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Thread: Rusty boat trailer.

  1. #1
    Caretaker Wildman's Avatar
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    Rusty boat trailer.

    So I took my boat off its trailer today to have a look at the condition of it and found a bit of rust. I have no idea if it's rooted or not so would like some advice on how to deal with it. To me it just looks like the rust has just started and has gotten under the galv so it's flaking off. It doesn't seem to be structural yet. If so what are my options now?

    Will painting with pe10 or similar give it a bit more life?

    Would bolting some anodes into it help?

    Box framing with drain holes seems like a really dumb idea for a boat trailer...

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  2. #2
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    You can get them stripped and regalvanised which is probably the best option.
    Or you could seal(weld) all openings which will stop all rust internally and paint or arc spray the outside.

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  3. #3
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    Painting wont work unless you get back to bright metal as there will be salt impregnating all the corrosion products on tge zinc and steel.
    VCs advice is the rolls royce option but fitting a sacrifical magnesium anode could be an option.

  4. #4
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    Some of those holes will be there from the original galvanising.
    They have to be there to allow air to escape from the sections when they are immersed in the molten zinc.
    Bad things happen otherwise.
    Do you know someone who could sandblast it cheaply? At least enough to get the corrosion out then paint it with good stuff or otherwise see if the galvanisers can re-dip it. I think they have to put it in a stripping bath first to take the old stuff off. Not sure about it getting rid of rust.
    Still looks pretty solid-maybe a quick buff back with the grinder and hit it with paint. Hard to do the inside bits though.

  5. #5
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    take it to your local sandblaster used to be $200 to get a small trailer sandblasted and primed .if you have it stripped ready for blasting as in take rims and bearings off and all the rollers and lights and cart it in on a trailer with all the parts taped up that you don't want blasted it may be cheaper then use pa10 undercoat .a couple good layers allowing to cure between and then a couple good layers of zinc rich topcoat .

  6. #6
    Caretaker Wildman's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. @berg243 any suggestions on a top coat product

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    A mate had his wood business trailer painted with inorganic paint (what ever that is) 8+ years ago. While not new, its in bloody good nic and done a shite load of work!

  8. #8
    Member 300CALMAN's Avatar
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    Inorganic zinc is just a paint with lots of metallic zinc. Works OK. I have tried PA10 which I found pretty average, and POR 15 which is great but my favorite is Hammerite (easier to use than POR15). It seems to create a glass like impermeable coating.
    Stripping and re galvanizing is a big job but probably the best solution long term.

  9. #9
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    whoever you buy the primer from will tell you what is compatible with the primer but I like heavy zinc rich paint they are thick and will take a bit to cure a couple good thicknesses will give long lasting protection and if you are really keen block up most of the holes in each section and inject paint into the box section then block up the rest of holes this should leave liquid paint inside the box section which will help coat the inside and if it stays liquid you will see it leak out if any internal rust holes develop. also don't sandblast the springs give them a going over with a wire wheel then paint each individual leaf and for extra life wrap each set of springs in denso tape after putting the denso grease between each leaf. sandblasting things cause them to heat and things like springs can lose tension.

  10. #10
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    Take it to the Galv Plant in Palmerston they would take a look for you and can advise what to do. I don't think they stick large Galv items in the Acid anymore so you would have to get it sand blasted which is better for the Zink to stick to anyway. I worked at HB Galv for a couple of years and the boss said the best thing to build boat trailers out of was C Channel and Angle.

  11. #11
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflite View Post
    A mate had his wood business trailer painted with inorganic paint (what ever that is) 8+ years ago. While not new, its in bloody good nic and done a shite load of work!
    It will have been inorganic zinc silicate, basically the next best thing to galvanizing. Very hard for a diy to use and needs to go on a sandblasted surface ideally within 2 hours of blasting.
    To be effective zinc metal containing paints must be in intimate contact with the steel surface for them to work. Putting them onto rusted or painted surfaces is a waste of time and money.
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  12. #12
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    most rusty boat trailer's i have repaired have rusted from the inside-out as the salt sit inside the tubes and can't be washed out. by the time it is visible it's normally rusted quite bad sorry!

  13. #13
    Caretaker Wildman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ONYVA View Post
    most rusty boat trailer's i have repaired have rusted from the inside-out as the salt sit inside the tubes and can't be washed out. by the time it is visible it's normally rusted quite bad sorry!
    Yeah I'm looking at new Trailers to compare the cost effectiveness of all options!

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  14. #14
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ONYVA View Post
    most rusty boat trailer's i have repaired have rusted from the inside-out as the salt sit inside the tubes and can't be washed out. by the time it is visible it's normally rusted quite bad sorry!
    Quote Originally Posted by Wildman View Post
    Yeah I'm looking at new Trailers to compare the cost effectiveness of all options!

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    That is often my experience too that they are rusted out from the inside.....tho yours looks to be from the photos provided still structurally sound....that means that if you can effectively halt the rust both on the inside and outside for another ten to 15 years you are on a win.

    Halting the rust on the inside is Key to any successful long term use, steel will not/chemically cannot rust without exposure to oxygen. TOTAL sealing is usually the easiest option IME(here in Nelson with no hot dip service...your mileage may differ) but it means all your cables need to run on the outside and not even a pop rivet can be drilled into the members or it will let the atmosphere in to rust it.

    You are well positioned to save the trailer going on the pictures.

    Options as I see it going on longevity of repair not cost.

    Option#1

    Strip lights rollers springs axle hubs etc and get it acid stripped and re-galvanized.....cannot advise cost but best long term solution, if done properly it will be effectively a new trailer good for 10-15y (caveat is that the trailer is suitably strong already and has had no and I mean zero cracking issues. )

    Option # 2 seal the entire trailer and blast and arc spray any surface rust, tricky bit here is it has to be absolutely sealed.....and galv and rust is a bitch to weld and seal so ideally you want a well qualified mate who works for beer or Venison.

    I often remove and replace the two cross-members on smaller (less than 6m boats) trailers, I usually cut the crossmember 100mm away from the outside members so I dont burn off the galv inside the side runners then once the new steel cross-members are in carefully and slowly fill in the galv venting holes so the cross members are fully sealed and arc sprayed but the side runners are still open for flushing, depending on the condition of the trailer the MAXIMUM I would tell the customer it would last is 5 years as if the cross members are gone the sides are not far behind generally.

    Option #3

    Blast and arc spray outside spots of rust, very cheap and effective and arc spray has an anode effect just like galv and surprisingly a anode !....however it will only slow inside rusting.

    I am no paint expert so will leave those options to others more qualified but it must be very difficult to prep and paint the inside of a RHS.

    Option #4
    Buy a wire buff wheel for your 5" grinder and clean up external rust then paint with a generic Zinc spray can of goodness.....this is the give you a couple of years to save for a new trailer option but you will have to keep at it.
    Wildman likes this.
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  15. #15
    Member gadgetman's Avatar
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    When I made my trailer cage I used heavier than usual box section but drilled strategic holes big enough that when it was hot dipped the insides of the box got the treatment. These holes were located where I wanted to bolt stuff on or bolt the cage to the trailer. Worked a treat.
    There are only three types of people in this world. Those that can count, and those that can't!

 

 

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