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Old 31-05-2019, 06:14   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Quebec (boat currently in Sardinia)
Boat: Bruce Roberts 45 (steel) - Armonid
Posts: 93
Best process to maintain steel deck

My boat is a 30 y/o steel cutter. The hull was assembled by a competent boatyard. It's been blasted with molten zinc and painted with the Awlgrip system.

The deck has started to show several rust spots in recent years. Most being cosmetic surface stains, but some, around portholes especially, are more serious.

I've tried random systems with more or less success. I'd now like to get to the bottom of this.

I can't justify the cost of a professional refit - i.e. remove everything, sandblast/prime/coat, reinstall everything. So it'll be hunt-and-fix.

Since I don't think that I can bring back nooks and crannies to white metal, I assume that a rust converter of some kind would be the first line of action. Then followed by a primer (one or two part?), then covered by a couple of coats of surface paint (ex. inter deck).

I'd be happy to read advices/comments. If there are good instructions online, please post links. Most of what I came across were suggesting white metal. Nice but can't do.


Might be useful to add that it appears that the primer separated from the zinc layer over time. I can scrape fairly large scales of material that will reveal steel and mostly corroded zinc layer - white powdered zinc residues and dark rusty steel surface.

Here and there, the surface is covered with bubbles that hold water, leading to corrosion

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Old 01-06-2019, 05:10   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Australia
Boat: building Roberts Mauritius 43ft
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Re: Best process to maintain steel deck


Sorry I can't help you as my yacht is a Robert Mauritius f/g. But there's a fair bit of advice on different forums. › Cruisers & Sailing Forums › The Fleet › Monohull Sailboats
Steel Boat Maintenance - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

Aug 9, 2009 - 15 posts - ‎10 authors
What exactly is involved in maintaining a steel boat ? ... The boat was painted and they did not remove all the deck fittings and portlights.Best process to maintain steel deck1 post 31 May 2019

Steel boat – heaven or hell? 15 posts 27 Jul 2016

Steel boat maintenance? 15 posts 23 Apr 2016

Steel Hull Maintenance 15 posts 13 Feb 2011

Is this any good?

Skunk Rust: Welcome

Skunk Rust” is a rust de-oxidizing primer that not only stops rust on contact but will consume all ferric oxide while producing a toothy structure which will double ...

Opinions of Skunk Rust and Pickle X

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Old 02-06-2019, 00:41   #3
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Location: Probably in an anchorage or a boatyard..
Boat: Ebbtide 33' steel cutter
Posts: 4,533
Re: Best process to maintain steel deck

Well worth a download imho -
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Old 02-06-2019, 00:51   #4
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Location: Sweden, boat in Greece
Boat: 73´ULDB custom ketch
Posts: 834
Re: Best process to maintain steel deck

The main ingredient of rust removers is phosphoric acid. It also removes rust stains. A treatment will not prevent rust, but will slow it down. Many layers of primer also slows the rust down.

To completely stop the rust, you need to sandblast. If it is only small spots, you can use a cheap spot blaster, typically used for cars. Before blasting, grind it down to bare metal.
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steel, deck

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