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Old 27-10-2014, 02:44   #1
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Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

Ok,

I was talking to one of the neighbouring boats at the marina about my plan to renew the standing rigging with galv wire rather than SS. As most people, he was sceptical and came up with a dozen reasons why it was silly. Most all of which I had no trouble proving him wrong on, except one...

He said galvanic corrosion would occur between the galv wire and the SS turnbuckles and chainplates.

This makes sense, and I haven't ever heard of galv turnbuckles. Do they exist? Or is the corrosion not going to be a real issue? Which one of the two materials will corrode?
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Old 27-10-2014, 03:13   #2
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

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Originally Posted by Orchidius View Post
Ok,

I was talking to one of the neighbouring boats at the marina about my plan to renew the standing rigging with galv wire rather than SS. As most people, he was sceptical and came up with a dozen reasons why it was silly. Most all of which I had no trouble proving him wrong on, except one...

He said galvanic corrosion would occur between the galv wire and the SS turnbuckles and chainplates.

This makes sense, and I haven't ever heard of galv turnbuckles. Do they exist? Or is the corrosion not going to be a real issue? Which one of the two materials will corrode?
The advantages of galvanized steel are the price and the fact that it's stronger than stainless steel, but once the coating has disappeared the steel will start to rust. It rusts when it is exposed to air and yes, it will function as an anode when in contact with stainless steel and corrode. The coating itself will function as an anode as well. But how long it will take to cause problems I don't know, because there are things to consider like the area of contact, the difference in size between the cathode and anode and the type of electrolyte (seawater, freshwater)... But technically speaking it will corrode.

Article: Corrosion mechanisms in stainless steel
http://www.euro-inox.org/pdf/map/Con...h_Other_EN.pdf
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Old 27-10-2014, 03:27   #3
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

Galvanised turnbuckles are easy and cheap to purchase.

I considered the same but basically what I came up with is that galv is not worth the saving in the long run. It's a false economy. You have to replace it more often and provide more careful maintenance.
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Old 27-10-2014, 05:42   #4
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

Galvanized turnbuckles last decades if you wrap them in denso tape and then bind that with gaffer tape. Easily done.

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Old 27-10-2014, 07:29   #5
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

There's a reason or ten that rigging (non-stainless) was/is always parceled & served back in the day (and now). So perhaps you should do some studying on old school wire maintenance before you casually make the switch. If on nothing else on what needs doing to it in terms of regular anti-corrosion "lubrication", upkeep, & coatings.

Also, you have to consider how much more incredibly chafe inducing it is as compared to stainless wire. If you let out your main until it's up against the shrouds & spreaders, on bare galvanized wire, in a seaway, it'll be time for a trip to the sailmaker for a new one in about the time it takes to polish off a cup of coffee or two.
No Joke. The galvanizing is that course. Note the baggy wrinkles on all of the old time sailing vessels. They're there to prevent this, although they add a HUGE amount to your windage.

As to purely the corrosion between the two metals issue, there are plenty of things to be more concerned about. But also, think about this: If you're routinely inspecting & cleaning your rig (from a bosun's chair), odds are you'll catch any issues before they'd ever have a chance to begin to become serious. And given how inexpensive the wire is, compared to stainless (at least when last I checked), one can just simply it out more often. Theoretically speaking. Assuming, that is, that you choose galvanized wire.

Bottom line, unless you're up for a fairly significant change in the type of sailing & upkeep which you do, just stick with the stainless. And stainless from a reputable source I should say. You'll realistically save money in the long run.

BTW: Unless she's a traditional vessel (and even then), good luck selling her if the rigging is galvanized. Not even the Pardeys (and most other die hard traditionalists) use non-stainless rigging wire.
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Old 27-10-2014, 14:59   #6
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

There are hundreds of thousands of vessels both commercial and pleasure, sail and power using galvanized standing rigging around the world. Galvanized turn buckles of the"open"type(not all of which are created equal) or the"barrel"-type are readily available(usually less than a quarter the cost of "stainless"(not all of which is created equal). The wire itself may prove to be difficult to source,as the low-tensile wire required to fashion eye-end loops is no longer readily available(at least here in the Pacific north-west and the high-tensile wire, which is available, can't be worked around thimbles and back-wrapped to form ends, it requires machine-created eyes using pressed-on compression sleeves(usually stainless) and is prone to failure at the sleeves(similar to stainless!) I have seen seven-strand galvanized wire mast stays or shrouds hooked to galvanized turn buckles shackled to stainless chain-plates (sometimes with a short piece of galvanized chain for length adjustment),last for decades! The sail-chafing problem can be addressed by fitting small diameter PVC plastic piping over the wire prior to forming the eyes, it may not last forever but, really,how long do you think you've got?
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Old 27-10-2014, 15:32   #7
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

