Yes, I know the rig was / is WAY overdue, and that's why I'm replacing it, so I don't need a lecture about dismasting
- I'm well aware of the risks. I have monitored the rig closely and don't sail offshore
or inshore for that matter in winds exceeding 15 knots. I reef at 10 knots, and keep the rig tight and properly tuned.
I've now replaced all but the forestay and capshrouds - myself - so it takes time. I'm doing it with the mast
up, hoisting myself with a bosuns chair and tackle. It's hard, dangerous, expensive, time consuming work.
The bobstay (not "baby stay" ) wasn't properly toggled by Catalina
when they built the boat. The lower swage spends 1/2 it's time immersed in saltwater while underway. It's the most heavily loaded stay on the boat, and subject to mechanical damage from docking mistakes
. It's exactly the same wire as the upper shrouds, which don't see nearly the same loads or abuse as that poor bobstay.
So while the rig definitely needed / needs replacing, the risk I took with it were calculated, and guess what?
is still standing. Your results may vary.
Now, back to my original question about Anti-corrosives:
Two recommended by Practical Sailor for above deck
are CorrosionX and Boeshield. Both are very sophisticated treatments developed for aerospace and the protection of aluminum
components. Both contain passivating agents designed to block the corrosion process at the molecular level, as well as displace moisture and prevent its entry into assemblies and such.
From what I understand, corrosion is an electrolytic process that requires and anode, cathode, an electrolyte and electromagnetic field. Eliminate any one of these and the process stops.
is an alloy of low carbon steel
and various other elements like chromium, nickel, and maganese. It's a chromium oxide surface film that gives it corrosion resistance, and the "oxide" part requires oxygen. When moisture is trapped inside of the wire, the oxygen in it binds with the surface chrome creating the anti corrosive film.
At first. Over time the free oxygen is used up by this passivation, and the film breaks down. Now you have a low oxygen electrolyte that sits inside the wire structure, literally eating it away from the inside out.
Repeated cycles of this weaken the wire, and eventually it fails - usually at a stress riser, like a swage end. My backstay began parting where my tensioning pulley met the wire at an obtuse angle.
SS wire is passivated during manufacture. My thinking is that maintaining this passivation with the appropriate treatment might prolong the life of the rig, keeping it stronger during its service
CorrosionX is a lighter oil
based treatment than the wax based Boeshield. The main issue I see with treating the wire is that it's a chore, and that Boeshield leaves behind a slightly tacky wax film that could trap moisture inside an already wet wire. CorrosionX does not have that issue, but is less durable.
Again, I'm looking for informed opinions regarding this, not lectures about what a reckless idiot I am for waiting too long to replace the rig. The boat was new to me 3 years ago, and my surveyor
thought the rig was serviceable then. It was only later I came to suspect it was unserviceable after the bobstay failure, and began taking steps to correct it. These things take time and money
, both of which are in short supply.
Back in the old days, hemp rigging was regularly sized with pine tar to preserve it - why not do the same with this finicky modern material using the fruits of modern organic chemistry?
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