Nov 25, 2021

Anode for Volvo Penta 130 and 150 SaildriveThis one?????

Once our boat comes out of the water, I take the annual fall tour of the hull so I can determine what to worry about all winter. The first thing I note is that the sacrificial anode I had intended to replace prior to launch last spring remains un-replaced.

I recall, as I look blankly at it, that my plan was to attach a brand new anode that I got from the previous owner many years ago, but when I removed it from its packaging, it was clear it wasn’t the correct match for my drive. Perhaps that’s why he hadn’t installed it. And why I went no further.

That leads to a series of thoughts that get increasingly existential-y. Yes, the boat needs a new anode, but where do you get it? It’s not like a car although there exists yards or mobile mechanics who perhaps could find the replacement anode or is it now a discontinued thing. But who gets to fret about anodes – certainly not car owners. Nor cottagers or golfers.

And here’s where my thinking gets weird. Do those of us do so because we get to go on searches for parts that virtually no one else knows or cares about? Do we like boats because they don’t run on rails or roads and the path ahead is a pulsating mystery?

We obviously all love boats because you can go for a moonlit ride through nature or sit in a sunny cockpit with close friends and snacks. But is the real appeal derived from the unpredictability, the unknown and bafflement. I can read Ask Andrew 20 times about batteries and wiring, but I know if the cabin fan doesn’t work, I am on a route that is part explorer, part scientist and part gambler. Get that fan running and it’s beyond exhilarating. Go on a cruise and tie up safely in a new port and I feel like Vasco da Gama.

Getting there is fun, but the real draw is, perhaps, not knowing how to get there. Traffic rules, office rules, social mores run our real lives; there are so few opportunities in our daily routine to safely feel lost in space. But, with a boat you’re on a new, only-vaguely understood path a lot of the time. Like sourcing, changing and understanding a new anode. Perhaps this spring?

John Morris
Online Editor
Canadian Yachting Magazine

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