What is this Ospho stuff and why should I care?

This is the question you might be asking.  See here and here for previous references; I’m sure I have piqued your interest.  (I had never asked this question before buying a steel boat simply because I had never heard of Ospho.  It’s not something that comes up as a topic of conversation in the circles I run in.  So…you’re welcome for broadening your horizons.)

Ospho, for those who are just dying to know, is a rust converter.  It converts iron oxide into iron phosphate.  At least that’s what it claims.  I know that a large bottle of it came with the boat, that it smells like Death’s ass, and it turns rusty steel black.

There are two distinct camps when it comes to Ospho.  There’s the It Will Never Work So Save Your Time And Your Money And Just Do It Right In the First Place camp.  Then there’s the We Are Doing The Best We Can With What We Have camp.  We are in the second one (surprise, surprise).

After chipping the rust off as best we could I went around with a foam paint brush and dabbed this stuff on the chipped areas.  It has the viscosity of water and is easy to spread.

It was cold that day.

After a few minutes the vaguely rusty steel (because it’s impossible to get all the rust off with a chisel) starts to turn black.

See? Black not rusty.
See? Black not rusty.  Actually it’s kind of hard to see…  Just take my word for it.

As a matter of fact the bottle recommends that some of the light rust be left on the surface of the steel so that the Ospho has something to “work with”.  At least, that’s what I think it says because the bottle we have is not in the best shape and the printed instructions are a little blurry.

More post Ospho black magic.
More post-Ospho black magic.

Anywhoo, we were mightily heartened by seeing this transformation and felt that a beautiful, bristol-condition yacht was surely just a few days away.


2 thoughts on “What is this Ospho stuff and why should I care?

  1. Hi Debby & Peter, Thanks for your entertaining and delight Webb page! Bonnie and I purchased an Amazon 37 about 4 years ago in San Diego, CA (originally named Camperdown now Ringle). We sailed her home to San Francisco and have since been engaged in a mission somewhat similar to yours. It’s been fun reading about your adventures, challenges and fixes, and definitely had to chuckle about your battles with the wicked witch Rust! I think she has a wicked west coast relative. Looking forward to reading more of your posts! Dan, Bonnie & Ringle


    1. Hi Dan, Bonnie, and Ringle,
      We’re so excited to hear from you and would love to hear more about Ringle! Amazing 37s have a way of stealing your heart and making it all worthwhile, don’t they?
      Feel free to send an email to svdevilfish at gmail dot com; we can compare rust stories!
      All the best,
      Debby, Peter, and Devilfish


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