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Old 11-10-2017, 10:58   #1
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Galvanized standing rigging

I know this has been discussed before but I'd like hear from anyone using or has experience with galvanized standing rigging. I'm replacing mine on my Cape Dory 28 with galvanized as I have many years of experience with it in a commercial setting but haven't seen it used anywhere recreationally except traditional wooden sailboats.
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Old 11-10-2017, 16:19   #2
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

I replaced my standing rigging 4-5 years ago – ketch rig, I used s/s on the 2 forestays, one of which carries a furler, the other hank ons, and the 2 mainmast outer main shrouds which occasionally come into contact with the sails – I think s/s is a bit less likely to cause chafe. All other rigging I replaced with 7/19 gal. 8mm. I've had other boats with gal. Rigging, no complaints.
One experiment I made which has been interesting – the 2 mainmast backstays I had made up with copper swages and s/s thimbles; those 2 wires are showing significant amounts of surface rust – all other wires I used gal. Swages and thimbles, none are showing any rust. I dont know if its the copper or the s/s thats causing the reaction but I do know it aint a good idea to use either. I suspect the copper because all other wires have s/s shackles on their ends.
As far as I can tell the only disadvantage of gal. Over s/s is the cosmetics when it comes to selling the boat. One of my favourite advantages of gal wire – it shows its age, s/s doesnt which makes it more likely to fail unexpectedly. I have seen 50 year old rusty as hell gal. Wire cut to reveal a substantially unaffected core, another reason for my liking of this material.
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Old 11-10-2017, 16:43   #3
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

In 1982 I built a 31 foot fiberglass sailboat, and installed galvanized rigging.
The wires and turnbuckles were ordered from a company that supplied cranes, and included thimbles and swaging. The rigging wire was over sized, 1/4", rather than 3/16". With the lower cost of the galvanized wire and turnbuckles, it could all be replaced several times for the cost in stainless.

The boat spent one year in fresh water with no noticeable problems. After six months in salt water, the rigging was showing some light surface rust. I greased the wires and turnbuckles, then returned to fresh water 4 months later. The surface rust began to show again the next year, and I painted the wire with Tremclad (silver). The next owner replaced the rigging and (taller) mast after another 7 years.
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Old 11-10-2017, 17:07   #4
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

Quote:
As far as I can tell the only disadvantage of gal. Over s/s is the cosmetics when it comes to selling the boat
How about the stretch involved with 7x19 galvo vs 1x19 s/s?

In many rigs this is significant.

Jim
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Old 11-10-2017, 17:13   #5
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

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Originally Posted by charliehows View Post
I replaced my standing rigging 4-5 years ago ketch rig, I used s/s on the 2 forestays, one of which carries a furler, the other hank ons, and the 2 mainmast outer main shrouds which occasionally come into contact with the sails I think s/s is a bit less likely to cause chafe. All other rigging I replaced with 7/19 gal. 8mm. I've had other boats with gal. Rigging, no complaints.
One experiment I made which has been interesting the 2 mainmast backstays I had made up with copper swages and s/s thimbles; those 2 wires are showing significant amounts of surface rust all other wires I used gal. Swages and thimbles, none are showing any rust. I dont know if its the copper or the s/s thats causing the reaction but I do know it aint a good idea to use either. I suspect the copper because all other wires have s/s shackles on their ends.
As far as I can tell the only disadvantage of gal. Over s/s is the cosmetics when it comes to selling the boat. One of my favourite advantages of gal wire it shows its age, s/s doesnt which makes it more likely to fail unexpectedly. I have seen 50 year old rusty as hell gal. Wire cut to reveal a substantially unaffected core, another reason for my liking of this material.
I believe you're correct about the copper swages reacting with the zinc although I've never had that particular situation. It's a shame that most people would devalue a boat with galvanized rigging simply because of esthetics. I would prefer it when buying a used because as you stated it's fairly easy to assess the condition of the rigging. I'm using hanks so I'll be putting on all galvanized, I don't believe the finish will suffer for some time and at around thirty dollars to replace a forestay it won't really matter anyway. Have you done any spicing with your rigging?
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Old 11-10-2017, 17:22   #6
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
How about the stretch involved with 7x19 galvo vs 1x19 s/s?

In many rigs this is significant.

Jim
I splice mine and then stretch it with my tractor. When I owned fishing boats I expected around .1% of elongation over 300 fathoms with new wire and a portion of that is in the splices, I don't know what is expected with SS. I'm using 5/8x12 turnbuckles so whatever it stretches is no issue to accommodate.
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Old 11-10-2017, 17:30   #7
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

[QUOTE=Kim Gregory;2497196]In 1982 I built a 31 foot fiberglass sailboat, and installed galvanized rigging.
The wires and turnbuckles were ordered from a company that supplied cranes, and included thimbles and swaging. The rigging wire was over sized, 1/4", rather than 3/16". With the lower cost of the galvanized wire and turnbuckles, it could all be replaced several times for the cost in stainless.

