Finishes and metals that survive the marine environment - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 71 Old 03-13-2017 Thread Starter
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Finishes and metals that survive the marine environment

Had a saltwater aquarium business for 24 years. My experience, based on hundreds of samples, is that most tools can be thrown away after they have been exposed to saltwater. Even if they are cleaned and dried immediately. Have witnessed the ruination of hundreds of simple tools.

As I slowly prepare for my liveaboard goals starting in 2019/20, I keep wondering what, if anything, I should stock up on.

Stainless steel nuts and bolts? Is 304 normally enough? Is 316 the bare essential? I have some stainless steel scissors that are still going strong after 24 years! Used weekly as well.

Does aluminum resist galvanic corrosion much better than steel?

Oil vs. varnish? Which preserves teak more effectively?

This could go and on and on. I probably need a book, or a several hour tutorial. Perhaps some kind sailor can point me in the right direction?
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post #2 of 71 Old 03-13-2017
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Re: Finishes and metals that survive the marine environment

304 SS will definitely soon show 'rust' spots, especially if not highly polished; 316 is truly preferred.

Titanium works too!

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post #3 of 71 Old 03-13-2017
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Re: Finishes and metals that survive the marine environment

316 is the norm , I made some parts out of 304 they don't rust any faster then 316 . When using Alum. outside , basically it must be coated , paint , anodize , powder coat . Corrosion-X (a type of spray) is your friend use it on your tools and anything susceptible to rust . Oil vs varnish I use both but never oil outside , it is a dust magnet . if varnish seems like to much work look into Cetol .
Good luck with the live aboard , wish it was me . What type boats interest you ?

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Re: Finishes and metals that survive the marine environment

Look for a galvanic scale of metals from anodic to noble.
Oil or varnish - up to the individual.

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Re: Finishes and metals that survive the marine environment

You will be forced to have plain steel tools to effectively live aboard. Most stuff isn't made in any other material, let alone stainless. No doubt, tools corrode aboard more quickly. I keep deccicant bags in my tool locker, especially over the winter. If they get wet, a generous spray down with WD40 is the way to go. This perpetuates their lifespan. They show some signs of corrosion, but I've never had to toss a tool, due to it.
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post #6 of 71 Old 03-13-2017
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Re: Finishes and metals that survive the marine environment

I've owned my three major tool sets and several minor ones for over 30 years and I've been on saltwater the whole time. My 12" Crescent wrench is bare steel and just as good as the day I got it, some 40 years ago.
Washing tools in freshwater definitely does stop the corrosion, if you dry and oil them afterwards. But I really think that it's all about the quality of the tool. A quality tool may cost 5 times what a cheap one does, but it should last 20 times longer. I've been happy with Sears tools, with their unconditional lifetime warranty (which I have used occasionally) and Snap On tools.
Harbor Freight and the like are not where I buy tools that I expect to use more than a few years, though a few of their items, like the hydraulic crimper, have surprised me.

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Re: Finishes and metals that survive the marine environment

For steel tools ... BOIL them in hot water for 15 minutes occasionally to help to prevent rust.
The boiling will cause the steel surface to become oxidized as ferrous (black) rust which is protective. Such will also cause minor ferric (red) rust to covert to ferrous rust.
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post #8 of 71 Old 03-13-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Finishes and metals that survive the marine environment

Older, simpler, sturdier fiberglass hopefully with auto-pilot and, if feasible, audible warnings of possible collisions and....possibly....storms. By going back a long ways and not looking for sexy lines, I hope to swing something in the 40-46 foot range. A boat that is up to sailing around the world without having to avoid all storms. Storms don't really scare me if the boat is seaworthy enough. Storm worthy sails....I forget the specific names. I love watching boats in heavy storms by the way.

Why so big for one guy on a budget? I am 6'5" and enjoy three great dogs for company. Women seem to enjoy tormenting me so I have a problem there. Rest assured...100% my fault.

Plus I have a number of interests and skills and want to bring a lot of my fairly vast tool collection on board. With few plans for using moors and marinas, their fees are not an overriding concern. My idea of elbow room is about a mile to the next human.

Thanks for asking. Gave me an excuse to talk about myself a bit.


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Originally Posted by Markwesti View Post
316 is the norm , I made some parts out of 304 they don't rust any faster then 316 . When using Alum. outside , basically it must be coated , paint , anodize , powder coat . Corrosion-X (a type of spray) is your friend use it on your tools and anything susceptible to rust . Oil vs varnish I use both but never oil outside , it is a dust magnet . if varnish seems like to much work look into Cetol .
Good luck with the live aboard , wish it was me . What type boats interest you ?
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post #9 of 71 Old 03-13-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Finishes and metals that survive the marine environment

WD40? Depending on which story is told, WD40 was developed by either the Navy or NASA. May stand for water displacement tested 40 times. May be fish oil. Lots of WD40 stories and opinions. I buy it by the case. Probably squirted 50 points today.


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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
You will be forced to have plain steel tools to effectively live aboard. Most stuff isn't made in any other material, let alone stainless. No doubt, tools corrode aboard more quickly. I keep deccicant bags in my tool locker, especially over the winter. If they get wet, a generous spray down with WD40 is the way to go. This perpetuates their lifespan. They show some signs of corrosion, but I've never had to toss a tool, due to it.
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Re: Finishes and metals that survive the marine environment

Harbor Freight is "like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get" (Forest Gump).

We all know they make some crap and some stuff that is quite good. With tool ratings available online at their web site, it is less of a crap shoot.

Big leap from Craftsman to Snap On. I could count my Snap On tools with one hand.

Love the great old American tool names....Crescent, Vice Grip, Stanley, DeWalt, Milwaukee, Rigid, Proto, S&K, Freud, etc. Many great names got bought out by conglomerates....Porter Cable etc.

I have found hydraulic crimpers to be a real handful to use. Probably a much better crimp...



Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
I've owned my three major tool sets and several minor ones for over 30 years and I've been on saltwater the whole time. My 12" Crescent wrench is bare steel and just as good as the day I got it, some 40 years ago.
Washing tools in freshwater definitely does stop the corrosion, if you dry and oil them afterwards. But I really think that it's all about the quality of the tool. A quality tool may cost 5 times what a cheap one does, but it should last 20 times longer. I've been happy with Sears tools, with their unconditional lifetime warranty (which I have used occasionally) and Snap On tools.
Harbor Freight and the like are not where I buy tools that I expect to use more than a few years, though a few of their items, like the hydraulic crimper, have surprised me.
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