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Although we’ve only just started to see its effects, I know now that the battle to keep corrosion in check will be never ending. Here is a list of things that I’ve cleaned and then lubricated with some sort of anti-corrosion spray in just the past week:

  • All bolts on the case of our Honda 2000 generator
  • All zippers and snaps on our dodger
  • Miscellaneous parts on our 3 Yamaha outboards
  • Windlass
  • Leatherman
  • Outboard motor locks
  • Miscellaneous carabiners

I am positive there were a number of others!

Want to know what happens when this isn’t done? Things seize shut, and in some cases, for good. For example, I made the mistake of allowing 2 padlocks to sit in the bottom of our dinghy for too long back in Georgetown, one on each end of a long cable that we use to lock the dinghy. Because we didn’t lock the dinghy while in GT, save for the first day, they never got opened. Now, they just won’t. At all. I’ve tried cleaning (fresh water), soaking (vinegar) and spraying (anti-seize) them to no avail. I would just cut them off and be done with it but of course I bought super-duper, can’t-be-cut locks. The massive bolt cutters that we keep on board won’t scratch them and the locks just laugh at our hack saw. Hmmmm.

Not wanting to have that happen with any crucial systems, we’re being preemptive, trying to stay at least one small step ahead of old man rust.

He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor. Menander

On the bright side though, we’re now legal in the Turks and Caicos, having cleared into the country with customs yesterday.

Yes, now we’re legal!

That warrants a hug. 🙂

The customs office is at the commercial dock.

And yes, the weather is definitely tropical now. Finally!
Oh, and perhaps someone should talk to these guys about corrosion too.

Down with the Q (quarantine) Flag. Unfortunately we have no T&C courtesy flag to put up in its place. That’s OK though… we won’t be here long enough for anyone to worry about it.


  1. Speaking of corossion, I have wondered if camera’s and computers are affected by the elements, and if so, how do you protect them?

    • Apparently they are although we have yet to see any serious negative effects. I have heard that laptops only have a 2-3 year lifespan down here. I don’t really know what to do about it.

  2. I need to get you some LPS3. Next time you have someone coming from the States to visit let me know and I’ll ship them a can to bring you. It’s aviation’s corrosion inhibitor and it can’t be beat.

    S/V Nomad

  3. Zips & snaps – we had pretty good success with PTEF gel. Seems to last longer than the various sprays out there. Petroleum jelly is also a good idea to put on various bolts, especially ones that you aren’t going to look at very often. Plus, it’s low cost!

    Fair Winds,

  4. As you know, I did a 12-month salt spray chamber test for Practical Sailor. In a nutshell:
    * Heavy terminal grease beats all others, where ever it will work. I used No-Oxid ES, but battery terminal grease is similar. It is also slightly conductive and has no equal in bolted conections. Also a very effective anti-siez.
    * Waterproof bearing grease is a good second choise; easier to work with and a better lubricant, but not NEARLY as waterproof. No-Oxid and other contact greases are much heavier.
    * Corr-block did well. I also have used it with some success on other things. LPS3 is similar.
    * WD 40 and Liquid Wrench are a waste of money.
    * PB Blaster is the best product for getting something loose, but it’s not a rust preventative or lubricant.
    * If there are disimilar metals (Cu + Al, brass + steel, or Al + SS) try teflon pipe dope.

    As I said, I’ve tested pleanty, both over time and in the lab; these are the 4 I use.

    And padlocks are high-maintanace! I’ve never had good luck. I would suggest using the Corr-block very regularaly.

  5. Sometimes when locks are that tuff, you just have to find someone with a grinder to cut it off…..shouldn’t be that hard in a commercial dock….

  6. Keep spraying the padlocks, couple of times a day with Liquid Wrench while beating heavily and forcefully with a hammer, you’ll get them open eventually to throw away.

  7. For your padlocks: Pack them with grease. Liquids evaporate and drain out. Open the lock and pump grease into the opening the free end of the hasp locks into. Pack the keyhole by using the key, then cycle the lock several times.. It will be messy, but the lock will operate everytime you need it. (you can bag your dink lock with a ziplock baggie with holes cut for the cable)

  8. Glad to hear you are finally legal! Soak the locks in some rust-eating compound. The acetic acid in vinegar isn’t strong enough, unless you boil it.

  9. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    I have found a product called ZIP LUBE ver very good for zips & clips / clasps it’s a product that Divers Use on Dry Suits & & doesn’t wash of for a while. I have used it on my dry suit & only had do put it on about 3 times a year & in summer was in the water at least 3 times a week. & never washed the suit i just hung it up.

  10. Sorry to interject, but I had a good chuckle in the last 15 minutes.

    I’m sitting in Toronto, checking on my subscribed feeds: 2 Gringos in the Caribbean, reading the latest comments which includes yours. Click on your name which takes me your site. Reading through your site, (very interesting btw), get to the DINERO section, read through that, take note about trying to sell the business, note the little link to it, click that and lo and be hold what is it, MMA in Kingston !. I’m doing all this while at the same time hitting refresh on and the UG at!

    How insanely small is the planet Internet! About as awsome as it gets.

    You’ve missed (or maybe not) a month full of non-stop action between the main orgs in MMA and a few more coming up next month as well. Though I’m sure sailing in the Caribbean takes the cake and is much more preferable.

    Have fun in TCI, been many times, best beach and water anywhere.

    Now subscribing to your site right now 🙂

  11. I used to sail regularly with an old Army PTI and one of his many army mantras was, “If it moves, grease it; if it doesn’t move, liberally apply freeing agent until it does. And then grease it.”

    You can take the boy out of the Army, but you can’t take the Army out of the boy…

  12. Speaking of corrosion. Hi guys, first time reader here. Does anybody have any experiences with bicycles on board a boat? How well do they hold up during passage making as far as rust is concerned? I’m considering a bike for me boat, and I’m trying to decide between a really cheap, easily disposable (cost wise), used bike or would I be safe with my semi-expensive taste in bikes not turning out to be complete waste of money after 3-4 months on a boat. I’m sure somebody out there knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who travels with a bike, aye?

    • Earlier this year we purchased two folding bikes off a couple of cruisers in Grenada for a pretty good price. The bikes had been used twice and were in like-new condition. I was amazed at how fast the rust started to set in and we keep the bikes in their protective bags inside the boat! Many people do opt to go the cheap “disposable” bike route. I suspect that if you get a nice one, as we do, you’ll just have to keep spraying it with anti-corrosion stuff to stay on top of it. That’s what we try to do anyway.

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