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Old 12-16-2007
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Stu R
 
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Swage vs mechanical fittings

I'm about to buy a Newport 41. The original rod rigging is 27 y/o and the consensus seems to be that (even without a rigging inspection) its time has come and its time to replace it (based on its age alone).

I'm planning to re-rig with wire (rod seems to be prohibitively more expensive, - the quote was x3 for materials). My surveyor recommended using mechanical fittings (e.g. Sta-lock). I'm told these don't allow water to collect so easily and so are less prone to corrosion, they permit disassembly, inspection and cleaning inside the fitting.
On other boats, I have seen the wire around where water collects inside swages start to rust less than 18 months after installation.
So, my original plan was swage at the top and mechanical at the bottom.

However, the advice from my yard is that mechanical fittings are less reliable when poorly installed -- they have seen instances of wire pulling out of terminals. Another complaint is that you need to take the fitting apart to see whether it was assembly correct the time.
They somewhat like inflatable PFDs. If you *really* want to know whether the thing was put together right last time, you need to throw it in the bath to set it off. But if you set it off, you will need to service it then you will still be worrying, "did I put that together back together right last time?"

So, why go for something more complicated?

So, what do you say? Swage or mechanical?

Could the bottom swages could be filled with sealant? I'm thinking of maybe using something wax based. My thinking is that wax is naturally water repellent and easily removed to allow cleaning and drying? Ever heard of this?

Cheers,
- Stu
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