Mar 30, 2023

Why are zincs needed and how do they work?

Monitor and replace your zincs as needed to prevent stray electrical current from causing costly corrosion damage

What are zincs?

Zincs are a type of sacrificial anode. A sacrificial anode is an alloy block that is attached to a boat's hull or other metal components, such as the propeller or rudder. In addition to zinc, anodes can be made of aluminum or magnesium. A sacrificial anode is designed to corrode instead of the boat's metal components.

Why are sacrificial zinc anodes important?

Boats have metal components below the waterline that are prone to corrosion in saltwater environments. When two different metals are in contact with saltwater, they create an electrical current that causes corrosion. This process, known as galvanic corrosion, can cause significant damage to the boat's hull, propeller, rudder, and other metal components. Making repairs to these subsurface parts can get really expensive really fast.

Sacrificial anodes work by providing a more reactive metal that corrodes more easily than the metal of the boat. The anodes are attached to the boat's hull or other metal components and act as a sacrificial metal that corrodes instead of the boat's metal. This process is called cathodic protection and helps prevent damage to the boat's metal components.

button zinc destined for sailboat strut

When should sacrificial anodes be replaced?

Sacrificial anodes need to be replaced periodically as they corrode. The frequency of replacement depends on several factors, including the type of anode, the size of the boat, and the water conditions where the boat is operated. As a general rule of thumb, sacrificial anodes should be replaced when they are 50% depleted.

In summary...

Sacrificial anodes are an essential component in protecting your boat from corrosion. By providing a more reactive metal that corrodes instead of the boat's metal, sacrificial anodes help prolong the lifespan of your vessel and prevent costly repairs. Regular monitoring and replacement of sacrificial anodes can ensure that your boat remains protected from galvanic corrosion and that you can enjoy your time on the water with peace of mind.


Hull cleaning and zinc replacement in Marina del Rey

Schedule Scout to come out and evaluate your sacrificial anode configuration to make sure you have enough, but not too much, zinc in place beneath your boat.

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