If you’re like most boat lovers, your boat is your pride and joy. It’s the reason you head to the lake on the weekends—and boating is what you look forward to every weekday while toiling away at the office. Your boat is a valuable part of your life, and if anything doesn’t work or look right, you take it to heart.
That’s why it can be so disappointing when you see oxidation rearing its head. Oxidation—a reaction of metals with oxygen and moisture in the air or water—is not only unsightly, but can sometimes get in the way of fully enjoying the boat that is such a big part of your life.
However, just because oxidation is a chemical process that naturally occurs doesn’t mean that it’s inevitable that your boat give way to oxidation. There are steps you can do to both prevent and remove oxidation on your boat.
Preventing Boat Oxidation
Although many people think of oxidation as “rust,” rust typically refers to the process of iron oxidation. In this case, it has an obvious reddish color that’s difficult to misplace.
Your boat, however, is not a cast-iron skillet. It has other materials that are subject to oxidation, which means that you’re going to need to know how to spot different signs with a different set of rules:
First signs of oxidation: When you wash your boat, pay attention to the gelcoat. Is it clear and reflective, or is it starting to look chalky in some spots? These spots are the first signs of oxidation, which means you’ll want to take steps in removing it as soon as possible.
Moderate oxidation: A “dull hull” sometimes means that your boat is giving way to oxidation. If you’ve been washing your hull over and over only to see that its original luster and shine hasn’t been restored, the oxidation may have well set in.
Severe oxidation: Look for pitting and general chalkiness, while also paying attention to the quality of the hull itself. If its usually reflective looks have declined to a chalky state of dullness and you see signs of pitting, you’re going to have to take action.
Regular freshwater washing—including proper drying, as oxidation thrives in moisture—along with regular waxing will help prevent oxidation. But it helps to be aware of the signs of oxidation so you can immediately set about repairing it before it gets worse. Here’s how.
Repairing Boat Oxidation
It’s difficult to get rid of oxidation completely, especially if it’s deeply set in the metal. But you can do a lot to repair the surface of your hull as long as you have the right tools.
We recommend using Git-Rust, which will help convert rust into a paintable surface. This will help restore the quality and finish of your hull and allow you to add on a fresh coat of paint or a design that will have your boat looking new.