Boat Owner Resources
Clean Boating Products
“Aluminum anodes are actually working just as good, if not better, than zincs”
-Shane McCall, Emerald City Diving (full interview here)
Zinc from zinc anodes is harmful to marine life and, because it is regulated under the Department of Ecology’s Boatyard permit, it contributes to the environmental challenges faced by Washington state boatyards. Zinc anodes also contain a small amount of cadmium, a highly toxic metal and a concern for marine life in general and the Puget Sound shellfish industry in particular. Effective alternatives exist, in the form of aluminum (for salt or brackish water) and magnesium (for fresh water) anodes. They perform as well, if not better, than traditional zinc anodes. Ask your boatyard or marine supply store about them the next time you need to swap anodes.
Anodes are more complex than simply lumps of one type of metal. They are, in fact, alloys, or mixtures of various metals tuned to optimal galvanic protection. For a better idea of what makes up the various types of anodes out there, click here.
For more details on zinc/cadmium-free anodes, see our blog post about them.
Other Clean Products
If you’re looking for other products to use on your boat that are friendlier to the environment, it’s not easy to determine which to buy. We are working on developing a set of criteria that we will use to qualify boat-related products as environmentally- preferred. Stay tuned for more information, but for now try EPA’s website http://www.epa.gov/greenerproducts/