Zincs and groundwire

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by fish stalker, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. fish stalker

    fish stalker Active Member

    I have a fiberglass boat and run two batteries, two downriggers and a fishfinder. The guy I bought the boat from was doing something with the groundwire on the motor when I bought it. He dosnt know boats. Im worried something may not be right.

    I had a issue last year of my cannonball snapping off at waterline (wire line) when I hit the switch to retrieve.

    I dont know how thick the zincs were to start so I dont know if there past 50%. Im not sure how they work and if they are important to keep a eye on? and also the ground wire, what does that do? Can I tell if its grounded right?
  2. Seafever

    Seafever Well-Known Member

    He may have been trying to run a "common bonding wire" in order to get the right voltage on on the wire lines.
    Just a guess.

    You're not running a black box....where they recommend doing this if you are.

    But the bonding wire helps even if you aren't as well...

    yep....zincs are top priority when you run wire lines.

    They should be priority anyway.....to protect engine and other stuff even without wire lines.

    If you look at them and they are all pitted and corroded....replace them .

    You can get corrosion off the zincs using something like 80 or 100grit sandpaper.......but once they are pitted to hell there's not much you can do except put new ones on.
  3. fish stalker

    fish stalker Active Member

    so I went in today to see about getting new zincs because they are quite pitted. They look thick but im not sure. I mentioned I thought the old guy who had the boat used it mainly on cowichan, there thought was they might be magnesium which I guess is for freshwater. Im either taking the boat there or a pic. Thanks Seafever.
  4. salmonkiller01

    salmonkiller01 Well-Known Member

    If you take your zincs off you will notice that they are quite light if they are magnesium.
  5. Seafever

    Seafever Well-Known Member

    Some of the zincs I've seen look quite "light" because of all the salty corrosion on them....you need to get down to bare metal.

    My brother-in-law who lives on the Great lakes and has an aluminum boat has more zincs than I do on his boat and motor.....and he's in fresh water. He's never said they were Magnesium and he refers to them as "Zincs".

    But yours you never know. Best to get them properly identified.

    When you put electric downriggers on an aluminum boat there is a bit of a rigmarole you have to go through interms of properly grounding the engine (although they say you don't have to if it is electric start) to the hull....and also properly grounding the downriggers. Because the hull itself on an aluminum is a big part of the postive/negative equation.

    Anything or anywhere on the boat hull (either aluminum or fibreglass) that leaks electric current into the water is detrimental to the overall effect it has on

    So the oldtimer might have been addressing this issue even though the boat is fibreglass.
    That's assuming he was running WIRE LINES on the downriggers.

    Boat electrical and wiring should be in good order though regardless of what one is running on the boat.

    You can save a bunch of headaches, electrically, by running braid on the d/r's.

    But braid is not a "get out of jail free" card. All wiring issues should still be taken cae of......
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2013
  6. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    Just a tip Seafever...until recently I tossed zincs that were pitted but still had more than 50% of their mass remaining as they were hard to clean. Couldn't brush off the scale in the pitted areas. Especially the lower transom bracket zinc on the 2 stroke Yamaha...hard to brush and expensive to replace. . Then I tried Muriatic Acid on them. I used it to clean the zinc scale on my stainless trim tabs. It works great. Removes all the scale. Just apply, leave on until it stops bubbling then rinse. The zinc turns a blackish colour but this doesn't effect their ability to do their job. I've greatly extended the life of my zincs. BTW I also have all my submerged metals connected by a common bonding wire and change that every spring to as the tinned/copper degrades in a single season.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2013
  7. fish stalker

    fish stalker Active Member

    hmm good tips.

    I will have to do some reading.

