Originally Posted by Total Chaos
The only neg effect moving the chains farther outside is on the ability to close haul, in this case it is only couple inches otherwise the plates are in the same location. The effect on the rig is to actually make it stronger... the base is wider. As to the cosmetics to each his own. The one absolute fact about glassed in plates is that they are 02 starved and water will get in there eventually, 30 years down the road, or 2 and along with that comes crevise corrosion. The only way to inspect these plates is to have gamma radiography done. $1500 just to inspect the plates, hmmm pass.
Not quite true.
1) moving chainplates outboard is only stronger if where the new chainplates are attached is at least as strong as where they were. Since very few boats use completely perpendicular spreaders simply moving them further outboard also changes rig geometry. Keeping them inline with the old rig geometry also likely moves the new chainplates to new attachment points relative to hull deck strongpoints.
2) if you think it's difficult to completely waterproof a 2"x3/4" hole, how much more difficult will it be to waterproof the outer edge of a 3'x2" plate with holes drilled in it.
3) dye testing is much cheaper, x-ray testing is also a possibility both at much lower cost. But I agree with you here generally, by the time you go thru the difficulty of removing them it is generally better to just replace them no matter what you find, since these tests don't address work hardening.