How Come My Hose Clamp Is Rusty?

Never use automotive-grade hoseclamps on a boat, and if your boat came with them, replace them with the good stuff.

8th May 2014.
By Ed Sherman

Question: I bought a brand new boat last fall at the Annapolis Sailboat Show, and recently started checking things out to get ready for the upcoming boating season. The photo I sent in shows the hose clamps on the foot pump located in my head. The screw is all rusty! What’s up with this?

The boatbuilder fitted the hoses to this foot-pump with cheap hose clamps. The bands are stainless steel, but the screws are not.

The boatbuilder fitted the hoses to this foot-pump with cheap hose clamps. The bands are stainless steel, but the screws are not.

Answer: This is actually a very common problem. Since your boat is new, it’s pretty obvious the builder made this mistake. You need to have all-stainless steel hose clamps for all of the hose connections on your new boat. Automotive-grade clamps will use 300-series stainless bands, but cadmium-plated mild steel screw assemblies. Since you’ve already found one of these inferior clamps on board, I would advise checking all of your other hose connections to see if any more of these clamps have been used.

An example of a high-quality, marine-grade hose clamp, this one made by AWAB.

An example of a high-quality, marine-grade hose clamp, this one made by AWAB.

An easy way to check for this is to use a small magnet to see if it is attracted to the screw. Catch these before they get all rusty because they’ll eventually be compromised. Even before then they’ll be hard to remove.

For more on this, see All-Stainless Is Key to Selecting Good Hose Clamps.

Two companies that make good, marine-grade, all-stainless hose clamps are AWAB and Ideal. Any good marine chandlery should carry at least one of these brands, but it pays to double-check.

 


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About the author:

Ed Sherman

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Ed Sherman is a regular contributor to boats.com, as well as to Professional Boatbuilder and Cruising World, where he previously was electronics editor. He also is the curriculum director for the American Boat and Yacht Council. Previously, Ed was chairman of the Marine Technology Department at the New England Institute of Technology. Ed’s blog posts appear courtesy of his website, EdsBoatTips.
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http://www.EdsBoatTips.com

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