Testing the Metal

Blue Water Sailing Magazine Article

(November 2004)

hose clampHose clamps might be the single most important item on your boat. When they fail, hoses can come loose, filling the boat with whatever was in the hose. That can range from the vile if it is a hose in the head, to the dangerous, if it is on a seacock. It is, therefore, odd to us that sailors try to save a few dollars when buying them, figuring to replace the rusted clamps every season.

There are several grades of hose clamps, and the best are only slightly more expensive than the cheapest, but we have found that even the best of the all-stainless variety eventually corrode and rust. With the advent of all-titanium hose clamps, however, that problem no longer exists. They are only slightly more expensive than the best of the stainless hose clamps, but are orders of magnitude better than even the best stainless hose clamps. We put several in a jar half full of seawater and left them there for a week. The result was a light growth of green algae, but there was no corrosion and the screw threads were as clean as new. In contrast, the stainless hose clamp had begun to show streaks of rust and was difficult to turn. It was still functional and probably nearly as strong as a new one, but it was definitely corroded.

Our hose clamps were made by Titan Marine Products. To our knowledge, no one else makes titanium hose clamps, so it is a good thing theirs are well made. The screw turns with either a Phillips screwdriver, a socket or an open-end wrench and the edges of the clamp are rolled to reduce damage to the hose. They are also less than half the weight of stainless, not that your boat is likely to be down on her marks because of all the stainless steel hose clamps.

Titanium doesn't rust, corrode, react galvanically, isn't magnetic and is much stronger than steel, stainless or otherwise. While we still recommend using two hose clamps, even with titanium, just because they are so crucial, you can be confident that it is overkill rather than prudence.

We recommend you replace your hose clamps as needed with titanium. You won't notice the cost, and it will be the last time you replace a hose clamp at that location. Eventually every hose connection on your boat will be secure. Titan's titanium hose clamps get the BWS seal of approval. Contact them at 805-487-5050 for more information or to request a catalog illustrating their entire line of titanium marine hardware.

Reprinted with permission by Blue Water Sailing - November 2004

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