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Old 04-09-2008
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Question Stainless Steel...

Hi everyone,
Another disturbing question from me
As an architect the grade of the steel is important on our design criteria for loads and size...
I was, however, wondering how to determine the so called stainless steel we use on our boats. I mean there are different grades for stainless steel like 316, which is good, and 304, which is not really "stainless" steel.
The importers of these materials also seem to be not sure what grade they are actually selling, thanks to our production line in China!

Example #1: All "stainless steel" bolts and screws I just changed last summer are all rusted out already!!! I bought them from a marine store that claimed they were "good" stainless steel. Some of those bolts and screws were installed in the cabin some out of the cabin... Yet they are rusted doesn't matter where they were used...

Example#2: The irony is that over 30 year-old original stainless steel parts of my boat are still shining and showing no signs of rusting... Yet, fairly new installed railings (apparently, the previous owner installed them about 3-4 years ago) are point rusting.

I do know you'll get what you pay for, however, where to get the right stuff is the question. What were your experiences with brands you used on your boat? Where did you get them and how satisfied are you?
I can use some information before changing the bolts and screws again this season...
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