Expert advice

Working with aluminium

Aluminium is an excellent material for boats. However, aluminium alloys are prone to corrosion if untreated or damaged. When new alloys are exposed, an oxide layer forms on their surface. The oxide layer does not protect the alloy in the long term when exposed to damp marine environments. Attention to the preparation of a new hull and the maintenance of an existing hull can save you considerable difficulties and costly repairs in the future.

Aluminium inspection Periodically the paint system will need to be removed in areas of stress and any corrosion treated. Careful inspection on an annual basis of all weld seams will allow for early identification of the occurrence of this problem.

Aluminium compatibility Aluminium reacts with some copper-based antifouling paints causing serious corrosion. Therefore antifoulings containing metallic copper or cuprous oxide should never be used on aluminium. Only use copper thiocyanate based antifouling on aluminium, firstly ensuring it is primed properly.

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