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So called 'Stainless Steel'

Posted: 10 May 2010 - By:
I bought a Rival 36 last January. After a year's ownership, one sailing season and one proper layup I suspect everything made of Stainless Steel.
From the time I took her over the bilges always seemed to have a steady trickle of water so having first ensured that there were no hull leaks, no shaft leaks and that the rudder trunk was watertight I turned to other things. The bilge seemed particularly to fill when motoring so I checked that the new Beta 35 was watertight. It was so I looked elsewhere. The muffler (dreadful Americanism for silencer!) was found to be peppered with pinholes with quite a lot of further corrosion threatening. Out with the old and in with a new Vetus waterlock. Then found that the exhaust airlock was happily rusting away and dribbling water so out with that and in with more good Dutch plastic. Solved that problem.
Just ready to launch this spring so pressed up the water tank. Following day, bilge full of water again. Out with the tank (Rival 36 owners may know the implications of that brief statement.) to find that the bottom had just two small holes but more seriously the whole length was corroded in dozens of places. It would not have been long before major leaks ensued. Complete new base welded in.
So, ready to launch now but a bit worried.
My boat was built by Rival Yachts and launched in 1988. I'd love to hear from other owners, preferably those with older models so that I will know what to expect next!
I know all about the limitations of Stainless Steel but the exhaust muffler was dreadfully made and obviously from poor quality stuff. For a tank to corrode right through in a dry bilge in 20 years also seems extreme. My previous 1965 boat still had all her original tanks and being wooden did not always have a dry bilge so why a relatively new tank should corrode is a puzzle.
Any advice would be gratefully received.

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