the anode on the outboard to protect the boat be sure to leave the motor down (lower unit in the water) if the boat will be left in the water with the motor on it. If it's coming out of the water after each use, it will suffice. In either case there must be continuity as David stated.
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'06 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (for the wife & 4 kids, current mule) '03 Honda Odyssey (son #1's ride, reluctantly) '99 GMC Suburban (255K+ miles, semi-retired mule) 21' SeaRay Seville (summer escape pod)
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:38 AM
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The boat will come out after each use. If it is used without the motor do I need an anode on the boat too? To be safe should I have an anode on the boat and motor?

I am actually planning to reinforce the transom with wolmanized plywood inside and out too as the aluminum is so thin. Is there a better choice of plywood than wolmanized?
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #11  
Old 03-12-2013, 12:15 PM
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I would use a marine grade plywood The boat should have come with a board on the transom. Was it removed or destroyed? Wolmanized plywood is half the cost, but it has voids that will hold water. Wolmanized plywood is designed for protection against bugs rather than water. The aluminum will be fine in the salt water. Especially if your son keeps the boat on the trailer most of the time. Do not drill a hole in the hull to attach a zinc. Think long and hard before drilling a hole below the water line of any boat. If your son stores the boat in the water for an extended period of time on occasion attach a zinc to a battery cable, clamp one end to the hull and throw the zinc end in the water while the boat is being stored in the water. Replace the zinc on the motor often and do not store the boat with the outboard lowered into the water. The outboard is likley the more expensive than the boat, no reason to sacrifice it to save the boat.
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  #12  
Old 03-12-2013, 12:26 PM
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"If it is used without the motor do I need an anode on the boat too?"

Proobably not an issue. Usually the corrosion comes from stray electrical current from boats docked next to you or from electrical shorts in your own boat. Sans motor your aluminum fish boat probably does not have much of an electircal system. If it does have a battery, radio and fish finders then it is a good idea to install a zinc on the hull. Install it like CMBDiesel suggest on an arm so the attaching hole it above the water line.
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  #13  
Old 03-12-2013, 12:46 PM
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If plywood douglas fir is a good choice from many perspectives. Stiff and does not easily rot. All this plywood from canadian sources has waterproof glue. Check that with any plywood you may use. Waterproof glue must be used in any plywood manufactured in Canada ove 1/4 inch I believe. Not so in the states.

Just used as doublers though there is a white sheet plastic out there that I have seen in 1/2-3/4 inch thickness. A couple of cutofffs would suffice if you can find some surplus I would think. And thats if they are not too heavy.

Two neighbours out at the cottage have aluminium boats that are each over twenty years old. They are not kept in the water and I have not noticed any particular damage from the salt water on either one. I also can think of no harm in attaching a sacrificial anode either at the same time.

Actually I have been thinking about the ideal from time to time of installing anodes on some of the cars. Especially those with pot metal that is chromed. The electroplated coatings of brass and nickle may be isolating them from the body steel to some extent. On the otherhand since pot metal is sacrificial to steel I have wondered if they still might be showing some damage from their unintended anode situation. Just a situation of they will do no harm in my mind even if not effective.

We do run our outboard motors in or flush them with fresh water after every salt water use though.

One last thought was using one aluminium plate with a couple of horizontal stiffners welded on. You can cut aluminium plate with a carbide blade on a table or portable circular saw. Wear safety glasses but I have not experienced a problem doing this. Maybe a small area motor bracket plate bolted on the outside to the internal plate. It would perhaps last better and be more durable.

Last edited by barry12345; 03-12-2013 at 01:21 PM.
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  #14  
Old 03-12-2013, 01:24 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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I wondered about flushing the motors too.

Thanks for all the thoughtful comments!

Can I get marine plywood at the lumber yard in Florida?
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #15  
Old 03-12-2013, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmbdiesel View Post
Could you mount the anode on an arm from the top of the transom?
Avoid any making a hole in the hull itself?
Certainly, I'd likely go that route with a new aluminum boat. OTOH I've never owned an older aluminum boat that didn't slowly weep through a rivet or 7 (Former: a 70's vintage 18' Starcraft CC, 80's vintage 18' Starcraft CC and Current: late 50's vintage 12' AlumaCraft rowboat that we keep in Maine-quite...spirited...with a 15hp Johnson! ). Just make sure you've got good continuity between anode and hull.

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