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Stainless Rigging Wire - How Long Does it Last?

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My boat is rigged with 1/4"" 1x19 Stainless rigging wire.

The rig is now 8 years old.

The boat is raced regularly on Auckland Harbour.


Can any forum members advise me on on the expected life of this sort of rigging wire?




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The wire is not usually the issue, but the terminations.

As an Indicator, Cat 1 requires replacement every 10 years. That being said, there are plenty of boats around with 20+ year old rigs. It will depend on the use, and the condition. As I said, the terminations are almost always the point of failure and can be very difficult to see any faults. Inspect with a magnifying glass, and dye if you are keen. Or replace if any doubt.

Corrosion around the terminations is an indicator sometimes

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Make sure you remember when discussing things like this that Steve and most likely IT, to use 2 names in this thread as examples, will not have been using wire made in or to the same standard as wire you will buy in NZ today. It maybe better but then ........


How much of a influence that has in longevity is a big unknown but from what I see in other products there is no way I'd bet on wire brought today lasting any where as long as wire brought 30 years ago.


Which is why I find myself saying more and more 'As new and improved as most stuff is these days the stuff our parents used was still better'.

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30 odd years ago a very good friend was planning to head off shore, his "ferro" 46 footer had galvanised rigging, a yacht inspector wanted to condemn it and said he would / should fit stainless wire. Friend was non-plussed and asked the inspector if he had ever lost a rig. The answer "flawed" him  ;-) The inspector had lost 3 or 4 rigs (memory) all stainless. After some discussion he kept the galv rigging. The yacht was sold in Europe 25 years later still with the same galv rigging as when the set sail.

Re my 32 year old wire, it would have been of Swedish manufacture, Today the "best?" is from Korea, and of course good Galvanised rigging wire is near impossible to source.

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