Best Practices to Keep Your Boat Electronics From Corrosion

Best Practices to Keep Your Boat Electronics From Corrosion

Boat electronics

Boat electronics are a common target of corrosion. It’s a costly and dangerous problem.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent corrosion and make your electronics last longer. With the right tools, it’s a fairly simple job

1. Keep Your Anodes Clean

The most important step you can take when it comes to keeping your boat electronics from corrosion is to keep the anodes clean. When anodes are dirty, they can’t effectively conduct the electric current needed to protect your metal components

Anodes come in a variety of generalized and specialized shapes. Their size, placement and number should be determined based on the amount of anode protection needed to prevent electrochemical corrosion.

Galvanic corrosion (also referred to as electrolysis) happens when two dissimilar metals are immersed in an electrically conductive fluid, like seawater. One of the metals (the less noble one, known as the anode) will corrode faster and the other (the more noble metal, known as the cathode) will dissolve more slowly.

Luckily, there are ways to prevent this from happening. First, you can make sure that any stray power is isolated from the rest of the system by using an isolator. Next, you can keep your batteries clean when they aren’t in use. And finally, you can place sacrificial anodes around your boat that will sacrifice themselves to protect other metal parts from the damaging effects of galvanic corrosion.

2. Don’t Mix Metals

When it comes to keeping your boat electronics from corrosion, you need to avoid mixing metals. For example, if you have polished nickel faucets and chrome cabinet hardware, you’ll want to avoid mixing those together.

The reason is that those metals don’t mesh well. They have different undertones, and it’s unlikely that you’ll match them correctly if they’re not exactly the same tone or sheen.

Galvanic corrosion happens when dissimilar metals touch each other. It’s a chemical reaction that causes aluminum to corrode when it comes in contact with stainless steel.

This kind of corrosion can destroy your prop or shaft in a matter of weeks. It’s why you should avoid using aluminum fittings with stainless steel fasteners.

3. Don’t Leave Metal Components Unattended

Boat electronics are vulnerable to corrosion, especially when the vessel is penned up or stored for an extended period. This is because the components are exposed to moisture, abnormal voltages, static electricity, and extreme temperatures.

When it comes to keeping your boat electronics from corrosion, there are a few best practices you can employ to prevent major problems. The first is to keep your anodes clean and ensure the electrical connections are secure.

You should also be careful not to leave any metal components unattended when you’re not on the water. This includes your battery, engine and any electrical harnesses.

Galvanic corrosion occurs when dissimilar metals are in contact with each other underwater. This is especially true of aluminum components, and can be accelerated when you store your boat in saltwater, even if it is a well-made, aluminum-hulled vessel.

4. Don’t Store Your Boat in Saltwater

Whether you are an avid boater or just enjoy fishing from the shore, corrosion is a serious threat to your vessel. Rust and corrosion are a result of chemical reactions between oxygen, iron and moisture.

This corrosive process is a concern for all types of metals, but boats are uniquely susceptible because they spend so much time in the water. That means your outboard engine, inboard motor, I/O motor, jet drive and many other systems are vulnerable to rust and corrosion that can degrade in just weeks without protection.

Fortunately, there are a few best practices to keep your boat electronics from corrosion. These include cleaning your boat regularly and performing maintenance and winterization correctly to prevent rust or corrosion from occurring.