When two metals are immersed in water and physically or electrically linked, they form a battery. A certain amount of current flows from one metal to the other. One of the metals gives up metal ions to the seawater, which supplies the electrons. Galvanic corrosion is the process that destroys metals in seawater if left unchecked.
Galvanic corrosion can cause a bronze or aluminum propeller to corrode on a stainless shaft. But metal struts and fittings for rudders are also susceptible. Outboards and sterndrives are at risk. We can counteract galvanic corrosive corrosion by adding a third metal to the circuit. This metal must be faster than the others to release its electrons. The sacrificial metal, which is usually zinc, is known as a sacrificial anode. Most boaters simply refer to sacrificial metals as zinc.
How Long Does a Zinc Last?
Sacrificial anodes are designed to protect your boat from galvanic corrosion. Zincs will corrode over time, and the rate of corrosion will depend on the water conditions and the amount of electrical current in the water. As a general rule of thumb, boat zincs should last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the type of water your boat is in and how often it is used.
If you notice that your zincs are corroding faster than expected, it could be a sign of a problem with your boat’s electrical system. It’s important to inspect your zinc regularly and replace them when they have corroded to about 50% of its original size. Failure to replace worn-out zincs can lead to galvanic corrosion and serious damage to your boat’s metal components.
Beach to Bay Dive Services started in early 2019 as a commercial dive service. Our team continues to provide our customers with the peace of mind knowing that each boat detailing St Petersburg FL will be performed correctly from conception to completion at a fair cost. Our reputation has been and continues to be our best advertisement. Recently, Beach to Bay Dive Services has transitioned to Beach to Bay Divers and Pools. Our experienced pool technicians provide a level of service and repairs that assure our pool customers have that same peace of mind as our dive service.
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