Re: Standing Rigging replacement

Bill Kinney


In a saltwater environment any piece of stainless steel, no matter how well formulated, has a finite life.  The warmer the climate, and the saltier the water, the shorter the life.  The issue with this kind of failure is it is almost impossible to detect before the piece of metal fails. 

Pieces of stainless up the mast, naturally live in a less “salty” environment than similar pieces near the deck. Pieces that were formed by bending or welding are more likely to fail.  Pieces with shapes that have threads of other sharp edges are more likely to fail.

When putting a new rig on an oceangoing boat, I would recommend replacing every piece of stainless steel possible.  No amount of looking and inspecting can be 100% proof against stress cracking. Bronze and aluminum don’t fail this way, so aren’t the same problem.

No part of the standing rigging, but here is a good example:

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada.

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