One of the reasons i like to use a 6" length of gal chain between the gal rigging wire and the s/s turnbuckles is that it is easy to replace the chain if the galvanising wears off and the chain starts to rust. In general, the useful life of a rig with gal. wire and s/s turnbuckles will be shorter than the time it takes for any corrosion promoted by the different materials to degrade the rig. Having said that, some of the s/s shackles on my rig may be 30 years old - between gal. wire and s/s turnbuckles, and they dont show any signs of degradation at all. I'm not a fan of parcel and serve on gal rig for the same reason i dont like to see s/s fittings taped up - if you lock the air out it promotes corrosion, and if you cant see the wire you cant tell what its condition is - quite aside from the huge amount of work involved in parcelling the wire - the cost of gal. wire is low enough to just replace it every 10 years. I use gal wire because its stronger, more durable, cheaper and more reliable than s/s and i dont value the cosmetic advantages of s/s above those practical considerations.
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Old 27-10-2014, 15:34   #8
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

and the sail chafing? re-visit the ancient art of baggywrinkles - great way to retire your crappy old rope.
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Old 27-10-2014, 16:15   #9
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

How about just standard plastic tube as a protective tube? Would that promote corrosion?
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Old 27-10-2014, 16:23   #10
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

We have lengths of electrical conduit over the bottom ten feet of the shrouds where the genoa sheet rubs. We put it on afterwards by splitting it.
Would have been much better to do it during production. (the split tends to whistle in a high wind)
You need a nice loose fit for ventilation and also so you can slide it up to grease the wire underneath.

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Old 27-10-2014, 20:58   #11
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

Have you not considered just going to poured sockets in order to simplify the whole wire ends conundrum? They've been around for ages, & when done properly are dead nuts reliable, strong, & easy as can be to inspect for; wear, metal fatigue, corrosion, etc.
Plus, they're reusable (assuming that memory serves).

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Originally Posted by shipleft View Post
There are hundreds of thousands of vessels both commercial and pleasure, sail and power using galvanized standing rigging around the world. Galvanized turn buckles of the"open"type(not all of which are created equal) or the"barrel"-type are readily available(usually less than a quarter the cost of "stainless"(not all of which is created equal). The wire itself may prove to be difficult to source,as the low-tensile wire required to fashion eye-end loops is no longer readily available(at least here in the Pacific north-west and the high-tensile wire, which is available, can't be worked around thimbles and back-wrapped to form ends, it requires machine-created eyes using pressed-on compression sleeves(usually stainless) and is prone to failure at the sleeves(similar to stainless!) I have seen seven-strand galvanized wire mast stays or shrouds hooked to galvanized turn buckles shackled to stainless chain-plates (sometimes with a short piece of galvanized chain for length adjustment),last for decades! The sail-chafing problem can be addressed by fitting small diameter PVC plastic piping over the wire prior to forming the eyes, it may not last forever but, really,how long do you think you've got?
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Old 28-10-2014, 00:30   #12
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

Spelter sockets you mean? I thought about them a few years ago but they now use epoxy rather than melted metal so - quite expensive - certainly way more expensive than having the wire supplier do gal. swages/thimbles. Also - epoxy=not reusable. In their favour though - they are rated as 100% strength, but i think swage/thimble is pretty close to that too.
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Old 28-10-2014, 13:04   #13
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

Spelter sockets is a new term to me, but I gather that you're referring to the type where you insert the rigging wire through a hole in the top. Splay it out in a direction opposite to the way the wire's wound, making a pattern kind of like one does for Norseman's, only in a bigger diameter. And then you coat the wire with flux as you heat it, & pour the molten metal into the socket.
Great concept really. Simple, strong, & inexpensive. I mean if they were good enough for elevator cables for over a century...

It sounded like cost was a BIG concern, and with poured sockets, pretty much the only thing which you need in order to reuse them is some flux, gas for your torch.
You can still find them if you make the rounds of used gear shops. Or, in a pinch, look for older vessels being parted out, or after a hurricane that kind of thing.
Plus, there's always the option of putting up some wanted ads & notices in the local sailors haunts, magazines (especially the free ones).
Before I moved here, I'd see them all the time, in used gear shops, where ever there were boatyards nearby.

As to the epoxy versions, I'm familiar with them in theory. Can't say as I've ever put my hands on a set.

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Spelter sockets you mean? I thought about them a few years ago but they now use epoxy rather than melted metal so - quite expensive - certainly way more expensive than having the wire supplier do gal. swages/thimbles. Also - epoxy=not reusable. In their favour though - they are rated as 100% strength, but i think swage/thimble is pretty close to that too.
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Old 28-10-2014, 14:20   #14
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

We replaced the gal wire on our ferro with gal, except for the forestay and inner forestay as the hank on staysail would pretty quickly strip the zinc coating off the wire. And the headsail is on roller furling.

My advice is head to a rigging supply shop ( such as Bullivants here in Oz) and have a chat with them. They deal with wire and termination methods all the time as they supply equipment to the construction and mining industries and only use top quality materials. They can't afford to make mistakes with the health and safety aspects nowadays.
And at half the price of any marine store too...


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Old 28-10-2014, 17:09   #15
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Re: Galv rigging and SS turnbuckles

ok - heres an example of the difference between boat riggers prices and lifting gear suppliers prices - someone mentioned earlier (sorry cant remember which thread, might even be this one) paying $400 for a headstay. I bought an 8mm s/s headstay with s/s swage and thimble from a lifting wire supply company for $70. Some of the difference would be in the end fittings - probably something a bit more sophisticated than swage and thimble for $400 but...5 times the price?
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