Ask Sail: Centerboard Corrosion - Sail Magazine

Ask Sail: Centerboard Corrosion

After I fix the pin and remove the rust, what product do you recommend to protect the steel before I reinstall the board? The boat is sailed in both fresh and salt water, and is stored on its trailer.
Author:
Publish date:

David Soule of Gardnerville, Nevada, asks:

I recently removed the centerboard from my 1978 Balboa 21 to work on the pivot pin. The board is a 2ft x 4ft half-inch steel plate and has some minor rust. After I fix the pin and remove the rust, what product do you recommend to protect the steel before I reinstall the board? The boat is sailed in both fresh and salt water, and is stored on its trailer.

Don Casey replies:

If the centerboard is galvanized and exhibits only minor rusting, I would just hit the rust spots with a so-called “cold galvanizing” zinc-loaded spray paint. You may need to treat fresh rust spots annually. If the centerboard is bare steel and shows only minor rusting after more than three decades, I might be inclined to leave the board bare, unless you plan on using the boat differently.

DonCasey

To eliminate all surface rust, the best choice is an epoxy barrier coat. Apply the initial coat of epoxy immediately after the metal has been sanded bright, then wire brush the metal through the wet epoxy. This ensures that the epoxy will adhere to the metal. If using epoxy resin rather than a commercial barrier coat, you need to eliminate air bubbles and force the resin into the grain of the steel. Take a third of a foam roller split lengthwise and drag it across the wet epoxy like a squeegee. You should treat only one side of the board at a time and perhaps divide each side into smaller sections. Treat whatever area you can cover with a single mixed pot of epoxy before it begins to gel. Add additional coats until you get a dry film thickness close to 20 mils. This is typically six or seven coats.

After the epoxy has cured for at least a couple of weeks, you can scrub it with water and a Scotchbrite pad to remove the waxy surface blush. Scuff it lightly with 100-grit paper and paint it with whatever bottom paint you like—antifouling or otherwise.

Related

SouthernOcean

The 50th Anniversary of the Golden Globe

Here we go! The 50th anniversary of the Golden Globe, the first singlehanded nonstop round-the-world race, is upon us. On July 1 one tribute event, the Golden Globe Race 2018, will start out of Les Sables d’Olonne, France, with a fleet of 19 amateur skippers setting out in ...read more

180621-X01-Landing-Page

Volvo Ocean Race Cliffhanger

After racing over 44,000 miles round the world and battling their way past the world’s great capes, including the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, it’s all come down to the final 700-mile leg from Gothenburg, Sweden, to the Hague. Brunel, Mapfre, Dongfeng: going into the ...read more

Stearns Photo

Racing the Solo Mac for a Cause

There are plenty of reasons to do a Chicago-Mac race, and Rich Stearns, who has done literally dozens of ‘em should know. This year, though, he’s doing the Solo-Mac for an especially important reason: to help those with prostate cancer.“Two years ago, I was diagnosed with ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comRafting dangerOne unseen danger when sailing yachts lie alongside one another for a convivial night is that if they happen roll to a wash or begin to move in an unexpected sea, the spreaders can clash ...read more

180615-01 Lead

A Dramatic Comeback in the Volvo

After winning three of the last four legs in the Volvo Ocean Race (and coming in second in the fourth), Dutch-flagged Brunel is now tied for first overall with Spanish-flagged Mapfre and Chinese-flagged Dongfeng following the completion of Leg 10 from Cardiff, Wales, to ...read more

MFS-5-2018-Propan-SP02

Tohatsu LPG-powered 5hp Propane Motor

Gassing it UpTired of ethanol-induced fuel issues? Say goodbye to gasoline. Japanese outboard maker Tohatsu has introduced an LPG-powered 5hp kicker that hooks up to a propane tank for hours of stress-free running. Available in short-, long- or ultra-long-shaft versions, the ...read more