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Old 10-05-2008, 02:27 AM   #1
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Hello, I am wondering weather or not to bond all my thruhulls/ seacocks, etc. I have a double planked wood boat that does not have anything bonded below the waterline. I spoke with many of the "Ol' Salts" at the local wooden boat show. I was surprised at the difference in opinions when it came to this topic on wooden boats.

Some said "Yes" bond everything below the waterline- Others said only bond the seacocks while others said don't bond a thing. My boat, " Island Seeker" was built in 1973, I dont know what is original but nothing is bonded and everything seems to be in decent shape. Any educated opinions are welcome.

Tight sails everyone, Steve
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:53 AM   #2
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Steve.

Just read your post. i know it is very confusing with so many different opinions. Remember that it is about 50 years since wooden b oats were made in good numbers and most people alive now were kids or not born yet. Your boat is now 35 years old, not bonded and has suffered no ill effects. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

I have owned a 65 ft salmon packer built in 1919 in which we packed sea urchins out of the North Coast of BC for years. No bonding. I have heard of good wooden boats that were 'improved' by bonding that 2 years later had major problems with the planks going soft around the bonding locations.

I would never bond anything in a wood boat but my present 'glass boat is bonded. search around for someone with years of wood boat experience from New England or Nova Scotia area.

good luck with it.

Gary
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:40 AM   #3
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Here the learned seem to have widly differing opinions but, in general, boats in North America, these days, are bonded whilst European boats generally are not. Strangely enough, they both seem to be quite happy and equelly long lived with either. Maybe we are making an issue where an issue does no exist?

Aye // Stephen
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:04 PM   #4
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Bonding thruhulls is not normally recommended for two reasons. First, in the advent of a lightning strike the energy is powerfull enough to heat those bronze thruhulls to amazing temperatures. In plastic boats (FRG) there have been numerous cases of the thruhull melting the surrounding FRG and dropping out of the boat. Then you have a 1.5" round hole underwater! Secondly, bronze thruhull fittings that are bonded are subject to electroylsis and they start to "de-zinc" resulting in a pinkish color and a major reduction in the strength of the metal. Again something falling and striking that thruhull can result in it breaking off and now you have the 1.5" (or whatever size) hole in the boat underwater. There are the new Marelon thruhulls available that are non-metallic and meet the strength requirements of underwriter and insurance standards. These totally eliminate the need to bond or un-bond bronze.
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Old 10-10-2008, 12:07 AM   #5
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Hi, it was a lovely boat show at Koeler's this year--is that the one you went to?

Regarding bonding--NO! This not from our experience but from the sad experience of our wooden boat. The boat was fine for 60 years when the previous owner decided he'd bond things...he connected together every (bronze and galvanized) keel bolt, as well as many of the "major" bronze things on the boat--rudder stock, stern bearing, shaft log, gudgeon, etc, all were part of this bonded system. Well, it seems a nearby (steel) boat in the marina had a little problem with shore power and took out all the zincs on the surrounding 6 boats--and "dezinced" every bit of bronze that was bonded. Several thru-hulls weren't part of the system and they're fine, btw.

Some of the wood around the bronze stern bearing and around the rudder stock was turned punky soft and when the boat was hauled looked "shredded" and the boatwright we were using said that looked like a problem with electrolysis...same thing with the keel bolts that went thru the stem knee (which we had to replace because of it--both the keel bolts due to age/dezinc and the stem knee due to the electrolysis damage.

From this previous owners' experience, we've learned that we (and you) should own a half cell and know how to use it in the water around your boat if you're near other boats. And--no, no, no! don't bond IMHO.

Take care!
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Old 10-10-2008, 02:40 AM   #6
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Thank you all for the advice. I suspected "Not" was the way to go since I see little to no signs of corrosion on my seacocks presently without any bonding. That keeps things easy...I will keep it as the designer intended. Thank you all again

Best regards, Steve
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For the truth is that I already know as much about my fate as I need to know. The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my alloted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.

- RICHARD BODE
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Old 10-10-2008, 02:51 PM   #7
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The only thing bonded on my 47 year old boat is a bronze plate for the SSB.
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Old 10-11-2008, 01:15 AM   #8
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Grounding, RF grounding and bonding :-

Click HERE

Also a good PDF article in HERE

Many people will advise that 1. Dyna plates surface area is too small to be of any use - and 2. often an over enthusiastic antifouler will have included it in his brush strokes, thus rendering it more useless.
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Old 10-11-2008, 04:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbopeep View Post
Hi, it was a lovely boat show at Koeler's this year--is that the one you went to?
Yes I was at Kohler's this year. It was a great show! I learned alot about rebuilding wood boats, the first thing I realized is that I am pretty anal about rebuilding Island Seeker. Probably why it's taking so long... I have just recently realized that I need to focus on the "necessary" things first, then the toys... Work will be picking up soon, I have a buddy coming out from AZ. He's going to help me on the boat this winter.... That makes 2 working almost full time... Should see some major progress in the next 3 months. I wish Kohlers did the show every month, it helps relight the fire
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For the truth is that I already know as much about my fate as I need to know. The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my alloted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.

- RICHARD BODE
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