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Old 01-03-2012, 12:25   #1
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Chain Plate Life Span

Is there any rule of thumb for chain plate lifespan? mine are ten years old, when i had the rest of the standing rigging renewed last year the riggers said the plates were fine, but now the port backstay chain plate shows lots of rust staining around it and a slight bend at the end where it bends towards the mast whereas the stadboard one has no bend on it and much less rust!
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:30   #2
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Re: chain plate life span

Ours were still OK after 34 years when I changed them out in anticipation of a year of cruising. Of the 12 I changed only one showd signs of crevice corrosion.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:36   #3
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Re: chain plate life span

meant to say mine are stainless not bronze or anything fancy
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:45   #4
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Re: chain plate life span

Replace it and be sure, be safe,,
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Old 01-03-2012, 13:07   #5
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Re: chain plate life span

Your backstays may not meet this criteria, but after your inspections, if you find an inboard chain plate that is corroding and needs replacing, consider titanium. Seriously. This metal is not as out-of-sight crazy expensive as it once was. But get a pro to drill, chamfer, or otherwise machine it. Titanium is really well suited as a replacement for chainplates that have suffered from oxygen starvation environments.
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Old 01-03-2012, 13:15   #6
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Re: chain plate life span

The plates are mounted on the exterior of the transom on the sugar scoop, though the rust appears to be coming from the inner side, making me wonder, especially with the slight bend in it, will pull it soon i think, if i take the topping lift and ties it to the port aft cleat, it should help support the missing stay if i pull the chain plate for inspection, well i think at least. boats are one steep learning curve
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Old 01-03-2012, 13:20   #7
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Re: chain plate life span

Exrernal rusting is little indication of the condition of a chainplate. Crevice corrosion results from oxygen starved stainless in the presence of an electrolyte (sea water). It's the side against the hull or the area of the chainplate where it passes through the deck that are what you should be concerned with. Only way to find out if you've got corrosion is to pull the chain plates and inspect. In the case of through deck chainplates, if there is signs of water leakage around the chainplates, you'd best pull them and inspect right quick.

The 40 year old through deck chainplates on my boat all looked good and showed no signs of leakage. Decided to change them just to be safe. Pulled three of them to use as patterns and all had some evidence of corrosion on the through deck part. Nothing that was bad cleaned up easily but it was still there.
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Old 01-03-2012, 13:25   #8
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Re: chain plate life span

I just replaced my original Alberg 30 41 yr old chainplates this winter. i put the mast back up last weekend. When taking out the old ones i found there to e very little wrong with them. I found one of the upper shrouds had some crevice corrosion. I purchased new 316 stainless bar from onlinemetals.com the material for 8 new larger chainplates set me back just over $70 delivered to my door. i upgraded the size when i did the replacement. and yes those tiny holes in the originals were the orginial chainplate bolt holes 1/4". I upgraded those too....
I attached a picture of the new ones vs old one, the only thing i did that is not shown was polish thenew ones as it cuts down on the chances of corrosion.
So with that said, i would pull the chainplate, inspect it and replace it if necessary.
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Old 01-03-2012, 20:57   #9
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Re: chain plate life span

Argyle is a 1975 Downeast 38. The chain-plates pass through the cap-rail and I believe the ones aboard were original. I pulled the them this winter. They actually looked pretty good. A bit of surface rust but I didn't see any pits or any obvious signs of crevice corrosion.

I'm replacing them anyway. I'll use the old ones a backing plates here and there.
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Old 01-03-2012, 22:02   #10
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Re: chain plate life span

If your boat is Taiwan made check every thing more often. My Peterson 44 had almost half of the chainplates corroded at 9 years old. Taiwan boats are far more likely to have stainless problems than European , or American made boats.____Grant.
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Old 01-03-2012, 22:23   #11
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Re: chain plate life span

A few days ago i went and inspected a 20 year old FG Roberts Offshore, before i even stepped from the dock to the boat i noticed the owner had put silastic around the thru deck chain plates.......the bilge and a "sump" where warm wet and humid......i walked away...
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Old 01-03-2012, 22:34   #12
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Re: chain plate life span

The answer to the OP question is NO. It depends on many factors. I saw a substantial stainless chainplate on a 60+ Dashew that failed in 2 years.

You may find a "rule of thumb" for specific make/models, but certainly NOT a general rule of thumb.

Hope this helps.

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Old 02-03-2012, 02:10   #13
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Re: Chain Plate Life Span

The rust might be from a really dumb source like a cheap Chinese washer.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:09   #14
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Re: Chain Plate Life Span

I just got done digging out my remaining 5 original chain plates. One failed years ago in a 34 knot wind snapping off at deck level. And yes, its a Cheoy Lee. Fantastic teak, but sub par stainless. Heres two pictures of the only one I found broken. Thats 2 of the six holding my mast upright total. Standing rigging is next.
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Old 02-03-2012, 23:35   #15
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Re: Chain Plate Life Span

BeBe, I am curious , was the Dashew boat made in Asia?. ____Grant.
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