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Marina would be for more than just the rich

October 21, 2005|By MIKE WHITEHEAD

Tip for the week is for you to check your boat's zincs, both on the exterior hull and any zincs on your engines. The summer is over and many boats are now sitting idle until the Christmas Boat Parades, but the zincs are still at work saving the metal aboard the boat.

The zincs are the sacrificial anodes that will help slow down, but not prevent, electrolysis aboard your boat. Make sure that the zincs are still in a useful stage and that all bonding and grounding wires are properly attached, making a good electrical conduction throughout the boat. Too many times I have noticed the effects of electrolysis and find a bad zinc, a bad connection or no connection at all.

Also, your boat could be berthed in what is called a hot spot. A hot spot is where electricity is leaking into the water from either a neighboring boat or an electrical connection on the dock, and the energized water will eat your zincs much more rapidly. So, ask boaters on your dock how fast their zincs have to be replaced to determine the norm for your area. Boat bottom cleaners should be checking your zincs under the water, but they cannot check the pencil zincs in your engines, typically in the heat exchangers. Zincs are likened to buying insurance -- pay a little now, or pay a lot more later.

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Tune in to the No. 1 boating talk radio show in the nation, "Capt. Mike Whitehead's Boathouse Radio Show." It airs every Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. on KCBQ-AM (1170). You can join me, Chandler Bell and Eric Hovland by calling the listener line at (888) 344-1170.

Safe voyages.

* MIKE WHITEHEAD is the Pilot's boating and harbor columnist. Send him your harbor and marine-related thoughts and story suggestions by e-mail to mike@boathousetv.com or visit http://www.boathousetv.com.

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