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Thread: Electrolysis--

  1. #1
    Frantically Relaxing


    First off, this first pic was taken in 2011---

    The boat's been out a couple of weeks now. The hull has several thru holes surrounding corroded areas. Only one of the holes was the leak, the others opened up easily with my finger or the pressure washer.

    The first 2 pics show the difference between March 2011 and now.

    Note the circled areas, and some small spots down the length of the hull. These areas were just starting to show missing metal back then, very little, like .01" or so. I treated and primed painted these and a few other areas.

    Also note the tracking fin, specifically that it's bottom edge is still all there...

    this is now I've circled the same area I fixed in the first pic. Notice the bad area didn't spread out. None of the areas I fixed in '11 got larger. But they got deeper. And a whole slew of other areas have cropped up.

    and compare the tracking fin, this pic is in the same area as the first pic...

    --this pretty much explains the whole story: Rust didn't do this, this is purely an electrolysis issue. Rust is just a by-product...

  2. #2
    Frantically Relaxing
    Pics start from the starboard rear, there's 4 holes in this pic, but barely visible.

    This is the first 3 holes, back within the engine room (which was dry)

    The 4th hole-

  3. #3
    Frantically Relaxing
    Moving forward towards the bow-

  4. #4
    Frantically Relaxing

    --The pic above is right below my steering wheel. There's also a non-visible pinhole farther right, that IS visible easy enough from inside the boat. I have some pics I need to download off my wife's phone (but she's using it at the moment ) They're not very good, but they'll help explain that the phrase "steel boats rust from the inside out" doesn't apply to this boat. While I don't have much access to the bottom proper, I have nearly 4" between the edge wood floor and the sides. Enough room to weld from the inside if necessary...

    I inspected the entire length of the starboard side, same as in the pics. And aside from the holes and all the daylight they let in, the hull looks brand new. There's not even a HINT of rust anywhere inside. Not even the edges of the holes are rusty. They look like they've been drilled thru and deburrred. No rust or soft spots anywhere outside either. All the bad spots on the outside pass the hammer test.

    I'm no expert by any means, but it appears to me that my missing steel was not caused by or is rust cancer. Rust just seems to be the byproduct of the severe electrolysis.

    I haven't had time to fully inspect the bottom, although a little surface rust is showing thru in many places....

    SO-- what are my options? (other than finding and fixing a severe electric issue with my AC power)...

  5. #5
    Frantically Relaxing
    Got a couple of pics off the wife's phone--

    From my door in the floor (pardon the mess, moving weight out to help the crane was a bit frantic)...
    the pinhole I mentioned is visible at the left...

    And this is the only halfway good pic that shows the hull from the inside. No rust whatsoever, just holes.
    The entire length of the starboard side looks exactly like this.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Wheeling, WV
    Ugh. I feel your pain. I am in an aluminum boat and corrosion is a constant worry with me and my boat. My kingscraft didn't have any pin holes but another season without fixing the issue and she would have had it.

    I only know a bit about Aluminum boats so that is what I will base my response off of.

    1. Annodes
    -Do you have any on the boat anywhere?
    -If you do, what state are they in?
    2. Electrical
    -Do you have a galvonic isolator or an isolation transformer?
    -You would need to check your hull potential in the water so we can do that now but a reference electrode would be a great tool to have.

    I don't have anything to help on repair options. Unfortunately, I believe that insurance doesn't cover issues from Galvonic corrosion.

  7. #7
    Frantically Relaxing
    this is the only pic from out back--

    I have the hull anodes circled, however, and I'm feeling pretty dumb after checking them closely last weekend, I believe they're just anode mounting plates--

    Because I had to put the boat against the dike for the crane, I knew I was going to lose the port prop. I also lost the trim tab anode above it. But the one on the SB prop is still there, and it's in better shape than the prop is. The drive housings are pretty bad. The rams are REALLY bad. The anodes under the drives at the transom are somewhat corroded, but not all that bad. The only anode that looks like it should is one of the drive-to-transom mounting nut covers, it almost looks like someone took a welding torch to it.

    As for galvanic isolators and transformers-- I WILL be getting an isolation transformer before this boat ever goes back into the water. I've known about GI's, just too bad they've never been high on my priorities list. Never heard of an isolation transformer until 2 weeks ago. Just hate learning things the hard way.

    But I may get some local help with this finally. My 'welder guy' who helped me build the trailer for this boat hasn't returned my calls (yet). But one of my customers stopped by today, needing some work for his son's race car. He's going to put me in touch with the guys who do all their welding, hopefully I'll get some options and real world price guesstimates..
    Last edited by Frantically Relaxing; 07-06-2015 at 02:43 PM.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator OLD HOUSEBOATER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Tavares Florida
    I believe you have a SEVERE STRAY CURRENT problem. Your boat or some one near you or your dock is leaking DC and it ate your boat. Your boat should be equipped with substantial anodes fore, aft and on the keel. My 55 Pluckebaum had 3 footers foreward a 3footer on the keel 2 1 footers on the transome and 4" round on the rudders as well as the round ones on the shafts. Also had an Isolation transformer.

    After you replace the bottom plating I would STRONGLY suggest 2 or 3 coats of COAL TAR EPOXY.

    For sure you have to identify the source of the stray current thats eating your boat.

    You may be interested in the following:

    Turn your insurance claim siteing Stray Current Corrosion, not Galvanic Corrosion. 2 different animals.

    Last edited by OLD HOUSEBOATER; 07-06-2015 at 04:35 PM.
    The fries are cold so we gave you extra.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Wheeling, WV
    Is the corrosion all over or mainly one side? If contained to one side I would start looking at the boats on that side of you for the stray current.

  10. #10
    Senior Member GoVols's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Are your anodes made of magnesium or zinc? Magnesium is necessary for fresh water while zinc or aluminum typically only work in salt.

    It's amazing your boat was still floating with all this mess!
    Formerly owned a 16X69' Sailabration

    Bet On Another Thousand

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