You can’t talk about yacht refit and maintenance without zinc replacement and installation being a part of the conversation. Zinc replacement and installation is one of the standard refits that takes place during almost all boat haul outs. If not replaced, then they should be checked.
It’s true that the sea is one of the oldest and most plentiful, corrosive substances in the world, but it’s doubly true for metals that are exposed to sea water. Owning a boat means constantly battling against the corrosive nature of the sea. When you own a yacht in South Florida, protecting it from the salt water is of top concern, which is where zinc replacement comes into play.
It would seem that yacht captains have to be experts at chemistry on top of everything else. The reason zinc replacement and installation is necessary is simple.
Metals and sea water have an electric relationship. When two different metals make contact in sea water, they form a sort of battery, and one metal quickly erodes the other.
The sea water that flows around the metal anodes around boats, causing erosion; which of course, is not good for the function and overall health of your yacht.
Zinc replacement is when zinc is added to these locations because the current that’s created would erode the zinc instead of the two other important metals. Essentially, the zinc acts as a decoy. It’s actually called “sacrificial zinc”. But, that means that zinc replacement and installation must be done regularly to avoid erosion from reaching the important metal anodes.
Anywhere you find two different metals touching is where zinc should be present; propellers, shafts, struts, rudders, and the hull of metal boats.
Usually once a year, around spring time or at least every boating season, whenever your desired boating season happens to be. In South Florida, boating season kicks-off in fall because we have warmer waters during the North Hemisphere winters. Wear and tear will likely be noticed at regular boat haul outs at qualified Fort Lauderdale yacht service centers.
Be sure to get your yacht hauled out at least once a year. Some will last two years, but the waters and climate in South Florida can be punishing, so be careful not to let them go for too long.
Usually the zinc sites will have small holes in them, and the surface will look slightly corroded like a sea sponge.
If they are 50% or more corroded, then it’s time to for zinc replacement and installation.
Simply put, the metals that are important to your vessel will erode and cause damage that is costlier to repair.
Yacht Management will monitor your zinc at all boat haul outs. Our dockside maintenance staff also monitors and replaces the zinc on your vessel as needed, taking the hassle out of you having to be reminded to schedule it. If you are storing your yacht at our boatyard in Fort Lauderdale, simply ask about our additional dockside and maintenance services and opt for regular, routine maintenance that includes zinc replacement.