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Old 30-04-2015, 11:08   #31
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

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I have cleaned two of the swage connections this morning in an attempt to see if there's cable damage and the good news is that there does not appear to be any, at least that I can see with a hand held magnifying glass. I did however discover something that might shed some light on the issue. I discovered that there was some kind of sealant on the swage joint and the corrosion seems to be largely limited to that area. I'm not a metallurgist but my understanding was that you never wanted to cut off stainless steel from oxygen because it was the oxidation of the chromium atoms in the alloy that protected the steel. If one cut off the oxygen from the chromium the steel would corrode. The sealant appeared to be mostly clear and up about 1/4 inch on the cable but what I got out of the lower part was a bit thicker and looked white. I'm not sure if this was silicone sealant of something else. Can any of you engineering types that know a bit about stainless confirm or refute my thoughts on the effect of this sealant?
Better rigging shops and others these days put a sealant inside the terminal in order to prevent water from "wicking" into the fitting. Since the wire is made of "round" wires even when the terminal is swaged (compressed) around the wire there will be microscopic pathways for water to enter and corrode the wire. Yes, stainless steel corrodes - just not as much or as fast as steel wire.

The SS wire either needs to have access to oxygen to keep the protective oxide on the surface to be "regenerated" as it wears away -or- it needs to be totally protected from any water getting to it. The sealant inside the fitting helps in this latter case.

One suggestion I would add is to get or borrow a "Dye Penetrant Kit" and use it on the terminals to see if there might be "cracks" in them where the wire enters the terminal which is caused by improper swaging. That knowledge will go a long way to generate confidence in the rigging. No matter how good the reputation of a "shop" is there is sometimes when a worker does not give his best and a problem could arise.
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Old 30-04-2015, 11:14   #32
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

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The sad part is that the rigging I replaced didn't have a mark on it. It was 14 years old and I replaced it out of caution due only to age. I'm going to email the vendor and see what their response is. We'll see if they stand by their product or not. I already have plans to go in the boat yard when I get back to the States. Either way I'll do a product and service review, what it will say is pretty much up to them.

There is some light candy striping.
Are you sure about the rigging shop and 316? Looks like rust?

Can you scape some off and find out if it is rust or an air born contaminant. I've had some old rigging and never seen that.
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Old 30-04-2015, 11:15   #33
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

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I am so unhappy to read this thread. My standing rigging is 32 years old, always in fresh water, used 6 months a year, but I'm replacing it all this summer. What can I do to ensure I get a Rig without issues?
Why are you replacing it 22 years after most people would have recommended replacement?
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Old 30-04-2015, 11:23   #34
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
Better rigging shops and others these days put a sealant inside the terminal in order to prevent water from "wicking" into the fitting. Since the wire is made of "round" wires even when the terminal is swaged (compressed) around the wire there will be microscopic pathways for water to enter and corrode the wire. Yes, stainless steel corrodes - just not as much or as fast as steel wire.
The rigging shop states that this is what was done. They do not want me to remove the sealant. So now I'm in a bit of a catch 22. The rust is under the sealant and I can't remove the rust without removing the sealant. I could buy a poor job on some of the fittings, but all 14 fittings would appear to have the same problem. Well at least 7 of them do, I'll have to wait until I go up the mast to see if the other 7 do as well.
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Old 30-04-2015, 11:26   #35
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

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The rigging shop states that this is what was done. They do not want me to remove the sealant. So now I'm in a bit of a catch 22. The rust is under the sealant and I can't remove the rust without removing the sealant. I could buy a poor job on some of the fittings, but all 14 fittings would appear to have the same problem. Well at least 7 of them do, I'll have to wait until I go up the mast to see if the other 7 do as well.
Bill if they pour sealant in the swage terminal priot to swaging the wire they deserve a kick in their ass, swages are fitted dry....
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Old 30-04-2015, 11:28   #36
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

I would suspect it's something other than 316 myself, but I don't have an answer as to how to find out what it is.
While I do not think it's any kind of definitive test, I'd try to see if a very strong magnet, like a rare earth one has any attraction, easy test, but I don't know if it proves anything.
I believe 316 is Austenitic and non-magnetic, but there are types of Martensitic stainless too.
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Old 30-04-2015, 11:58   #37
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

Had similar thing happen to my new rigging done in St Pete. FL. except had a lot of candy striping as well. Picked out worst shroud and had rigger make me a new one, ship it to Rio Dulce, Guatemala and shipped "bad" one back for metallurgy testing. Report can back as only superficial staining, nothing internal or to be worried about. Rigger paid for everything. Two years later most of candy striping gone without doing anything but still no good explanation other than some type of surface contaminant during some step along the way from manufacture to installation.
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Old 30-04-2015, 13:51   #38
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

