Hello.. new member and need assistance

General boating discussion
tsgarvey
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:53 am

Hello.. new member and need assistance

#1

Post by tsgarvey »

Hi all... Unfortunately, I am here because I have some kind of corrosion going on with a boat I recently purchased. First.. I need instruction with how to go about uploading pictures from my pc. Thanks
Last edited by tsgarvey on Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
tsgarvey
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:53 am

Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#2

Post by tsgarvey »

Maybe I figured it out... test

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tsgarvey
Posts: 16
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#3

Post by tsgarvey »

So that worked but the detail doesn't appear to be nearly as sharp as the original...

I will add to this thread a little later... and hopefully you folks can point me in the right direction to help fix my boat :thumbsup:
tsgarvey
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:53 am

Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#4

Post by tsgarvey »

Alright.. I purchased this 1995 Starcraft from the original owners who told me it was only used a couple weeks each year for family vacations to Vermont and Canada... that it was garage kept and never used in salt.
I used the boat for the first time two weekends ago for about 6 hours on the lake. The day after I noticed a wet spot on the ground the size of a silver dollar under the rear of the boat. Got underneath and saw a small drip with a speck behind it. I poked very lightly at it with a drill bit and the hole grew to what it is in the picture. So.. I started looking all over for any imperfections I could find... and I found 15 more. Like I said... most of them just looked like specks of dirt with a few that looked like small circular dimples inward. No flaking paint or bubbles outward. It seemed as though I was picking paint away with no metal behind it. I'm so glad the holes didn't grow larger while we were on the water!
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So.. I removed some of the back interior and drilled some holes in the floor. I found some wet foam.
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You can see the hole where the hull meets the transom and the one near the trailer roller in pics above which is next to a deck support that runs front to back.
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What I'd like to know is if this is Crevice Corrosion and/or Galvanic Corrosion.. I'm not good with science and when I've looked it up I cannot soak in or get what I am reading. Was this caused by the water trapped in the foam? Not by an electrical issue on the boat.. or not Electrolytic Corrosion.. correct?
Most of the holes that I found are in the back 2 feet of the boat (maybe even less) from one side to the other.. and 2 or 3 that spread out going forward.. maybe halfway down the starboard side. They all seem to be where there is foam under the deck. I intend to remove the entire deck.. unless you guys tell me not to waste my time. Is this salvageable? Thanks in advance for any advice or guidance you can send my way... hopefully in a positive way! If you need any more info or pictures.. let me know. Tom...
kmorin
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#5

Post by kmorin »

tsgarvey,
we have quite a few threads along these lines here- not sure exactly where they are? BUT... the search function will help find them.

We've gone over this more than a few times after hearing from guys like you who have some corrosion in their boats.

Before I try to comment much, I'd encourage you to get the foam out, the bilges cleaned and dried, and see if you can make sense of our many previous discussions here on the Forum. A decision about the boat's future is only possible after the entire bilge is free of foam, and cleaned out, and dried.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin
tsgarvey
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#6

Post by tsgarvey »

Alright Kevin.. I did read through some previous threads here. You did just say get the rest of the foam up.. so I'll take that as a somewhat positive sign and move forward. Thanks for your comment...
kmorin
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#7

Post by kmorin »

tsgarvey,
I'll expand on my logic a bit? If you'd known the boat's true interior condition- prior to buying it- would you buy it now? Probably not? Why is that? Well it seems to me that you bought it thinking it was still fully functional as a boat- meaning it would hold the water out!

However, upon learning that it has at least one area of severe internal corrosion; it seems to me you'll need to know the extent of that condition before even trying to plan the boat's future?

If, for example there's only one location of the corrosion, it may be worth the costs/efforts to patch that one area? (not deciding how or if you will here) However, unless you can define the area(s) of the bottom that are sound vs corroded?? then you can't know enough to make a sound decision about moving forward.

Not trying to build up your hopes, or to rain on them... just mentioning that if you knew about the entire boat- you can plan logic steps but if you remain uniformed- you can't plan those steps.

One end of the spectrum is that only one area needs patching- and is cost effective- the end of the potential status is the entire boat is corroded passed cost effective repair? Either way, you'll have to pull the deck boards and get to clean metal to know?

Good luck I hope the problem is confined to one area.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin
tsgarvey
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:53 am

Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#8

Post by tsgarvey »

I get it Kevin... I'm working on it. Should have the floor out in the next two weeks. Thanks again
Chaps
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#9

Post by Chaps »

Pitting under flotation foam is typically caused by the trapped moisture in contact with the hull becoming anaerobic (lacking oxygen) and providing an environment conducive to a form of bacteria that produces an acid that eats the metal, a process sometimes referred to as biocorrosion. To save your boat, as best you can remove the foam, lightly sandblast the affected areas inside the hull, coat the blasted metal with thinned epoxy barrier coat primer, then fill the pits with epoxy paste, sand the hardened filler to smooth things out a bit and then coat the entire area again with epoxy primer and finish it off with a bilge paint. Get under the boat and sand off any filler that squeezed out of the holes, apply epoxy primer to these sanded underwater areas then finish off with hull paint.
1987 24' LaConner pilothouse workboat, 225 Suzuki
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tsgarvey
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#10

