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Old 17-09-2016, 10:12   #1
er9
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Boat: 1980 Mariner36
Posts: 138
Aluminum corrosion hazards?

I'm trying to figure out what the aluminum on my boat is corroding into and what hazards they pose.

Still researching but havn't come across anything specific to my problems and questions.

I have two issues that i'm sure that almost all of us have on older boats and i just want to clarify. First is...at the base of the mast, the aluminum has corroded. When i bought the boat the bilge had water leaking from the two fresh water tanks. the water level was covering the bottom three to four inches of the mast for quite some time. There was a thick layer of dissolved aluminum sludge at the base of the mast. ive solved the leak problem, the bilge has been dry for months and this sludge has dried to a powder.

I'm under the impression this sludge was aluminum chloride. after a quick search of aluminum chloride (really nasty stuff) im a bit concerned as it can cause blindness. got me wondering first am i correct? is this aluminum chloride and if so would stirring up this dust trying to clean up the mast base be a serious hazard?

my second question is related. the same sludge resides heavily in my old water tanks. are these tanks safe to use for showering and washing? i'm not drinking from them but am concerned.

iv'e never heard of or read of any issues yet but am still researching. Unfortunately new tanks are a few months away but will be living aboard full time in a couple of weeks.
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Old 17-09-2016, 10:52   #2
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Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34, "Shoal Survivor"
Posts: 3,599
Re: Aluminum corrosion hazards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by er9 View Post
I'm trying to figure out what the aluminum on my boat is corroding into and what hazards they pose.

Still researching but havn't come across anything specific to my problems and questions.

I have two issues that i'm sure that almost all of us have on older boats and i just want to clarify. First is...at the base of the mast, the aluminum has corroded. When i bought the boat the bilge had water leaking from the two fresh water tanks. the water level was covering the bottom three to four inches of the mast for quite some time. There was a thick layer of dissolved aluminum sludge at the base of the mast. ive solved the leak problem, the bilge has been dry for months and this sludge has dried to a powder.

I'm under the impression this sludge was aluminum chloride. after a quick search of aluminum chloride (really nasty stuff) im a bit concerned as it can cause blindness. got me wondering first am i correct? is this aluminum chloride and if so would stirring up this dust trying to clean up the mast base be a serious hazard?

my second question is related. the same sludge resides heavily in my old water tanks. are these tanks safe to use for showering and washing? i'm not drinking from them but am concerned.

Iv'e never heard of or read of any issues yet but am still researching. Unfortunately new tanks are a few months away but will be living aboard full time in a couple of weeks.
Aluminum hydroxide. Not to worry. AlCl3 is unstable and basically does not exist outside of a lab.
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