How to Restore and Protect Pitted and Corroded Pontoons?
David Henchcliffe asked:
The bottom of the pontoons on my pontoon boat are starting to pit and / or corrode.
I am looking for a product that will clean the pontoons and also protect the pontoons from further corroding.
Any advice / help is greatly appreciated.
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Corrosion and pitting below the waterline is indicative of a more serious problem that needs to be identified and rectified, otherwise any restoration and protective work that you do and products that you use may be wasted and the problem will continue.
Potential causes of corrosion and pitting: Galvanic corrosion from contact with dissimilar metals or stray current in the water, or an electrical path from or through your boat into the water. Chemicals dumped into the water to control weeds, such as sulphates. Use of strong or inappropriate chemicals to clean marine fouling from your pontoons. Lack of zincs or other protective devices to prevent galvanic corrosion. Improper storage on trailer bunks, wet with corrosive cleaning chemicals or salt water.
To answer your question; I assume that the bottom of your pontoons is clean and free of marine bio-fouling. That’s why you can see the corrosion and pits. Cleaning the surface will still leave the corrosion in the pits and that will act as a seed to promote and continue the ongoing corrosion so it’s important to remove the corrosion, either by drilling or grinding them out or if they are not too serious to neutralize the corrosion by re-passivating the metal. You can passivate the aluminum by washing with Alumabrite CBX. It has deep penetrating power and will get into the pits and neutralize the corrosion.
Alumabrite CBX will remove water stain and surface oxidation but will not remove white cloud or streaking. For that, you will need to buff your pontoons out with Alumabuff and a Linear Buffer. This will restore the pontoons to their original mill finish.
The Alumabuff system is very efficient. You can buff out most pontoons in about one hour. Unlike traditional buffing systems, that takes 10 to 15 hours per pontoon and relies on grinding away the surface of the aluminum to reveal new metal underneath, Alumabuff cleans the surface, removing staining, oxidation and etching, lifting the pollutants to the surface so they can be rinsed away with water. It’s a water based, biodegradable product so it’s environment friendly and clean up after the buffing process is much easier. Simply rinse away the residue with a pressure washer. No need to remove wax and degrease like metal polish or rubbing compounds.
Here’s a link to our How To video showing you how easy it is to do:
Once the pontoons are restored, you can then protect them with Alumetron clear coat and further protect the finish against marine fouling, soiling, staining, scuffing, etc. with VS721. When you apply both Alumetron and VS721, you get a 5 year warranty.
Here’s a link showing you how easy it is to apply Alumetron:
To determine the products that you require as well as the quantity and cost, you can use our Pontoon Calculator: https://www.auroramarine.com/calculator/pontoons/pontoons.php
Thanks for your question,
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