A boat owner’s greatest enemy is indeed a force of nature, but it isn’t ominous stormy skies or even towering walls of rough-water waves. It’s rust. Silent. Invisible until its damage is underway. And it costs U.S. boat owners – including the government – billions.
That’s billions with a “b” and makers of Zerust VCI capsules for boats know it’s no exaggeration. The Government Accountability Office reported in 2011 that corrosion costs the department $23 billion – per year. It’s responsible for the junking of 16 percent of military assets, including $2.4 billion in U.S. Navy ships. It creates safety hazards, decays our infrastructure and erodes our the readiness of military – or your plans for a Sunday sailing excursion.
“Rust Never Sleeps” is a common saying of boat owners – one that became the title of a book on the fascinating global impact of rust – written by an author intrigued after a boat he bought with friends became a constant money pit, thanks to rust. (“Rust Never Sleeps” is also the title of a 1970’s live album by Neil Young and Crazy Horse, which has nothing to do with preventing boat rust, though one of the tracks is titled, “Sail Away.”)
Boat rust is an ever-present threat for boats, particularly in saltwater, because boats are made with a lot of metal, and the formulation for rust development is ferrous metal exposed to oxygen and moisture.