A Guide To Rust Treatment For Boats By The Floating Boatyard
We often get asked about the best rust treatment for boats. Many canal boats and narrowboats we come across have recurring corrosion problems. This is especially so for older vessels where the rust has not been treated correctly for many years. Too often boat owners and tradesmen just paint over rust with primers or top coats. Boat owners often simply don’t know any better and are just trying to do the best they can. Some tradesmen are trying to increase their profit margin by saving the time it takes to do the work right.
At the Floating Boatyard, we never cut corners. We know that your boat is your pride and joy. With the cost and effort involved in maintaining canal boats and narrowboats, owners want the work to last as long as possible. Rust treatment for boats is something we have extensive experience in. All works are carried out to the highest standards and in accordance with local waterway regulations and environmental laws.
For quotes and bookings please call 07886388689 or message us through the contact form here.
Rust Treatment On Boats – How Not To Do It
Often people attempt to carry out rust treatment on boats by painting with red oxide or other marine primers. This does not solve the issue. It only hides the problem and traps the rust under the paint. In time, the corrosion will simply get worse. The next time the paint flakes off the boat, the rusted area will only have gotten larger.
Anti corrosion primers are preventative measures. They are designed to prime rust free steel steel. Their anti corrosive additives make it harder for rust to set while the paint is intact. What they are not designed for is treating rust which has already developed. Having said that, it is always good practice to treat steel against rust before painting a boat. Not all rust is visible and treating the steel will make the paint last longer.
Rust which had been painted over less than a year ago by another trader.
Before Treating The Rust On Your Boat – The Prep Work
Depending on which rust treatment is being used, different amounts of preparation are needed. We always remove all flaking paint before beginning any rust treatment on boats. We will also need to remove any lose rust. Scrapers and wire brushes can be used for this. For larger areas, an angle grinder with wire brush disc or a Tercoo blaster may be better suited. We advice against the use of flap discs as these and scar and damage the steel.
Always use power tools with dust extraction and sheets to catch any rust. Make sure not to pollute the waterway if you are carrying out rust treatment on boats while in the water. Contact your local waterways authority before beginning work. You will need their permission and they can advise you on best practises.
Fertan And Vactan Rust Treatment For Boats
Fertan and Vactan are very effective rust treatments. These are also known as rust converters. Put in simple terms, these contain tannic acid which reacts with iron oxide (rust) and converts it iron tannate, thus stopping the corrosion. Rust converters work best if some of the immediate surface rust is left in place. Remove only large pieces of loose rust and paint.
We prefer using Vactan over Fertan as a rust treatment for boats. Vactan is self sealing and also acts as a primer for any subsequent paint coats. Vactan works very well when we are refurbishing cabin bilges after water ingress from leaking showers or fresh water systems.
Freshly painted Vactan is white, then turns purple and eventually black.
Dried Vactan, ready for a second coat.
Owatrol Oil Rust Prevention And Treatment
We use Owatrol Oil as rust prevention and rust treatment for boat before painting the exterior. This oil will seep deep into any scale rust or penetrating rust, where rust converters wouldn’t reach. Owatrol Oil then drives out any remaining moisture and seals the steel off against new water ingress. This also provides as solid base for primers when coach painting. Owatrol Oil can also be mixed into primers, undercoats and coach enamel. It will act as a conditioner and increase the anti corrosive properties of these materials. This is also very effective when painting engine bilges. When using Owatrol Oil, we remove as much of the rust as possible.
Feel free to message us for more info on this and any other canal boat or narrowboat related problems. For bookings and quotes please call 07886388689