We drove to the marina with smiles on our faces. Dolce Vento was going back in the water on the April 4th, a long awaited sunny spring day. Just the week before, we had Dolce Vento’s two huge ‘house’ batteries replaced as the winter on land with faulty wiring had taken its toll. ‘Dead as door nails’ my dad would have described them. With that work done, we were ready to get her back in the water.
Arriving early, we met Mike, a marina worker, preparing to replace our zincs, small metal objects placed on the hull at specified locations to keep metal erosion at bay. Their purpose is to counteract galvanic corrosion of the brass and stainless steel metal parts. Because they are a softer metal, they are quicker than steel or brass to give up its electrons (corrode) when exposed to water and voltage, making zincs sacrificial anodes in the electrical world. The zincs get eaten up, not your boat parts.
We replace zincs normally once or twice a year, usually when the boat is hauled out for bottom cleaning and painting or storage. Now that we understand every step in the replacement process, we saved a few dollars and replace them ourselves while the boat is still on land. We had the bottom paint touched up where we found a few chips; nothing major. It was a good day! On Saturday and Sunday we will commission her (e.g., like opening your summer cottage) so we can sail her before John goes in for his third and final surgery April 17.