Knowledge Base

Question

What can be done to prevent corrosion?

Answer

The selection of materials is of prime importance in the construction of craft. Generally naval architects and boatbuilders ensure that they select metals which are, as far as possible, suitable for marine applications and that any combinations of different metals are compatible. When this is not possible metals must be isolated from one another. There will always be occasions when fittings or metalwork require replacement or repair and it is important that the same criteria is adopted. In particular ensure that fastenings and split pins are compatible and of the highest quality.

The paint system on any boat is an important first barrier against corrosion. Seek advice from the paint manufacturers for their recommendations on the most appropriate coating system and follow the application instructions completely. Ensure that a good anti-corrosive primer is applied if anti fouling is to be used. When using a copper based anti-fouling none of the paint must be applied directly to bare metal surfaces. Vegetable oil based paints, although far less widely available than in the past, should not be used with cathodic protection systems as the paint tends to saponify.

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