I totally agree to no sealant when swaging. But I have seen many wires with sealant, and they hold up just as good.
Have you checked your grounding lately?
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Old 30-04-2015, 14:17   #39
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

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Had similar thing happen to my new rigging done in St Pete. FL. except had a lot of candy striping as well. Picked out worst shroud and had rigger make me a new one, ship it to Rio Dulce, Guatemala and shipped "bad" one back for metallurgy testing. Report can back as only superficial staining, nothing internal or to be worried about. Rigger paid for everything. Two years later most of candy striping gone without doing anything but still no good explanation other than some type of surface contaminant during some step along the way from manufacture to installation.
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I've had many exchanges with the company today and they pretty well have me convinced I have the same problem. The rigging was made from one spool of wire yet the candy striping is not consistent between shrouds. All of them have at least one strand involved and one seems to have 4. I suspect if there is a piece of rusting contaminate somewhere on one of those strands that moisture would tend to carry it down the same strand. After cleaning a couple of the fittings I can find no pitting or other evidence of direct corrosion on the wires even with magnification. I don't know whether the contamination got on them during manufacturing or installation, but I was in a boat yard and god only knows what might have been flying around in the dust. We had a very dry season down here until last week and we've had only a bit of light rain for the last week. That might be why I noticed the problem as the rain was washing rust stains down the wires and concentrating them at the swage joint. In any case, I feel a bit better about the situation now. I have to put the boat on the hard when I get back to the states to fix a sail drive problem and I may have a rigger take a look at it then but for now I'm not going to worry about my ability to get back. With a sail drive out of commission I certainly did not want to have a serious problem with my primary propulsion.

I have to tell you that the vendor was extremely responsive. I sent my first e-mail to the guy that handled my sale and it took about an hour to get a response, which was not from the sales team. I suppose the hand off took a little bit of time, but after the technical guy responded no other e-mails took more than a few minutes to get a response. I hesitate to mention their name here because what is probably a cosmetic problem which may have been induced at installation might be thought by some to be more serious and damage their reputation. I certainly am extremely happy with their response. If anyone wants to know the company name please send me a PM.
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Old 30-04-2015, 16:52   #40
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

I had a very similar problem 2 years ago - staining at lower terminals after 3 months old (the rig that is, not me!). Suppliers were willing to take a shroud away and do tests, but first advised to clean a length and see what then happened. I did this and there was no significant further staining. It turns out the staining was either from dust in the air, or just possibly contamination from non-stainless steel particles somewhere between manufacture and delivery (highly unlikely on investigation).
So I would err on the side of caution and not sail (in over 15kn wind or 0.5m sea) until the problem is resolved, but have a fairly positive outlook that there isn't a real problem.
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Old 30-04-2015, 17:25   #41
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

"Supposedly, it all comes from the same place (I think that's what I heard from a rigging shop recently). "

Unfortunately "the same place" is almost guaranteed to be from China - or elsewhere overseas where the quality control is not what it was in the US 30 or 40 years ago.

Very little steel is produced domestically anymore. Even if the wire rope was made here, the extruded strands undoubtedly come from else where.
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Old 30-04-2015, 17:51   #42
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

The Norseman/StaLok terminals on my old boat look bright and shiny after 40 years in the tropics. Second set of wires though.
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Old 30-04-2015, 17:54   #43
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

Apply some undiluted Muratic acid with a paint brush on the rust. Rinse off with water after 3 minutes and see what it looks like then. Could look brand new.
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Old 30-04-2015, 18:16   #44
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

It's possible that when the wire was drawn through the die during manufacture it could have been contaminated with Iron.
I'm sure we have all heard the stories of washing the Delorean with Brillo pads?


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Old 30-04-2015, 18:26   #45
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Re: Standing Rigging-should I be worried?

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About 20 years ago I had a boss who gave me the best advice of my life, and virtually every time I have ignored it it has come back to haunt me. The advice was "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

I know this doesn't help much after the fact, but maybe it might be useful in the future!

Sorry to see that level of corrosion. I don't believe that standards for stainless steel types are very well enforced, especially by specialty manufacturers.

Pete
Dangerous approach for safety and mission critical components like standing rigging.

The opposite viewpoint, and one of the best pieces of advice I received in my motorsport career was, is if it's broke fixit.

A good clean and polish is a good place to start with suspect rigging. If the corrosion is from the swaged joint it will reappear soon enough.

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