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  Alternative Material for Bronze Grounding Plate

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Author Topic:   Alternative Material for Bronze Grounding Plate
tbryan5 posted 05-18-2009 02:29 PM ET (US)   Profile for tbryan5  
When I bought my [1985 Boston Whaler OUTRAGE 22] a few years ago, there was a zinc disc in place of the original bronze grounding disc on the transom. Is this an acceptable alternative? The old bronze discs seem hard to come by now.
Dan posted 05-18-2009 02:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dan  Send Email to Dan     
I have an one for sale.
tbryan5 posted 05-18-2009 08:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbryan5    
Thanks, Dan. I may have to go that route, and will let you know. Still curious as to whether the zinc does the same job as the bronze though. Anyone else know?
Bulldog posted 05-18-2009 08:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bulldog  Send Email to Bulldog     
I don't think they are doing the same thing, the bronze is an excellent electrical conductor, resistant to salt water corrosion, that completes a bonding circuit from the fill nozzle to the tank to the water. Zinc is not a great conductor to complete a circuit and it is sacrifical in that it will corrode away from electrical current instead of metal parts it protects nearby. I would say NO, they don't do the same thing, the price he quoted for the bronze is a good price also! There is a debate about what the bronze does on a trailer boat as it is not hooked to the battery neutral and new boats don't have it.....Jack
jimh posted 05-18-2009 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Bronze is a decent conductor and very noble. Zinc is a conductor but much less noble and thus a sacrificial anode most of the time.

The bronze anode or sea plate was intended to establish a ground or link to the sea for the bonding conductors of the fuel system in older Boston Whaler boats.

Some boats have larger bronze plates which are used as part of a radio counterpoise system.

tbryan5 posted 05-19-2009 07:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for tbryan5    
Thanks jack and jim for the education. Sounds like my curent set up will work, but not nearly as well as the original bronze. I will eventually switch it out. Thanks, again.
Dan posted 05-19-2009 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dan  Send Email to Dan     
The bronze disc is porous to create more surface area, you can buy the same bronze in bar form, in different sizes, but it is a lot more expensive.

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