Post by tsgarvey »

Hello Chaps.. thanks for your reply. As far as light sand blasting goes.. I own a pressure washing business and undstand there is a kit for a pressure washer for wet sand blasting. I've never tried it.. so no experience here. Would advise against an attempt to do it this way? Take it to a pro? Thanks, Tom
Chaps
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#11

Post by Chaps »

Wet would work, I've used them. you can also pickup a hand held blaster to shoot dry but you need a good sized compressor to power one of those.
1987 24' LaConner pilothouse workboat, 225 Suzuki
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tsgarvey
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#12

Post by tsgarvey »

Hello again... just wanted to check in and let you know that I haven't disappeared. Want to post a few pictures of the little bit of progress I've made so far... and see if anything screams stop now and to not waste anymore of my time....

More pictures to follow.. I need to downsize them.

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tsgarvey
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#13

Post by tsgarvey »

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tsgarvey
Posts: 16
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#14

Post by tsgarvey »

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tsgarvey
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#15

Post by tsgarvey »

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kmorin
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#16

Post by kmorin »

tsgarvey,
can't tell if the conditions shown in the after bilge are forward and over the keel area also, but there are lots of holes already. Will you be wet pressure washing these areas? That will likely show where the other holes are that aren't evident yet? I"d think that even water washing the bilge would be sufficient to get much of the corrosion spots to push through if they're holed and to lift lots of the corrosion 'plates' off the areas where they're laying?

Will you be pulling the tanks? The lowest point in the hull, near the keel line, will likely be more impacted by the conditions you shown further outboard? Once the tanks are out and the surfaces are pressure washed, you may find holes more uniformly, or common?

At this point, in my view the boat is a loss, as the amount of work to strip, clean and then remedy the widespread corrosion is not worth that boat - TO me. So, if you're at the 'car restorer' mind set where some buys a rusted old car and spends lots (100's or 1,000's of hours) of time renewing the car to 'mint' condition; then you could technically (probably) restore this boat?

My personal view is that its a loss- my reason is because of the level of work- essentially rebuilding after massive tear down and cleaning- is not worth the final boat. I do have the experience of building from keel up- and that makes restoration less appealing to me than building new. So that is huge bag of salt to take with my opinion.

Will be interesting to see how the rest of the bilge looks once uncovered and opened up?

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin
tsgarvey
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#17

Post by tsgarvey »

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for your insight...

I will be removing ALL of the floor and the fuel cell to expose the entire hull... UNLESS someone tells me it is a lost cause because it cannot be remedied.. or that it will cost many thousands of dollars to fix. Not because it will take 100's of hours of my time.

I have more time than extra money right now.. as my work is seasonal. I will not mind putting the effort in as long it's not wasted energy and time... and I would like/hope to keep the expenses under $2000?

Once I have floor exposed and have a nice day.. I will power wash the hull thoroughly. The more I've thought about it... I would rather not sand blast it. It seems to me it would make a big mess and I will be cleaning up sand for days. Is it necessary to blast?

I'm not sure what the exact steps and process will be after that though? From what I have read... I will need to wire wheel and wire brush it? Will that be in conjunction with using baking soda and water that I've read about.. or would that step be after its brushed cleaned?

I will be attempting to remove the center console tomorrow.. which I find a little intimidating as I've never taken controls/steering/wires apart before. Hopefully all goes well.....

Hopefully after removing the rest of the floor and fuel cell I don't find anything much more extensive and we can discuss the process of patching/filling the holes.

Tom...
kmorin
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#18

Post by kmorin »

Tom, couple of remarks about your post.

First, if you're doing the work by yourself, none is hired? Then the word "cost" becomes relative. For example if you're working at a job that you quit to work on the boat... those are 'costs' in that you're not getting your hourly as you've assigned your time to the boat project. On the other hand if you have lots of time on your hands you may choose to value your labor as 'no cost'?

Next, if you hire someone else to do the work, whatever it might be, then you've got 'costs' as you're paying the other person/company/shop to do work. So using the word 'cost' as in:
tsgarvey wrote: Tue Dec 08, 2020 3:45 pm or that it will cost many thousands of dollars to fix.
This phrase gets a bit subjective and that makes internet conversations hard to rely upon.

As to blasting, there is no substitute on the level of blasting- wet or dry. Wire wheels will not get to the inside of a narrow joint like blasting (wet or dry) and will leave areas you cannot evaluate reliably. So, if you won't be blasting to white metal forget the project now as there is no way for you to follow Chaps' ideas.

Both my advice and Chaps rely on what we understand: we understand bare metal assessment, evaluation, and moving forward with a metal (not corrosion by products) surface. Nothing can happen with any aluminum surface that is not bare metal; not welding, not patch panels, not epoxy filling; N O T H I N G. Nada, zip, zero, nothing can happen in aluminum evaluation or repair without bare metal surfaces.

