I recently penned an article for the June/July 2017 issue of Cruising World magazine entitled “Driven to Diligence“. The article discusses the growth in market share for sail drives in cruising sailboats as well as some of the issues relative to their maintenance and health. If you own a boat with a sail drive or two installed, I highly recommend you get a copy and give the article a read.
One reader has already contacted me with a question about one of the recommendations I make in the article. I discuss what we in the trade refer to as a hull potential meter. When we talk about “hull potential” we are discussing a voltage reading measured in millivolts that is indicating whether or not you have adequate sacrificial anode protection on your boat. Professional Mariner (www.promariner.com) sells several devices that can help you to make sure your boat, and ultimately your sail drive has adequate cathodic protection (anodes) in place.
With the controller panel shown above and the additional #20056-1 through hull kit installed, you can monitor this all important system in real time and know when its time to replace the anodes on your boat before corrosion starts dissolving your sail drive. The bottom line here is that I recommend that any boat with a sail drive installation have one of these kits installed and that the owner learn how to read the gauge and operate the controls. It’s easy and can save you thousands of dollars!