Replacing the zinc anodes on our houseboat

by Mike McDonald
(Stuart, Florida)

Typical Volvo engine and sterndrive found on houseboats

Typical Volvo engine and sterndrive found on houseboats

I have a 47 foot Kenner Suwanee with a Volvo AQ 271c v-8 sterndrive which I am restoring, however it is in pretty good shape.


I have 3 batteries, one start and two house. I am docked at a vacant lot that has no electricity or water. The owner of the lot also is docked directly next to me and he has a new 23 foot center console Sailfish.

His mechanic stated that his zincs were in terrible shape and since we have no electricity at the dock they were wondering if I might have stray electricity coming from my boat.

I charge my batteries twice a week by running my engines and I keep my isolator on my start up battery. The only thing that is hooked up straight are 4 bilge pumps but with a sterndrive I am relatively dry all the time.

They want me to check my zincs, however I have never had a stern drive before and those friends that have them are able to trailer their boats or put them on lifts. Mine is too big for either.

My question is can I change my zincs or check them while the outdrive is in the water?

Thanks, Mike in Florida.



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Reply - Answer


Hi Mike, thanks for posting in the forums.

In regards to changing your zincs on your sterndrive, YES, you should be able to do it while it is in the water.

You have a few choices:

1) You could use a diving mask and snorkel and do it while you are at the dock. But I NOT RECOMMEND this approach as I would be very cautious to stray electrical currents commonly found around docks.

2) The best choice would be to go to a beach area, and use two anchors to anchor your boat (with the stern facing the shoreline). This way you could stand in the water and use a mask to help you feel & remove/replace the zincs.


Lastly, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about their related houseboat zinc replacing experiences and tips.

Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Replacing the zinc anodes on our houseboat

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Anode replacement
by: Bob Brink

To repeat the aforementioned warning...DO NOT GO INTO THE WATER AT THE DOCK! Two divers lost their lives servicing the same boat 6 months apart here in Texas.

The boat owner, not caring about other people's lives, actually called a third diver who just happened to be a friend of one of the deceased divers & knew about the other one.

He refused and called the authorities on the man. That boat owner has now been charged with manslaughter.

I have to use a diver to change my anodes (V-drives), so I take a diver to an island in the lake & he does his thing. I run one anchor to the front & tie a stern line to a tree in about 7 feet of water.

This is also a great time to have your diver clean the bottom, clean out any thru-hull openings and inspect everything under the waterline.

Bob Brink.

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