The boat spent one year in fresh water with no noticeable problems. After six months in salt water, the rigging was showing some light surface rust. I greased the wires and turnbuckles, then returned to fresh water 4 months later. The surface rust began to show again the next year, and I painted the wire with Tremclad (silver). The next owner replaced the rigging and (taller) mast after another 7 years.[/QU
Thanks for those observations. On commercial boats I've seem galvanized last for 60 and 70 years with no problem but of course this requires some maintenance. If rigging is taken down yearly and soaked in any one of numerous concoctions it's life is virtually endless. If you want the lower costs and other benefits of galvanized it simply requires a bit of extra work which frankly is minor in comparison to other boat maintenance issues.
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Old 11-10-2017, 18:58   #8
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

Hi fish53 , what kind of splice are you going to use ? Some where many beers ago I think I remember Brion Toss speak of using Galvanized . When we got our boat it had 5/8 turn buckles I stepped down to 1/2 .
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:03   #9
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

We fitted gal rigging in 1987 and are just removing it now. Soaked it in fishoil pre installation, and then regularly painted it with a mixture of fishoil and silver paint.
Much of it is still OK.
The forestay has always been stainless because of the effects of chafe.
We are replacing it with stainless because at 65 I am getting too old to swing around in a bosun's chair painting it.

Regards,
Richard.
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Old 12-10-2017, 05:01   #10
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

[QUOTE=markwesti;2497284]Hi fish53 , what kind of splice are you going to use ? Some where many beers ago I think I remember Brion Toss speak of using Galvanized . When we got our boat it had 5/8 turn buckles I stepped down to 1/2 .


I'm using a 3,2,1 splice with locking tucks. A 5/8 turnbuckle has a WLL of about 3500 lbs. and a 1/2" is 2200 lbs., 1/4" wire whether stainless or galvanized has a WLL of 1400 lbs. so either way the wire is the weak link, depending of course on the qualities of the other fittings used.
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Old 12-10-2017, 05:29   #11
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

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We fitted gal rigging in 1987 and are just removing it now. Soaked it in fishoil pre installation, and then regularly painted it with a mixture of fishoil and silver paint.
Much of it is still OK.
The forestay has always been stainless because of the effects of chafe.
We are replacing it with stainless because at 65 I am getting too old to swing around in a bosun's chair painting it.

Regards,
Richard.
Fortunately (or not I suppose) I take my mast down every winter thus sparing me the vertical ride. I'm using galvanized as a forestay, I don't believe chaff will be a major problem with bronze hanks. It's interesting that galvanized wire rope is routinely used for zip lines.
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Old 12-10-2017, 06:04   #12
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

From Brion Toss:
“... The short form is that it (1x7 Galv) is the wrong tool for the job. 1x7 was evolved for low loads, high corrosion-resistance, and cheapness. The high-strength model is closer to sailboat requirements, but I have found it to be far too elastic, and a bear to work with.
Galvanized 7x7 is more in line with your needs. Unfortunately it is so very hard to come by in this country any more.
Galvanized 1x19 is even better, but now I'm just dreaming.
So that leaves either finding a source of 7x7 that isn't rendered wonderfully expensive by import fees, or going with the best deal on good 1x19SS you can find.
(emphasis mine)
using 1X7 galvanized EHS for rigging? - SparTalk

See also ➥ http://www.thesquarerigger.com/worm_...and_serve.html
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:32   #13
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

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From Brion Toss:
... The short form is that it (1x7 Galv) is the wrong tool for the job. 1x7 was evolved for low loads, high corrosion-resistance, and cheapness. The high-strength model is closer to sailboat requirements, but I have found it to be far too elastic, and a bear to work with.
Galvanized 7x7 is more in line with your needs. Unfortunately it is so very hard to come by in this country any more.
Galvanized 1x19 is even better, but now I'm just dreaming.
So that leaves either finding a source of 7x7 that isn't rendered wonderfully expensive by import fees, or going with the best deal on good 1x19SS you can find.
(emphasis mine)
using 1X7 galvanized EHS for rigging? - SparTalk

See also ➥ worm parcel and serve
I can buy galvanized 7x7x 1/4" wire rope from a number of commercial fishing gear suppliers for around $.50 a foot however I use 7x19 as it presents a smoother surface with a larger bearing area and will contain more of whatever you treat it with, a bit handier to splice as well.
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Old 12-10-2017, 14:16   #14
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

because i have an understressed ketch rig i run my wiring at lower tension than most recommendations - so no problem with stretching yet, in fact i havent done more than a lean-on-it test for a couple of years. I suspect rig tension is another one of the black arts understood by few (including most of the riggers - when i got my boat the long shrouds on the mainmast had just been replaced by a reputable rigger - i had a look at the connections while i was up the mast doing some other stuff and i noticed the pro-rigger had re-used the split pins despite their condition being extremely horrible - guess he forgot to take any up the mast that day and wanted to get the job out of the way).
My hanked on jibs have polyethylene clasps - I reckon the gal wire may be just a bit more abrasive and the cost differential between gal and s/s is now so much smaller that i dont mind having a few s/s strings.
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Old 12-10-2017, 14:49   #15
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Re: Galvanized standing rigging

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Originally Posted by charliehows View Post
because i have an understressed ketch rig i run my wiring at lower tension than most recommendations - so no problem with stretching yet, in fact i havent done more than a lean-on-it test for a couple of years. I suspect rig tension is another one of the black arts understood by few (including most of the riggers - when i got my boat the long shrouds on the mainmast had just been replaced by a reputable rigger - i had a look at the connections while i was up the mast doing some other stuff and i noticed the pro-rigger had re-used the split pins despite their condition being extremely horrible - guess he forgot to take any up the mast that day and wanted to get the job out of the way).
My hanked on jibs have polyethylene clasps - I reckon the gal wire may be just a bit more abrasive and the cost differential between gal and s/s is now so much smaller that i dont mind having a few s/s strings.
A wire tension meter isn't all that expensive, you'd think one would be in any professional riggers kit.
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