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Aluminum and salt water

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by FlyingGolfer, Jan 8, 2021.

  1. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Same thing on the Star Craft. Sand and rough the paint, do not remove it.
    The factory etching and primer can not be beat. Those processes and paints are not available any more for the DIYer.

    There are a few of those alloy Star Crafts still around Jax. The untouched alloy in a salt environment is still factory perfect.
    Anywhere a screw was attached with out Teff-Gell, is a mess.
    Buba at work; Here, hold my beer, as I set this stainless screw, into this alloy panel and ruin this boat's finish.
  2. yr2030

    yr2030 Senior Member

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    My grandson just bought a 54 Striker in 2019. It has no bottom paint on it. He runs out of Madeira most of billfishing season, then goes to the Canaries after. I had him add a delrin ring between the thru hulls - on the outside and inside. Electrolysis problem solved.

    My Dad built a couple of aluminum catamarans for motor sailing. Everyone on the other forum told him it couldn't be done. Well, there's an Alumarine currently for sale in Spain, that he worked on in Honduras when it was chartering down there.
  3. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Below the water line is a challenge for "not exposing the alloy" given the need for repairs, etc. But always, always properly prep, prime before paint. I've minimized the use of any faring below the water line. We've used blue steel in some critical areas to obtain the faring benefits, but my key is, I think, hauling every year. Doing that allows me to maintain the quality of the barrier coating and catch problems early. In the long run I don't think it's more expensive to do this.
  4. Detroit_dripper

    Detroit_dripper New Member

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    I've found a huge problem with Aluminum yachts with internal tanks is fresh water. The scale that builds up after decades degrades the tank from the inside. Coating the tanks is a preventive measure but the Chris's, Burgers and Browards of old all had tanks that had to be replaced, then coated.

    Broward used to use a lead over foam insulation on the whole hull. WTF. When the foam rotted away the lead sat on the hull sides. Leaky ports did in a few older Browards.

    If you buy an older Broward or Burger please let the surveyor talk you out of it. If not bring plenty of cash and enjoy months in a shipyard.
  5. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    I bought an older Burger, aluminum. I'd tell the surveyor to find me another in lieu of talking me out of it. Aluminum is so easy to work with and equally easy to maintain. Put your water tanks on an inspection and cleanup every two years during the haul or while in the water. Clean them out, inspect them, and recoat them with potable water approved epoxy. It's simply good preventative maintenance.

    We eliminated the holding tank from the belly and installed a small poly tank to serve as a lift station that feeds a sanitation treatment unit in the ER. Now the holding tank cannot rot the hull. I honestly do not feel the maintenance is any more severe than a fiberglass boat. But to each his or her own.

    Sounds like you had a really bad experience with a Broward and now share that emotion with any metal boat builder.
  6. Detroit_dripper

    Detroit_dripper New Member

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    Your right I forgot about the grey water and black water tank rot as well. Not to forget the stupid shaft tubes that run thrust through the fuel tanks that rot out and have to be replaced. Yes should have listened to the surveyor but what can I say the wife loved the mahogany interior and that was that. In the end even the charity non profits would not take it off my hands. Plenty of fiberglass hulls with problems as well. For the record my tastes are for a well maintained Burger or Broward which we did next and spent 6 months in a ship yard with 15 years of excellent cruising. Sandblasted and replaced what needed and the next 15 years were great.
  7. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Yes, your 6 months were primarily weighted on the prior neglect. And as you said, that can and will happen with most boats. The problems just manifest themselves in different ways and places aboard. Hatteras installed their early fiberglass tanks into open cell spray foam. The foam gets wet, deteriorates, and smells like sulfur. You aren't getting rid of the source and smell very easily. Can go on and on about a variety of issues on different boats over the years. The really good ones sell typically very quickly and quietly, as those have been maintained and buyers recognize it immediately.
  8. Detroit_dripper

