Corrosion — The marine equivalent of foot-and-mouth disease
Yes, it is called stainless steel, but remember this is stain-less, not rust-free as many people think and wish. Rust and corrosion are the yacht owner's worst enemies, and they seem to creep up and spread like cancer. While rust on deck fittings is just unsightly, at least in the early stages, other corrosion can be deadly. Seacocks and through-hull fittings are often overlooked during maintenance, lying as they do hidden in the bilges. At the start and end of every season, the good seaman checks his seacocks to make sure they are working correctly and moving freely. If you have not hauled your boat recently, consider diving under her (or hiring a diver) to visually check the through-hulls for the early signs of corrosion. Caught in time, corrosion can be halted. Visually, many items, such as hose clamps in the engine room, bilges and heads, can look perfect, so touch and rattle gently to see that they are sound. On critical items, such as cooling-water hoses, I like to use not one, but two, stainless-steel clamps.