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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I'm getting ready to start my second season on Lake Erie with my boat. This is the first time I've replaced the sacrificial aluminum anode that goes on my Autoprop. I thought I'd post a picture of it here and solicit comments. Not the most exciting picture, by any means, but I'm wondering if I could have taken a wire brush to this thing and gotten another year out of it. Other than some surface corrosion it's not much changed from when it was new.

Granted, in the large scheme of things it's an inexpensive piece of maintenance gear, but at more than $40 each from Autoprop it seems much more expensive than other sacrificial anodes, unless that's normal for aluminum anodes.

Thanks for looking! :)
 

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When mine look like that I replace them. I use zinc anodes so not sure how much better/worse it would be but that looks like mine after 6 months or so. I have been told I am in a "hot" marina but I think it's just my boat which is hot. If you got a year out of it I would call it good, alot less than replacing a pitted prop.

Brad
Lancer 36
 

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Check with the local chandlers to see what anodes everyone else buys.
The salt content of Lake Eire may make aluminium fine.

If so your anode looks quite OK for another year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys, I'll confirm, but for some reason I thought I had learned on SN last year that Aluminum was appropriate for Lake Erie. I'll continue my research. Thanks for the expertise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, who to believe?

This one says Aluminum works in all applications (fresh, brackish, salt)
Anode FAQs

But this one says Aluminum only works in Salt and Brackish.
https://www.defender.com/html/zincs_info.html

And then again this one says Aluminum's only for Salt and Brackish.
Boat Michigan

I'll see what the other boaters in my area are doing, but it looks like I have $90+ worth of aluminum anodes to return. :(

Crimony.
 

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Ironically, when an anode isn't corroding very fast, I worry it isn't working.
 

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The other thing is Lake Erie ain't as fresh as you might think! Especially near cities.

A magnesium anode might disappear in a week and just from the salt.
 

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I have had my boat for two summers now and starting on number three,(Pearson 34 in Chesapeake Bay) I put one on the first two springs and by fall it is gone. I was thinking of putting two on this year, does that sound like a good idea or should I go for a swim middle of the summer and replace the one? As a side note I was in two different marinas for the two years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update: I heard back from Autoprop this morning. Evidently they do not offer a magnesium anode for the H5 prop; but rather consider the aluminum anode appropriate for fresh water. Not sure if that's good or not. o_O
 

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It seems to me that is a lot of corrosion. Your boat is in Sandusky Bay. So is mine but my anode doesn't look that bad after 4 years in another marina in Sandusky. I'm wondering if there might be a stray current problem at Sandusky Harbor Marina? Just speculating
 

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It seems to me that is a lot of corrosion. Your boat is in Sandusky Bay. So is mine but my anode doesn't look that bad after 4 years in another marina in Sandusky. I'm wondering if there might be a stray current problem at Sandusky Harbor Marina? Just speculating
More likely is; your 4-year-old anode is not working. Especially if you are using a zinc anode in freshwater. These things are not supposed to last that long.
 

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I sail on Lake Michigan and use magnesium on my MaxProp. I could probably get two years out of it if I push it but I put a new one on each year. If they don't make a magnesium for your prop you're probably stuck with aluminum.
 

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I use a magnesium anode. Maybe it isn't working that great. I'm changing it this spring anyway. My stainless prop shaft and bronze Martec prop aren't showing signs of corrosion. At the last marina I was at I changed the anode every year. I suspect there was a stray current problem there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Interesting idea about stray current at SHM, SanduskySailor. I wonder how to check and how to remedy the situation if that is indeed the case.

Regarding the aluminum anode on the Autoprop, since they don't have a magnesium option I'm stuck with aluminum.

I have another issue with my Autoprop that I emailed the company about, but I haven't heard back. When I bought the boat last winter, I noticed that the prop was not smooth; it sort of had the texture of sandpaper. It hasn't gotten any worse since. My guess is that the prop is supposed to be smooth. Which made me suspect that previous owners used the wrong kind of anode. Should I buff the prop with something to make it smoother?

Before getting the B361, my boat was a Catalina 25 with an outboard, so I never had to worry worry about anodes and I'm still learning a lot about big boats and their maintenance requirements.
 

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... When I bought the boat last winter, I noticed that the prop was not smooth; it sort of had the texture of sandpaper. It hasn't gotten any worse since. My guess is that the prop is supposed to be smooth. Which made me suspect that previous owners used the wrong kind of anode. Should I buff the prop with something to make it smoother? ...
Is it rough from deposits on the surface of the prop or is it rough from the prop being pitted from corrosion?

Even in the fresh water of the Great Lakes you're going to end up with crud on it at the end of the season. Nothing like you would in salt water but crud just the same. I take a brass wire wheel to it to get most of the crusty stuff off before putting it back in the water in the Spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
MISailor, the roughness of the prop is not from pits, so yes now that you mention it, perhaps it's just crud that I can scrub off. :) Good thought.
 
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