It is a fairly common occurrence for us to find pitting on hydraulic cylinders or shafts that we work on in our shop at High Seas Hydraulics. This is typically caused by corrosion from salt water, crevice corrosion or as a result of cheap stainless steel material used in fabrication. The lip seals on a hydraulic shaft or rod need a smooth surface or the hydraulic fluids will leak out causing a reduction in the performance of the units and, in this case, hydraulic fluid leaking into the ocean.
To fix this problem on large propeller shafts, we would perform a process called cladding at our machine shop, Straight Line Marine. Cladding or shaft weld-over, is the process of repairing a worn or damaged area on a propeller shaft or rudder shaft. Stainless steel shafts can be damaged by excessive wear in contact areas, such as bearings or seals, due to long life or misalignment. Shafts can also be damaged from crevice corrosion or stray current corrosion. Straight Line Marine is the only shop in Florida that is ABS approved to perform this type of work. Replacing a large shaft could cost up to $25,000 each shaft, depending on the size. However, the cladding repair is only a few thousand dollars. For smaller shafts like sailboat shafts or hydraulic cylinder rods, we would simply buy new rod material and scrap out the old rods.
The convenience of having a machine shop Straight Line Marine and hydraulics shop (High Seas Hydraulics) under one roof ensures our customers that they can get the right level of expertise no matter how big or how small their needs.