galvanized vs stainless - SailNet Community

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Old 10-19-2007
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Question galvanized vs stainless

It seems to me that galvanized steel and galvanized wire would be used more in standing rigging. why not it's stronger than stailess .sure it's not geat to look at. i would love to here what your thoughts on this. maybe we will all have carbon fiber rigging one day. aloha.
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You are correct as far as you go. And galvinized rigging is what is used on virtually all cargo ships, at considerable cost savings as well. Esthetics aside, you must consider that the standing rigging is attached to aluminum masts and spreaders. Use of galvinized raises the issue of isolating dissimilar metals to prevent galvanic action or electolysis between the two. That is actually quite a challenge and creates a perpetual maintenance problem. Given the fact that most boats are running around with their original rigging after more than a decade of use, the cost and slightly less strong stainless is considered reasonable.

If your point is; are we too stainless steel fixated, I'd certainly agree with it's use in ground tackle leading the way.
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Originally Posted by YACHTS33 View Post
It seems to me that galvanized steel and galvanized wire would be used more in standing rigging. why not it's stronger than stailess .sure it's not geat to look at. i would love to here what your thoughts on this. maybe we will all have carbon fiber rigging one day. aloha.
Galvanised anything eventually corrodes and fails in the marine environment when you least expect it, so it is not a good choice for standing rigging.

Galvanised wire halyards used to be common back in the "old days", but nowadays you can use spectra or kevlar which is at least as strong and easier to use.

Carbon fibre rod rigging is standard on the newer racing yachts already.

--Cameron
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Sailaway, I've never seen this so I can't say for sure but I don't think that the zinc galvanizing would pose a corrosion problem with aluminum. Zinc and aluminum alloys are very close in the galvanic series, certainly closer than Al and SS.

Now with carbon fibre (graphite) and Al, there would be a big potential there and unless the mast is also composite, isolation would have to be used.
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Now with carbon fibre (graphite) and Al, there would be a big potential there and unless the mast is also composite, isolation would have to be used.
If you're going to use composite rigging, it would be pointless not to have a composite mast already - a bit like having icing without the cake.

When money is no object (high level racing), I've seen people remove even boat nails and use velcro instead just to save a few kilos - maybe - on the off chance it may make a difference.

--Cameron
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