Protecting your Boat against Rust and Corrosion
Boatbuilding is as much an art as it is a science. When boat builders select materials to use in their designs, they must take into consideration a host of factors including weight, durability, corrosion resistance, conductivity, availability and cost. This is particularly true of the boat’s metal components because they’re almost always used in critical areas such as propulsion (e.g. engines and standing rigging), structural reinforcement (e.g. chain plates, mast butt plate, hardware backing plates), attachment points (cleats, pad eyes, dinghy davits, keel bolts, anchor windlass and bow roller) and safety gear (stanchions, bow pulpit, stern pulpit and lifelines).
Metals typically used in boatbuilding are corrosion resistant and include bronze, copper (usually in wiring), aluminum and stainless steel. Because of its reputation for outstanding corrosion resistance, some boaters are surprised when their stainless steel fittings rust. Stainless steel is literally ‘stain-less’ in that it is rust/stain resistant, but it is not ‘stain-proof’. Fortunately, the science of corrosion prevention and control has advanced to the point where light maintenance can extend the life of your boat’s metal fittings almost indefinitely.
Controlling the Corrosion Process
If you look at what is happening chemically to metals when they rust or corrode, each corrosion ‘cell’ is similar to a tiny battery. There is an anode (-), cathode (+), electrolyte (usually moisture or a salt crystal) and a path of current. Eliminate any one of these elements and you shut down the corrosion process. Old-fashioned corrosion inhibitors like paint, wax-based (e.g. LPS-3, Boeshield) and oil-based (e.g. WD-40, LPS-2) products are aptly named because they don’t stop corrosion – they merely ‘inhibit’ corrosion. In other words, they only slow down the inevitable corrosion process by separating metal from oxygen with a barrier coating. However, this barrier coating is easily compromised when scratched (in the case of paint and wax-based inhibitors) or when it’s displaced by friction or moisture (in the case of oil-based inhibitors).
CorrosionX is engineered so that its molecules are attracted to metal in a manner analogous to the way two magnets are drawn together. We call this characteristic Polar Bonding. Going back to the rust/corrosion cell being like a battery analogy, when CorrosionX polar bonds to metal, it doesn't just stop one of the three corrosion-causing elements, it eliminates two; CorrosionX displaces electrolytes and leaves an ultra-thin dielectric film that blocks the path of current. In addition, because CorrosionX stays bonded to metal, it is not easily displaced by friction or moisture like ordinary oils, so it also works like a regular corrosion inhibitor, only it’s much tougher, is self-curing and lasts longer in real world applications. In addition, even though CorrosionX has a dielectric characteristic, because of its ultra-thin film thickness, it won't interfere switches, electrical connections or circuitry.
Application & Boat Maintenance
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Use CorrosionX to eliminate corrosion and protect all metal surfaces of your boat, trailer and dockside equipment.
- Bow pulpit, anchor roller and stern pulpit (Recommend applying CorrosionX with a shop rag. Wipe down all topside metal once every few months or as needed. Store CorrosionX saturated rag in a zip-lock bag for reuse. Wipe off excess oil.)
- Deck hardware, fittings and brightwork (keeps stainless from pimpling)
- Dinghy davits
- Tuna towers
- Stanchions and lifelines. (again, wipe off excess oil so that it does not get on your crews’ clothing)
- Chainplates (including forestay chainplate)
- Shroud turnbuckles
- Traveler and fairlead cars and tracks
- Steering mechanism and cables
- Locks and hinges
- Use as a corrosion inhibitor and lubricant on all blocks with metal or Torlon bearings (CorrosionX is a better and longer lasting lubricant than even PTFE-fortified products)
- Metal thru-hull fittings (the fitting itself on the exterior, metal valves inside) • Outboard motor powerheads
- Once a year, treat electrical connections like battery terminals, terminal strips, electrical connectors, fuse holders, light sockets, electrical plugs, blower fans, remote Mic connection, antenna bases, windlass remote connection, etc.
* On J/boats, we recommend treating sink faucets, drain screens, refrigerator cold plate and refrigerator circuit board – if it’s located in a place that can get wet – once per year or as soon as practically possible after saltwater immersion. If electronics get wet, depower, rinse with distilled water (or fresh water if distilled is not readily available), dry thoroughly and treat immediately with CorrosionX.
** Note: You do not have to drench the surface you’re treating as you’d do with a traditional corrosion inhibitor. Because of Polar Bonding, CorrosionX will creep, spread and coat to effectively cover all contiguous metal surfaces.
CorrosionX Heavy Duty is a thick-film version of regular CorrosionX. Because it has thickening agents, it is not as good of a lubricant, nor does it creep, crawl and penetrate as well as regular CorrosionX. It also leaves a discernable film, whereas regular CorrosionX can be applied so thinly it’s practically invisible. Because of this, you will use regular CorrosionX for 9 out of 10 applications on your boat.
However, where CorrosionX Heavy Duty excels is for longer-term corrosion protection. It is particularly resistant to rain and sea spray, so it’s recommended for long-term rust and corrosion protection on items that are directly exposed to the environment or are frequently submerged.
- Leaf springs on boat trailers
- Trim tabs
- Keel bolt
- Bilge mounted fittings and pumps
Although CorrosionX is inherently nonflammable, the environmentally friendly propellant used in our aerosol cans is flammable. Please use caution when applying to electrical equipment. Just to be absolutely safe, before applying our aerosol products, make sure there is no current running though the system and that electrical motors are disconnected.
CorrosionX is only attracted to unoxidized, reactive metals. It is not attracted to noble metals (like gold and platinum) nor is it attracted to oxidized metals (i.e. rust in the case of ferrous metals like iron and steel, or corrosion in the case of non-ferrous metals). Because of this, while CorrosionX is very effective at removing surface rust, it is less effective at removing deep rust and scale.
For that, we recommend CorrosionX Rust Remover. Spray CorrosionX Rust Remover on any rusted item (or dip item into CXRR) for easy and surprisingly quick removal of rust. To remove deep deposits of rusted scale, use a stiff brush to accelerate the rust removal process. Once the rust has been removed, rinse thoroughly and IMMEDIATELY paint or treat with CorrosionX (otherwise the part will usually start rusting again).
Xtreme Clean is a multipurpose cleaner degreaser. It can be used highly diluted (we recommend approximately 20:1 as a boat soap) or up to full strength to remove stains, break up diesel soot deposits, etc. Xtreme Clean also neutralizes corrosion, so using it instead of standard boat soap will help prevent corrosion from forming.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to a product specialist, please call 469-583-9218.
CorrosionX is, by far, the most effective corrosion inhibitor, lubricant and penetrating oil product in the world. But don't just take our word for it; read the amazing testimonials from our legions of loyal customers.