Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Boat Electrolysis Damage; what you don’t want to see…

The damage produced by electrolysis on unattended metal parts of boats, may cause an expensive bill. The frustration can even be greater when it is found that the electrolysis damage is not normally covered by the insurance company.

Despite that in most cases, marine electrolysis on boats can be avoided by a conscious understanding of the electrochemical process and prevention (anode monitoring, anode replacement, bonding wire inspection, isolating your vessel from others using a Galvanic Isolator), detection of electrolysis damage is what can really make the boater aware of a problem.

Anode replacement frequency can vary. It is fair to say that most anodes on a power boat have an average life span of about three to four months and five to six months for sail boats; but this is not a strict pattern. Many anodes vary in number, size and quality which also affects the speed at which they burn. In some cases, boat anodes are being replaced on a monthly basis, which raises boat owners concerns. This is usually followed by questioning the credibility of the hull cleaning company.

Having an anode logbook is a great way to track the rate of consumption per individual anode installed. This practice will help the boat owner visualize and understand the unique anode consumption pattern of the boat and more importantly be able to identify occasional spikes.
Hull Cleaning companies like Scuba Duba Corp, digitally store in their data base each anode replacement, keeping track of the history of the anode consumption per boat/customer, for data analysis and customer reference purposes.
A well managed hull cleaning company should offer some form of anode report, consumption/replacement. The analysis of these reports through the years is essential to understand the anode consumption of a specific boat and its environment.

Some people believe that boat anodes only burn if the boat is used often. This is not true; a moored boat will burn anodes at its own/unique path consumption rate regardless of the boat usage.
Moving a boat to another marina may trigger a spike in the anode consumption and consequently, change the path due to the characteristics of the new environment. Situations like this are when one should pay close attention to anode consumption changes. This will allow you to understand the relationship between the boat and the new environment (in terms of marine electrolysis).

“Preventing the metal parts of your boat from electrolysis damage is as easy as:
Anode Monitoring, Proper Anode Replacement and Tracking Anode Consumption”.