How to Protect Your Boat Trailer from Corrosion

Jim Hendricks

While the old saying might ring true, new prep-and-paint formulas have emerged that help slow down the progression of rust, if not put it in a state of suspended animation. One of the most effective on the market today is RustSeal from KBS Coatings.

This multistep system relies heavily on careful prep and cleaning of the affected surfaces as much as proper application of the coating itself. When done right, RustSeal not only slows down previously rusty spots, but also helps prevent rust from getting a foothold in other areas. The coating is nonporous, flexible and extremely tough. It’s capable of adhering to almost any prepared surface. Because it’s moisture-cured, the coating is made stronger with continued exposure to water.

For this project, we decided to work on a particularly rusty cross member of a galvanized boat trailer. After 15 years of heavy saltwater use, the original zinc galvanizing was beginning to peel away in spots, leaving the underlying steel exposed and subject to corrosion. It was not enough to weaken structural strength, but might eventually if left unchecked. And besides, it looked ugly. The coating is available in 10 colors; we chose the galvanized-steel color to match the other galvanized surfaces of the trailer.

A word of warning: The chemicals used in KBS Klean, RustBlast and RustSeal are harmful, even caustic, to skin, eyes and the respiratory system. Be sure to always work in a well-ventilated area, and wear protective gloves and clothing, eye goggles and a respirator during every phase of this project.