    I have three and I cant even tell how there in there. The only submerged metals are the transducer and the two motors, mabey a drain plug. I dont remember seeing anything off the kicker...
  8. fshnfnatic

    fshnfnatic Well-Known Member

    That's good to know,profisher. Just out of curiosity,where can you purchase some muriatic acid,and is it very expensive?
  9. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    Can Tire has it in their paint section. One litre plastic bottle sealed in a plastic bag ....cheap. Under $10 I think. Make sure you reseal the cap properly and store it away from metals that can rust. If any vapours escape the bottle and metals are exposed to them...they corrode quickly. I use an old or very cheap paint brush to apply it to the zincs. Wear gloves and eye protection and don't breath the fumes coming off the zincs. Powerful stuff.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2013
  10. wolf

    wolf Well-Known Member

    Thats nasty stuff for sure i suggest a mask as well, we have used it as well to clean salt/dirt out of the bowls of carbs for outboards dont leave in to long just enough to loosen it all up and rinse well with water works FANTASTIC.

    As for zincs Fish stalker they will always powder up on you as your launching all the time and air gets to them once cleaned by what others have suggested get yourself a stainless steel brush only for the zincs and rinse with water and give em a quick brush you should be fine.
  11. staying alive

    staying alive Member

    I hear that all the motor manufactures are all using aluminum anodes and they are the new latest and greatest of anodes , but you can't mix anode types , I have been reading up on bonding of my aluminum boat and anodes ,it's making my head hurt.
  12. MRACER

    MRACER Member

    hARBOUR cHANDLER SELLS MAGNESIUM ANODES FOR ALUMINUM BOATS Whoops- sorry if caps offend anyone- my mistake.
  13. trendsetter

    trendsetter Active Member

    I'm curious as to how an aluminum anode would work. The reason zinc works to prevent galvanic corrosion is that it is lower than aluminum on the periodic table. It's less noble and there for attracts the electrons away from aluminum and sacrifices itself first.

    Magnesium is even lower than zinc so that works too but I think it would degrade too quickly in saltwater.
  14. staying alive

    staying alive Member

    Voltage in seawater
    Zinc -1.05 V
    Aluminum -1.10V
    Magnesium -1.6V
    So i guess the Aluminum anodes are better perorming than zinc and just below magnesium --but they last longer---the alum ones are an aluminum/indium alloy
    I just put those pancake zincs on my trim tabs and was reading up on if I need to bond the tab motors now?? and how to do it
    Boating is hard work.
  15. Seafever

    Seafever Well-Known Member

    I just bought two new engines late last year.....the manuals make no mention of using aluminum annodes.

    The replacement leg annodes (torque corrector) that are available from marine supply stores seem to be good ol' zinc.....

    The dealer where I bought never mentioned anything specifically about specialty annodes.

    I have an aluminum boat....there annodes on the engines.

    There are none on the boat and that's the way it came.

    Should I be putting annodes on the aluminum hull?
  16. staying alive

    staying alive Member

    thats what I'm trying to figure out , there's a lot of info to sift through on the internet
    as far as I can determine you should have a mounting block thats welded to the hull that you can either weld or bolt the anode to.
    But till I am 100% sure I will be happy with the 2 pancake type zincs I just put on my trimtabs
  17. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    An aluminum boat should have zinc to protect it from electrolysis. Your outboards are made from aluminum and are zinc protected for the same reason. As simple as having a mounting pad welded to the bottom of the transom so you can bolt a sizeable chunk of zinc to it.
  18. staying alive

    staying alive Member

    well there are lots of different alloys of aluminum,like I said the aluminum anodes are actually aluminum/indium/zinc combined , and I use my boat in salt and fresh water and zinc is apparently not a good choice for fresh water---who new that --not me--but thats what the charts tell me
    I saw the aluminum ones at west marine today. Yes its a good idea I will be getting a mounting pad welded on the transom , suprised my Crestliner doesn't have one.My boats lasted 19 years with zinc but I'm open to new idea's
  19. wolf

    wolf Well-Known Member

    You guys are funny you will spend 20 to 50 grand on a boat and your worried about replacing 20 bucks zincs 2 times a year.... REALLY......LOL LOL
  20. staying alive

    staying alive Member

    Not scared of spending money to protect my investment in fact I do everything I can too protect it. So if there is something better to protect it that's what I'll do

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