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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-17-2007
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Rust and Corrosion.

I'm curious. For those who spend a lot of time on boats that are in salt water, how big a problem is rust in general ? I don't mean the boat itself, I mean just things you have in the boat, your personal stuff. Do you get a lot of rust and corrosion on ordinary things that are stored inside the boat - computer parts, tools, just regular stuff ?
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Old 06-17-2007
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A few months ago I bought a project boat. I moved aboard some of my tools and right away I noticed that some of them were beginning to rust, some within just a couple of days. I went out and bought a dehumidifier and haven't had any problems since. Of course this solution only help while hooked into shore power.
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Old 06-17-2007
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It is difficult to keep some non-plated tools rust free - especially if humidity is not controlled. Adjustable wrenches seem to be the first victims - seized up when you need it most!

We too, have been using a small dehumidifier (purchased from West by North - ask about it at info@westbynorth.com ) It's compact, about 6"x6"x12"tall, runs on 12V and 120VAC but is as power hungry as a fridge so we usually just use it at the dock. (cost just over $100 CDN)

This unit has made a huge difference to the boat over the winter months (we are afloat all year, in mostly above freezing wet conditions with RH around 90 percent much of the "winter" and fall)

Keeping the boat at around 10 deg C seems to work best, warmer and the small cooler inside cannot condense the water, if it gets too cold the unit freezes up. We'll get up to an inch of water in its reservoir after a rainy week.

BTW for some reason it's not listed on their website, but they do carry them.
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It is quite possible merely to dehumidify a tool locker using dessicants like silica gel or kitty litter and keeping the air moving with a tiny fan. Another tactic is to bag tools in sealable freezer bags with dessicant...just remember to dry out the dessicant bags on a sunny deck. Of course, a thin coating of oil does wonders, and if you have the space, you can even keep them in the fridge, which has typically drier air than the surrounding boat.

Lastly, make sure the boat itself is properly vented...a fairly large topic in and of itself, but less moisture doesn't only mean less rust, but less mildew and mold.
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Old 06-17-2007
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Keeping the tools and boat dry as possible is the first step to keeping the tools in good shape. Also, spraying the tools with a dry lubricant coating, like Boeshield T9 helps quite a bit too.

Valiente-

The real problem with keeping tools in the refrigerator is that the humid summer air will generally condense out onto them when you remove them to use them... which kind of defeats the whole purpose, doesn't it?
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