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If you are not concerned about a bit of extra windage - on the shrouds, back stays (no gear running up / down on them) you could parcel and serve - last job I was involved with we tarred the wire then used canvas soaked in raw linseed oil as parcelling then used a polyester braid as the serving. wire was 7x7 12mm. That was a nearly complete replacement of a 30year old rig - the wire in the spliced eyes had gone bad.

Took the time to strip parts off the only wire not changed (had no eyes) - a wire I had done 7years before - nil corrosion. About once a year it would get blacked down (tar, paint and driers).

Have stripped servings off wire that is 25+ years in service on other vessels - no problems.

We did full length but you can do the lowers parts that get hands / sails / ropes touching them.

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Not sure I would say, use chemicals other countries can't. Hyundai are a producer of some of the highest quality steels in the world due mostly because of their Shipbuilding and thus quantity of steel production. But there are other very good products made around the world as well. Italy is one of thr top produces of Chain and Wire and even rope for that matter. Italy has been in the game of making those products for a very long time. I don't think you would go wrong with anything made anywhere else, providing it is not made in China. Although that is not saying a good product is not made in China, it's just that it is hard to k ow what is good and what is not. As I have always said, Products from China tend to be made cheap to be cheap.
But quality of Steel is not the only part to consider. The Galv is just as important and the recipe for Galv is very often played with on Chinese products to make it go further. So often full of Aluminium and other additives to make it shiny, flow better 9which results in a thinner coating) and require less of the more expensive Zinc. The result is a Galv coating that does not last.

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One other thing you can do to extend their life is to invert them top to bottom every three years or so. This stops the excessive wear in one place due to exposure to salt water crystal formation.


Got that tip from Webb Chiles' blog. He noted that every time he saw a broken shroud it always broke at the bottom.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 years later...

My Hartley Tahitian ketch came out of the water at Westpark Marina in Feb 2020. Among other things, to replace all wire rigging. The original galvanised rigging was all fitted by the builder including every eye spliced, around 1985. It was treated with Fisholine at that time. By 2020 the ravages of time were showing. Although no broken strands, certainly sufficient visible rust to make the assumption that it was time for a change. 

Stainless steel and Dyneema are similar in that they do not stretch. Shock load is transferred directly to the mountings and fittings. That was a concern for me with a ferro-cement boat. Galvanised wire has some stretch capability. Also it will not give up catastrophically in the way that stainless will, especially as SS work-hardens and becomes more brittle with every movement. As an ex-tug master I have watched a very large combination steel wire and polyprop towline break under extreme load and fly back towards my crew. Scary event!

Neither Dyneema or SS seemed aesthetically pleasing for my yacht. Consequently I went with galvanised wire again, although this time with Talurits instead of hand made splices. There are not enough hours left in my life to complete even one more wire splice!

Price wise, a massive saving and I'm sure I'll get another twenty years out of the new rig. By that time I'll probably be in a rocking chair anyway.

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