ICCP systems are an increasingly popular and cost effective way of protecting the hulls of smaller vessels against corrosion, whether these are made from steel or aluminium.
In the past, many smaller vessels would have been protected with sacrificial anode systems, but with the rise in the cost of zinc and aluminium anodes (which are quickly consumed and need to be replaced) the overall cost difference between installing an ICCP system is negligible.
A major advantage of ICCP systems is that they require very little maintenance with an anode life of approximately 15 years. Also, the performance of sacrificial anodes will decline over time, whereas and ICCP system will continue to deliver reliable and carefully controlled protection.
Protecting catamarans and other aluminium hulled small vessels
Experience has shown that sacrificial anode systems are not always effective in protecting catamarans and other aluminium hulled small craft powered by waterjets. This is because the ‘driving voltage’ of sacrificial anodes is not always sufficient to neutralise galvanic corrosion caused by the presence of dissimilar metals, namely the steel components in the waterjet units and the aluminium hull.
These problems often become magnified in estuaries and brackish waters where the high water resistivity means the sacrificial anodes are even less effective in delivering the necessary levels of corrosion protection.
In these circumstances an ICCP system is the only way of way of providing a reliable safeguard against corrosion.