Friday, December 31, 2010

Strainers

     It has been extremely cold in the northeast this last week, so I have been working in the shop. Earlier in the year I had removed all the sea strainers, and brought them inside to restore. That seemed an ideal project for such a cold week.
     This first picture shows the condition of one of my strainers when I first bought the boat. Lots of corrosion, evidence of leakage, old gaskets, and missing hardware on all four of them. My first task was to disassemble, mask off, and sandblast all the components. Remember, if you sandblast any castings, to mask of any threaded holes or male threads, as the sandblasting process will distort and weaken them. Once the parts were nice and clean, I coated everything with 4 coats of PPG 3-part catalyst dried clear coat.
     The strainer baskets were cleaned of mineral deposits with a strong sulfuric acid solution. This is a quick process - maybe 5 minutes in the solution, followed by a thorough rinse. The baskets came out looking like new. I assembled the strainers with new gaskets and hardware, as seen below:


     There is one thing to remember, if you also decide to clearcoat any bronze or other metal components that come into contact with seawater. The strainers are a part of the bonding system, and while I am not going to enter into a discussion here concerning the merits of whether or not include sea strainers in the bonding system, if you do, that area must be cleaned of any clearcoat, such that a robust electrical connection is created between the casting and the bonding wire. A little corrosion guard can then be applied over the connection.

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