Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rust Free Locks

Livia and Carol on s/v Estrellita 5.10b have some tropic-tested advice on one of those little necessities aboard that can become a major irritant:
We use about half dozen padlocks on our boat at various times for various reasons. We have locks for our lazarettes, our outboard motor (either on the dinghy or on the stern pulpit), we lock our kayak/dinghy to the boat with a bike cable and padlock if we leave it in the water at night*, and when bringing the dinghy/kayak to shore near civilization.

Our boat came with a set of locks. I have no idea how old they were but they weren't shiny when we bought the boat and we've put another 6 years of use on them. They work line new and haven't rusted. We only had 3 of these board and so we bought other padlocks as our needs grew.  All of the new padlocks rusted - it did not matter if they were called "marine grade" or "corrosion resistant". Once we had to borrow bolt cutters at the docks at Tofino so we could free our outboard motor from a lock that had rusted shut on the stern pulpit.  Each time we regretted not tracking down the brand the boat came with.

So, I went through the effort of tracking down the ones the boat had come with and just bought a handful to bring back with us. If you want to save yourself the time and money of buying and replacing crappy ones, buy yourself some Abus locks to start out with:

They come in various dimensions and aren't even that expensive as high end marine grade stuff goes (about $8) especially if you consider how many locks we bought and threw away.

*In each new anchorage, we use our judgment about whether we want to bring the dinghy and kayak on deck, lock them to the boat in the water, or just leave them tied up (not locked) in the water.

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