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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Amusing Marine Product Names: Part 1 Martyr Anode

wicked with of the west, melting 
Scene from "The Wizard of Oz:  Dorothy throws water on
the Wicked Witch of the West (click here for video)
As a former brand manager, noticing product names is an ingrained occupational hazard.  Sometimes, it’s also good for a laugh.

Thus, this is the first of a brief three-part series of product names at West Marine that tickled my funnybone.  Never fear; while the names are somewhat of an inside joke, there’s just enough of a mini-lesson to make sure you get it.

Remember the Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West, cry “I’m melting, melting!” Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness! Ohhh! Look out! Look out! I'm going! Ohhhh – Ohhhhhhhhhh!

Replace the words ”melting” with “dissolving”” and “good little girl like you” with “seawater” and you’ll get a very real sense of what happens to metal boat parts in seawater.  In fact, some pundits muse her melting is a chemical reaction (click here for their theories), and that’s exactly what corrodes metal boat parts into oblivion, albeit a little less quickly.

Now if the Wicked Witch of the West deflected that water with an umbrella, or a sponge, Dorothy might still be her domestic slave.

sacrificial anode from martyr
Martyr brand sacrificial anode at West Marine.
Click here to view the short clip on Martyr anodes.
Savvy boat owners rely on a similar defense, something called a “sacrificial anode,” which takes the hit instead of the boat part.  Don Casey, well-respected author of the Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual offers a great explanation of what sacrificial anodes (also known as “zincs”) are, how they work and when to replace them on this Boat US magazine article (click here to read Casey’s article about zinc sacrificial anodes).

Now “sacrificial anodes” are called that because as they act as the savior to the boat parts they’re protecting, as a result they get destroyed in their place.


Brilliant (in a twisted kind of way)! 


Promise:  the next part in the series will require far less explanation.

Question:  What's the most amusing name you've seen for a marine product?