Nothing can be done to what you've shown to reveal bare metal until what's left is blasted. So if you've decided to skip blasting with all its implications (and there are plenty) save your self time and get rid of what's left of this former boat.

Not the most pleasant news but I've seen what you're showing too many times to say it's not common, regardless of how unfortunate. Your decision not to blast may be wise but it does assure your project's outcome.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin
tsgarvey
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#19

Post by tsgarvey »

Yes Kevin... I can label my labor as no cost but I do value my time. And, if I can avoid wasting it... great!! I did not decide to skip sand blasting... and asked if it was necessary? Appears to be... so it will be! Thanks again for chiming in! TBC...
Chaps
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#20

Post by Chaps »

I concur with Kevin, from what can be seen in this latest round of photos, this boat will never be safe to use. The metal is done. Suggest you stop now and redirect your energies.
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tsgarvey
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#21

Post by tsgarvey »

Oh... I must have missed or overlooked where Kevin said this. This is sad news to say the least. Thank you tho...
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#22

Post by gandrfab »

tsgarvey
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#23

Post by tsgarvey »

Can someone tell me approximately how long it would take for something like this to occur... 2, 5, 10 years..? Also... Did it have to take on a significant amount of water for this to happen? Thanks....

And... is this a freak thing that occurred? I don't know if I would want purchase another aluminum boat unless I can see the inside of the hull :-(
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#24

Post by kmorin »

Tom, no body can tell you exactly how long it would take to happen but water was a contributing factor. So as along as there was bilge water that wasn't drained/pumped/cleaned out the active agent was working.

Next is that pure water, even pure salt water was not the agent or cause. The mixture of various contaminants in the water is one element and the untreated plywood you show in the build was at least one cause. The glues and treatments in the plywood can leach into the water - they accelerate the corrosion you show. Also metal fasteners used to put the deck down, show corrosion around those holes - so they were wetted for extended periods and the corrosion there dripped into the bilge water below.

As you've mentioned the foam was able to hold water, that deareated and became slightly acid and that too contributes to the corrosion cells you've shown, there are lots and lots of organics, like pollen, various bacteria, leaf mulch and so forth that can end up in the bilge and decompose or compost into acidic compounds and they contribute to the 'soup' of bilge water if its not drained dry.

Some owners will test the bilge water using ph strips and add ammonia or baking soda to neutralize the ph and stop the acidic based corrosion.

I have seen one production boat where a brass (bilge) pipe plug was threaded into a through hull fitting welded into the hull. The area around that fitting was eaten almost through a 1/4" hull plate in one single season- right after the boat was launched!

Last year I was involved with a 34' welded plate, commercial fishing boat I'd built in the early 80's. It was being modified to move to another net fishery and so was being inspected stem to stern. The interim owner had been very ignorant of the effects of copper soaked 'buriable' plywood. So thinking this material would make good hatch cover material he built treated plywood covers. In a matter of a few seasons, left open to sit out in the winter on blocking- the rain had leached copper into the fish hold and widely pitted all the areas this hold held standing water. All other compartments of the bilge were dry and clean and had not pitting. But where the leached copper salts had been included the 1/4" hull was nearly pitted through. Water alone is not the cause- its the various contaminants held in solution that makes the bilge water corrosive.

So, while I can't give a time frame, I can say that your idea of not buying until can inspect the bilges of any boat you proposed to own; is good practice. Further, foam, while useful to pass a CG level flotation test isn't very good boat building practice, unless its installed correctly and I've only even heard of one builder who did that- Pacific. they use a type of foam that doesn't absorb water and they cast blocks to insert not pour/spray in the foam. So that method has sealed blocks of foam -evidently - and helps to keep from making crevice cells or promote organic based acidic cells.

I don't consider it freak, given the number of riveted skiffs I've been asked to inspect for repairs. Your boat may have had a perfect storm of wet bilges and warm storage that accelerated the problems- where a frozen bilge in the winter might have slowed it down? However, the majority of the problems shown were built in- and unless real care to dry the bilges regularly had happened? this was inevitable due to open cell foam and steel based fasteners used in the decking of un-encapsulated, not-bedded wood.

Pls notice that open jon boats have foam in the seats only. Each seat's foam usually drains out the open bottom into the open bilge and all water can be seen. So that arrangement of the same type of construction- usually lasts a long time? But the same construction, as in your skiff, can cover the bilge, retain water and organics and keep a soup of unknown ingredients from being cleaned out? IMO, the design of this boat, leading to this particular method of construction and leaving the owner with maintenance that wasn't done- are the main contributions to the state its in now.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
'Anti-foamer' and mill scale 'gnat-zee' of the AAB.com Forum
kmorin
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Re: Hello.. new member and need assistance

#25

Post by Yofish »

Ask me how many times I've seen this....
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