- Where does the rust on my boat come from? -
Many materials, especially metals (e.g. steel and aluminium), which were produced with a great deal of energy input, eventually begin to return to their original form. The steel surface gradually starts to decompose when water, oxygen, dirt and an electrolyte, such as salt water, collide. Small imperfections on the paintwork, scuffs caused by fenders rubbing, or paintwork that is slowly peeling off due to age, leave the metal bare and create a breeding ground for rust.
Rust and corrosion are noticeable on different surfaces in different ways. On steel you can see red or black spots. The reddish colour of iron oxide is probably the most common and noticeable. Traces of rust or bubbles can also be seen on steel surfaces. With aluminium, the corrosion process is the same as with steel, but the corrosive traces are white and therefore not always visible. Here, it can be a hard-to-remove, thin, matt white film, or gelatin-like or crumbly, dry material. In the case of aluminium, oxidation on the bare aluminium prevents the material from further corroding, thus protecting the surface. Aluminium boats and objects therefore do not necessarily have to be coated.