Many boat owners can easily replace worn sacrificial anodes on their boats during routine maintenance activities. However, some inexperienced boaters may make mistakes that can render the anodes to be ineffective. This article discusses some things that first-time boat owners should avoid doing when they are replacing the anodes on their boats.

Buying Anodes of Less Weight

Each boat component, such as the hull plates and rudders, usually has sacrificial anodes whose weight matches the magnitude of the protection that is needed for that particular boat part. If you were to buy anodes, such as aluminium anodes, that weigh less than the ones that you are replacing, then those smaller anodes may be consumed much faster than the previous ones were. This can leave your expensive boat parts exposed to agents of corrosion within the water. You will also incur higher maintenance costs because you will buy replacement anodes more frequently.

Painting the Anodes

Sacrificial anodes protect boat parts by giving up ions during the reactions that take place between the boat part and the anode in the presence of water. That process of giving up ions causes the anode to gradually be consumed until it has to be replaced. This process cannot take place if you put a coating, such as paint, on the anode. Consequently, the anode will be unable to protect the boat part it was intended to protect. Avoid making the mistake of putting any coating on the sacrificial anodes that you buy for use on your boat.

Changing the Mounting Location

The best protection is offered if the sacrificial anode is in direct contact with the metal that it is protecting. The connection provided by the electrolyte (water) may not be strong enough to get the best performance from the anode if the anode hasn't been attached to the metal it is protecting. You should therefore mount the replacement anode where the previous one was located. This is because the boat maker selected that location as the best location for the protection of your boat's components.

Mixing Anode Types

You should never attach different types of anodes, such as aluminium anodes and magnesium anodes, on different parts of your boat. All anodes should be made from the same material. Anodes made from different materials may end up reacting with each other instead of reacting with the boat parts that you would like to be protected from galvanic corrosion (corrosion between metals with different rates of reactivity). Consequently, the boat parts may end up corroding because the anodes aren't sacrificing themselves to save the boat parts.

Avoid making the mistakes above if you would like to prevent costly repairs of crucial boat parts. Always consult anode suppliers for clarification in case you are in doubt about which anodes would do a good job in the type of water where you will be sailing.