    Detroit_dripper New Member

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    I currently own a Monarch aluminum workboat that is strong like bull but mainly in fresh water in search of the 22 lb Largemouth bass. I've learned to avoid salt water in my old age. Best advice I was given is to buy a used boats from the Great Lakes or River system. Salt water is evil (JK)
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    So you bought a completely neglected boat and then are complaining about Aluminum.....Yet after fixing the boat got 15 trouble free years out of it........ I much prefer Fiberglass, but wouldn't shy away from Aluminum if it met my needs.
    hat4349 likes this.
  10. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    No different than buying an old fiberglass boat with bad wood in the stringers/bulkheads, wet cores in the layup, badly blistered bottom, leaking fuel tanks and windows along with many other potential problems. rtrafford has owned both and says there is little difference in cost and upkeep.
    B-O-A-T, you know what that $tand$ for.
  11. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    I've owned both. I have completely rebuilt or refitted both. I know them both like the back of my hand. I was leery of not knowing enough about aluminum on my way into this project. Now I laugh at those concerns. Any boat requires the same constant investment, monitoring, protective and preventative measures. You don't want a hack repairing for fiberglass boat's skin or structure any more than you want a novice performing your welds.

    Any boat needs to be cared for, looked after, maintained. Problems occur when buying used boats that were not properly cared for, and those are a plenty. Several years into this one now I can say that my annual budget is drastically reducing.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The big problem with Aluminum is it does not lend itself to neglect like fiberglass does. For example, let a fiberglass boat sit for 5 years with minimal/no maintenance and the hull itself usually is ok. Aluminum doesn't. If you don't keep zincs on aluminum and keep up with bottom jobs and such, in 5 years you'd need a major refit on the hull. That's where the difference truly lies.
  13. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Meh. Let fiberglass boats just sit for 5 years, and you'll find a rash of issues. Boats must be used and maintained. If your aluminum boat is sitting in a quality environment for several years with minimal maintenance, you'll be fine. Put that same boat on the New River around Sailboat bend or other locations known for sketchy systems on docks and nearby vessels, yeah, you've got a problem. But the aluminum boat itself sitting still more or less in a vacuum happens all of the time. There are hundreds of them on the market barely being used or having been on the market and just sitting. They aren't sinking. Most will pass survey. But I was tied up next to a big fiberglass boat several years ago and watched it burn to the waterline from electrical neglect inside. Maintenance needs go well beyond the hull material.
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I agree with you that maintenance needs to go on all of the time. However, aluminum cannot be straight neglected for 5 years......drop a tool in the bilge and leave it there, it will eventually eat through the aluminum. Not keep up with the zincs and again the hull will suffer. Not keep up with the bottom paint, the hull will suffer........Fiberglass is much more forgiving in those areas......
  15. hat4349

    hat4349 Senior Member

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    I agree about doing the maintenance on an aluminum boat or any boat. If you don't do it you will have trouble with any yacht. I own an aluminum boat for a lot of years and never had problems. I will never understand why someone would drop a wrench or any tool in their bilge and let it there, I have dropped tools in the fiberglass and the aluminum boat I've owned and always retrieved them and anything else out of the bilge. If you get problems from that kind of stupidity you (not you personally a collective you) deserve it.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Having run thousands of boats there's no end to the list of things I've found in bilges, especially nuts.
  17. Reconjohnnie

    Reconjohnnie New Member

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    One of the issues I had with my Striker was not with the boat at all.

    It was my neighbors boat. He had his electric system hooked up wrong and was eating up my zinc’s. He did not use a marine electrician to save some money he used the guy who worked on his house..

    Needless to say, as most of you Capt’s here know, I don’t go anywhere with out the multimeter gauge.
  18. hat4349

    hat4349 Senior Member

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    I had a friend that had electrical problems with a boat he bought, the person he bought it from was supposed to be an "electrical expert". He used a house electrician to do the AC and completely removed the DC side of the electrical system. The boat was an electrical nightmare. He had a capable electrician give him a quote to fix the boat and it was almost $200,000.00. This was on an aluminum Roamer, I think he sold the boat instead of fixing it.
    Reconjohnnie likes this.
  19. Reconjohnnie

    Reconjohnnie New Member

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    I can only imagine.

    I was lucky. One of the guys on the dock was a EE and he was losing zinks too. He worked in one of the refineries and knew his stuff about electrolysis and metals. He passed away a few yrs ago... Blake was a heck of a guy.
    hat4349 likes this.