The lowly anode or zinc made from one of the least noble metals, plays a royal role in the life of your marine electrical and mechanical systems: Defeating electrolysis and corrosion while improving the overall grounding of the boat. Here’s a good discussion of the subject from Sea magazine.
Would a “zinc” made of another material still work as well? Or perhaps better?
a boater says he’s putting new zincs on his boat, I’m reminded of the times we used to say “let’s go for a beer,” even though almost nobody in the group drank beer. Scotch or rum was preferred! It was merely an expression. Unfortunately for many boaters, when they have sacrificial anodes installed, the “zincs” are, in fact, made of zinc, even though there are sacrificial anodes made of a material that might well do a better job.
Sacrificial anodes are necessary to combat galvanic corrosion in metal structures. Boaters most often think of galvanic corrosion, and the problems it causes, in relationship to boats only. In fact pipelines and most other metal infrastructure projects also have problems with galvanic corrosion. Read more.