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Old 20-05-2013, 16:16   #16
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Re: X-Ray Chainplates (While on Boat) in Florida

The problem with glassed in plates is they are the perfect medium for crevice corrosion. Any water that gets in will be held there in a limited oxygen environment. Guess what, that is what causes crevice corrosion. Since they are glassed in, they cannot be removed and inspected. Most chainplates fail at the area that's in the deck because of stagnant water in a limited Oxygen environment. When the plates are glassed in, the entire chain plate from the deck on down is in an oxygen deprived environment just waiting for a little salt water to blossom into crevice corrosion. Since you can't get at your chain plates to inspect, you've no idea if they are in good condition or ready to break at the next gust of wind. If your boat is a leaky teaky, you're living on borrowed time with usury interest rates. They are notorious for crevice corrosion from low grade stainless hardware. Add service in the tropics and crevice corrosion is greatly accelerated.

The chain plates on my 43 year old boat are out in the open with no sign of any water intrusion and were in remarkably good shape after all that time. A few did have some minor crevice corrosion in the deck interstice which I felt pretty good about. That is until I talked with a nationally recognized rigger, He said those small areas of pitting were just the visible corrosion and that the corrosion was probably spider webbing out in microscopic cracks that would cause the plate to fracture sooner than later.


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Originally Posted by Sailing Partner View Post
I have a 41' sailboat built in 1977 with four forward glassed in chain plates and has been in sailing service the entire time without chain plate mishap. Needless to say it has left the slip and returned safely numerous times. This factual experience overrides your ill advised opinion.
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Old 20-05-2013, 18:03   #17
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Re: X-Ray Chainplates (While on Boat) in Florida

We are aware of the risk involved with glassed in chain plates, hence the reason for enquiring about the possibility of having them x-rayed versus the expense of having them exposed and tested the usual method. We never expected to be told that one would never leave the slip with glassed in chain plates, nor to be mini lectured on how chain plates quickly degrade in an oxygen deprived, marine environment.

Regardless, thank you for the information.
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Old 20-05-2013, 18:12   #18
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Re: X-Ray Chainplates (While on Boat) in Florida

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You may not want X rays, perhaps ultra sonic or MRI. The Aviation world has all kinds of mobil guy's running around doing testing.
Thanks Guy, Your suggestions are very helpful. We have had a professional survey the rigging last week. Given he couldn't inspect the forward chain plates he suggested removing them, at great expense. We are looking into alternatives before committing to the invasive work that would need to be done. Either way, they will be inspected and replaced if need be.
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Old 20-05-2013, 18:12   #19
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Re: X-Ray Chainplates (While on Boat) in Florida

But that is what you get here. Don't take it personaly.
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Old 21-05-2013, 01:55   #20
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Re: X-Ray Chainplates (While on Boat) in Florida

cautionary tale - was cleaning some old paint off my chainplates on the weekend, noticed a loose bolt, reached down to see if it would turn, the head of the bolt came off in my fingers - gotta love stainless steel, it looks perfect til it breaks...
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Old 21-05-2013, 02:10   #21
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Re: X-Ray Chainplates (While on Boat) in Florida

My old daddy always said " when in doubt , Take it out !" ya can't tell if ya can't see! And to me, I would think about the expense if getting a new mast and rigging if the forward chain plates let go! Just my 2 cents
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