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Stainless repair on sailboat (underwater)

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  • Stainless repair on sailboat (underwater)

    First post here. Just got my Miller mig after 20 years of waiting, and I've got to repair my little darlin'. Thought I'd ask here about it.

    So, the bottom shackle on my rudder is apparently weathered and busted apart. I don't have the money to buy new parts, so I'm gonna weld her up myself. I'll be welding stainless, and as soon as I'm done with it she's going back in the water. What kind of gas/wire combo should I use in order to retain the best possible corrosion qualities for salt water immersion?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Hey pucket,
    You really need to describe, with pics, the part to get good repair suggestions.

    1) What is the power output of your welder?

    2) What is the thickness of the repair part.....solid or hollow?

    3) Is it steel or a casting?

    Your weld area has to be clean & bare. Beveling if necessary to insure a good bond & strength. Wire could be 309/309L or 312 or possibly 316 for optimum corrosion resistance. Gas mix would probably work well with Ar/CO2 not more than 5% CO2. I use 98/2 generally with superb results. Member SundownIII has a lot of experience with boats & marine welding & I'm sure he will offer your best options for success..... give us as much info as possible.



    • #3
      Aargh. I won't know the exact nature of the repair until I pull her out of the water. And, unfortunately, I will have a limited amount of time to have the proper materials available and do the repair. Can't afford dry storage for more than a day or so. I apologize for being vague, but that's all I've got.


      • #4
        I do not think Yorkie caught that you were welding stainless, you need a trimix gas, helium, argon, co2. Other than that I cant tell you to much without knowing thickness and all of that.


        • #5
          I'm pretty sure yorkie caught the stainless thing, all the alloys he mentioned are stainless. The gas mixes he specified, are also commonly used for stainless.


          • #6
            Hey noboxus,
            You apparently did not follow the order of my response as to suggested procedure. Quote: "I do not think"....... correct, you did not think. Quote: "you need a trimix gas"...... that is incorrect. There are very few applications that a tri-mix is needed or required..... a waste of money. Also, SS can be forged or cast just as carbon steel. The OP's indication that he is "welding stainless", also did not clarify if the part he is going to weld is stainless, or he was going to use a SS filler for the repair w/SS wire, thus his comment of "welding stainless" was not entirely clear.

            To you & all others, especially the newbies/youngsters learning stainless, who really need to do some homework on gasses, here's the site that will enlighten you regarding gasses, fillers, & applications that are proven & work extremely well. The information from Ed Craig is from years of experience & the science of metal & metal fusion.




            • #7
              I don't know how the OP expects anyone to help with the information he's provided.

              Shackle to me implies, most likely, a chain rudder stop. If that's the case, we're most likely talking cast.

              I can't envision a situation where it's likely to be cost effective to buy the necessary materials to do the repair, than it would be to buy a new stainless shackle. West Marine has them, in various sizes, starting at around $11.


              • #8
                Originally posted by JSFAB View Post
                I'm pretty sure yorkie caught the stainless thing, all the alloys he mentioned are stainless. The gas mixes he specified, are also commonly used for stainless.
                actually that gas combo is never used for stainless if you have any real background with stainless. 98% argon 2% O2 and trimix are the only gases to be used on stainless and you better be on top of your welding game if you go with 98/2. If he is new to welding stainless it is very smart to use trimix as it gives much better results and is more forgiving.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by yorkiepap View Post
                  Hey noboxus,

                  To you & all others, especially the newbies/youngsters learning stainless, who really need to do some homework on gasses, here's the site that will enlighten you regarding gasses, fillers, & applications that are proven & work extremely well. The information from Ed Craig is from years of experience & the science of metal & metal fusion.


                  Unfortunately Denny that website is ran by someone very ignorant about welding and is sad for people such as yourself, which Iím guessing learned to weld by going to sites like this. You hope to learn the correct info and you are misled. I have been welding probably more years than you have been alive and have been a welding inspector for over 20 years so no newbie here.
                  Not sure where you shop for gas but I would find a new place if you pay more for argon than you pay for trimix. Wasnít saying you didnít think, said you may not of caught it was stainless, never seen anyone weld stainless, cast or otherwise with argon/co2 so thought you may not have. my post is correct, which you can look at here....
                  page 12 shows the gases that are to be used for stainless, and any other reputable site you find if you search, that ACTUALLY has someone with welding knowledge, I am sure will have the same info.
                  So my 2 cents is donít provide info if you really do not know what you are talking about and lead more people in the wrong direction as you have been.


