Getting a Charge

By: Roger McAfee

QuestionI have a 29-foot Ranger Tug in salt water on Newport Bay. I go through a zinc anode on the prop shaft every month. Marine electricians seem unable to correct the problem. Any suggestions?

AnswerClearly the bonding system in your boat seems to be working well, and that’s a good thing. As a starter, make sure your zinc is meant for saltwater use. Not all zincs are, and it’s easy to grab the wrong one at the marine supply store. Assuming you have the right zinc, have you checked to see whether you have stray current in the water near your dock? Presumably your electricians have made sure your batteries are properly isolated, as are your shore-power connections. Electrical problems are always difficult to chase down. Get a good meter and work your way through the boat carefully, making sure there’s no juice flowing where there shouldn’t be.


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