Jim and I had a non-replaced baby stay wire fail in a seaway. It failed about 10 inches above the swage, and failure was due to oxygen-deprivation corrosion
, that is to say, the outside was shiny and looked fine, but the inside of it was rust powder. Jim had to go aloft in 45 knots to repair it.
I do not think only replacing the end fittings will give you the safety
you are looking for, because of the ways wire fails, and also the ways fittings fail. That hairline crack that you can barely feel with the blade of a sharp knife is in fact a serious flaw, and if that swage goes, your rig's in danger
One ofther thing, Scoobert's rigger will probably tell him this, but you may not be aware of it: if you have roller furling
and use sails
partially rolled up, it puts weird loading on the wire, such that roller furler
wires are often weakened about 8 inches below the swage, and often break up there. Now this need not necessarily result in the rig coming down: if you have room to turn down right now, and unload the wire, you may be able to get it and the sail safely on deck
, and then drop the main and gently motor
Frankly, I would no more trust 30 yr. old wire & cotter pins for offshore work than condoms kept with a porcupine!