The earliest vessels didn’t have to deal with metal corrosion. Wood has other issues, but corrosion isn’t one of them. Unfortunately for the modern mariners that have all or partial metal vessels, they do have to deal with huge issues regarding corrosion. Simple corrosion that results in unsightly finishes is one thing and a real concern, but corrosion can also result in major system damage. Damages that impact engines, propeller shafts, propellers, electronics, hulls and hull fittings are nothing unusual and every boat or ship owner is well aware of them. Even if the owner is just dealing with a single pleasure craft versus millions of dollars in damage potential, a simple and properly designed protection system can be the solution to the corrosion problem.
Luckily the principle of using sacrificial metals with a cathodic protection system is something that has been known about for quite a while and the technology is well established. It simply amounts to sourcing a metal which acts as a sacrificial element, saving components that are being damaged. When the cathodic protection metal is finally depleted, simple replacement is the norm. Which doesn’t mean it’s necessarily an easy to figure out process. Even though it is a well-established technology, designing and constructing an efficient system that actually works well can be a true challenge even in simple systems. The electrical interrelationships that can occur on even simple marine vessels can be extremely complex.
Past systems were often designed or thrown together in an immediate action style, sometimes by unqualified personnel. Many times this did not necessarily result in a cathodic protection system that was optimal, or for that matter one that had positive results. Owners often found that repairing or trying to optimize one side of the system negatively affected another system. Shaft grounding systems that weren’t designed well or maintained, actually cause shaft or bearing pitting versus preventing damage as one example. Engine systems that were partially or incorrectly installed causing hull erosion are another well known example. The issues are many and due to the complex nature of the problem, specialist engineering services are often the best choice.
There are many maritime engineering services and quite a few of them will adopt a generalist approach to their business. Unfortunately when dealing with corrosion issues and their complexity, it can be hard to find truly knowledgeable companies or individuals. One company that does have the requisite knowledge and staff to tackle this particular problem can be found at http://www.cathodicme.com. Consider working with the true specialists in this case and not just general engineering services.
Electrochlorination Systems in Marine Engineering