                  • #10
                    Hey ubnoxus,
                    I can see you have taken my response as an insult.... it was not to be meant to be snide, callous, demeaning, or insulting. Your interpretation of a post is YOURS. You read & interpret in your manner & that is your justification for your response. Again, I did not say there was not a place for tri-mix or its' usage. My response to my usage of 98/2(Ar/CO2) w/SS was with cast iron welding & other repairs is documented here & other sites w/pics to enlighten others. My postings are from experience & years under the hood & I never give information that I do not have experience or knowledge.

                    I find Ed Craigs' website to be quite informative whether you like it or not. I didn't say that his site is the absolute..... I simply indicated it has superb information & a basis for most applications.

                    1) I'm 66.... been welding 47yrs w/SMAW, GTAW, GMAW, O/A, Plasma, & journeyman docs in machining(inc. CNC), tool & die, & production design. Now, that we have established experience levels, you need not have concerns where I learned & made a career in the welding arena. I also didn't indicate YOU are a newbie..... I posted Ed Craigs' site FOR the newbies/youngsters that will help them get a grasp on fillers/gasses...... nothing more, nothing less. Again, your interpretation of a response that it was directed towards you is not so.

                    2) If you have been welding longer than I have been alive.... you would be in your "80's???? Am I correct? Quite a preposterous response since you know nothing about me, isn't it?

                    3) There is quite a bit of information regarding welding cast iron w/MIG & 98/2 that I have used with 100% success. So, as you can see, hopefully, it is done by those who need to control the expansion/contraction of some castings to prevent/eliminate cracking. Again, I don't post any responses unless I can "show" the application & parameters that it was obtained. Even at my age & experience, I still learn & enjoy learning.

                    ubnoxus: I come to several of the welding forums to help the youngsters/newbies learn & attempt to provide them with information to make them better weldors & give them encouragement. You can look at my postings & projects I have submitted & then you can make your own evaluation of the information/experience I give to help. You are entitled to your opinion. I am not going to get into a verbal battle with you or anyone else..... I don't play childish games bantering with others or start a flaming war. There is no reason to ruin a forum with mindless diatribe that doesn't help anything/anyone.



                    • #11

                      I've been welding SS in a marine environment for a "few years".

                      Tri-mix can be a problem for the "hobby welder" because it's generally not available in smaller size bottles. That combined with the cost. I don't use that much, but I keep a 330 on hand for when I do need it. I've cut out/replaced too many SS welds that were done with other mixes to cut corners.

                      When it comes to Ed Craig, I'd take what he posts with a grain of salt. I think, more than anything else, his propensity to go against "industry standards" is more to sell books/advice than it is to help the welding community. Much of his advice, based on my own personal experience, is flat out wrong.

                      I personally cannot recommend an alternative mix/blend (covering gas) for SS, because I haven't used them myself. With the cost of the base material (SS), and the pre/post work involved with it, I just can't see cutting corners on gas.

                      I sure wouldn't recommend anything else for an underwater application in salt water.

                      With that said, I wouldn't be using mig to repair a cast SS shackle in the first place.


                      • #12
                        Hey SundownIII,
                        I agree with you. I simply refer to Ed Craigs' site for the youngsters/newbies to get an idea of the multitude of fillers & gasses that are available & some of the results of thir usage. Personally, I found the carbon content info of fillers quite valuable. There are superb books & literature available that I have & use from Miller, Lincoln, Alcoa, ESAB, & others & I have all of them marked with a yellow highlighter for pertinent info. I don't base all needs on just one source.... all sources can be challenged or be controversial to some. I also have & use tri-mix for certain applications as I'm sure you do. Most general hobbyists & smaller outfits never found a need for it because of the low usage & the size bottles the LWS furnish.

                        Yup.... TIG would be the way to go.....



                        • #13

                          First of all york you wouldn't use 309 on a sail boat it has a high content of carbon.He should use 316L and for the gas The tri mix is used on welding stainless. I got certs on welding pressure vessels R stamp U stamp we use tri mix gas.


                          • #14
                            with the price of helium expected to skyrocket in the near future, it might be beneficial to explore the use of a different mix for ss,

                            As for Ed Craig, i found his site pretty informative. But I would have to agree with Sundown, you cant really trust a man with an agenda.


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