How to Replace Anodes and Zincs on a Boat | BoatUS

How to Replace Anodes and Zincs on a Boat | BoatUS

You may not know it but your sterndrive
has anodes to protect it from galvanic corrosion.
Now these anodes can last as little as a year or as long as three or four years
if the boat is kept on a trailer. The good news is they’re not hard to replace and
if you can turn a wrench you can do this job. As you can see these anodes are
ready for replacement, now make sure you find all the anodes.
On the alpha-1 there are six; there’s one underneath the prop, there’s one on the
fin here, there’s two on the each trim tab, there’s one on the cavitation plate,
and there’s one way down here on the transom. So anodes come in aluminum,
magnesium, or zinc, and we bought a set of aluminum anodes here. Aluminum works best
in brackish, fresh, and saltwater so they’re usually the all-around best
choice. So the right tools, this is an easy job, this anode has only held on by
two screws so now we’ll replace this transom anode and it’s easy to do – just
two screws – one on each side. Always use new hardware that will come with brand
new stainless steel screws and you want to use those. I’m going to snug these up and there you
have it that was the hardest one. Now let’s replace the cavitation plate anode –
just two screws – take out the last screw and it comes right off. Now you’re going
to need to wipe this off after you take the anode off, maybe even wire brush it if
it’s really bad .Just pop this one back in place, put the two screws back and snug them down. Next we’ll do the fin anode. There’s a little cap here that comes off and
underneath that and where the screw is. This one’s a piece of cake- one screw and
the fin comes out. So putting the fin back on is easy but
notice that this has an allen wrench instead of a socket. Feed that in there
and then just tighten it up there we go. So the anode under the prop is a little
bit harder to get to, We’ve already taken the nut off, prop comes off, and here’s
the anode. This one’s easy to forget and I’ve already taken one screw off, again
just two screws and comes right off. So to put this anode back on, slip it over
the top and snug them down and that’s it. So now we’ll do these hydraulic ram
anodes. We save the easiest ones for last these are easy to get to and again only
two screws there it is. So now we’ll put on this one, snug these
up, and then do the other side and we’re done. So there you have it we just
replaced all the anodes on this stern drive. Now if you were to take this to a shop they’d probably charge you at least $150 for this we spent $45 on the set
of anodes so we just saved $100. It’s an easy job.

6 thoughts on “How to Replace Anodes and Zincs on a Boat | BoatUS

  1. You should possibly have mentioned to install the fin anode at the same angle as the one removed. I imagine a number of people who might attempt the job wouldn't realize that the old fin at an angle wasn't necessarily a fault.

  2. There appeared to be plenty of aluminum left on the old anodes, suggesting that they had a longer life. What criteria do you use to judge replacement time for the anodes?

  3. And don't forget sailboats use zincs too. See this video for a discussion on that.

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