Have you ever seen a turnbuckle fail? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-20-2009 Thread Starter
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Have you ever seen a turnbuckle fail?

In the process of preparing to send my rigging in for replacement. Seems unnecessary to have to replace the turnbuckle bodies. In my almost 6 decades on this planet I have never heard of a turnbuckle body failure. Looks like the turnbuckle body cost is about 30% of the cost for our 19 footer.

Would appreciate your input.

Thank you.

Have a Great Day,
Jim
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-20-2009
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Turnbuckles do fail. Although wire connection points are more prone to failure, turnbuckles also fail. Generally a small crack can be seen before total failure. You can check each turnbuckle and use them further, but I highly recommend replacing them also. If financially you cannot do it, try to replace them later.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-20-2009
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I had a turnbuckle fail on an all-rod rigging 42' sloop which had been sailed hard in the Caribbean. My boat. A picture of the failed turnbuckle is on page 41 in Bill Seifert's excellent book, Offshore Sailing. Sorry I don't have a copy of that pic to post here.

Crevice corrosion can and does affect turnbuckles, chainplates, and other parts of your standing rigging.

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post #4 of 14 Old 11-20-2009
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The only open body bronze turn buckle failures I have seen have mostly been due to thread issues.

I have however seen closed body stainless turnbuckles fail. This one is but one example..


I will say I have seen far more swage & wire failures than turnbuckles but that may just be coincidence..




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post #5 of 14 Old 11-20-2009
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I have had turn buckle bodies fail on smaller boats. One of the two rigs that I lost in my life was partially due to a failure of the the turnbuckle body on a small boat. The other resulted in a kink in the mast on a trimarran that I once owned. For some reason, I think turn buckle body failures are more common on smaller boats where the bodies are more likely to be cast and not forged or else tubular.

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post #6 of 14 Old 11-20-2009
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A lot of it also how much overbuilt things are when there sized out new

The standing rigging on my J24 is all the same size or bigger than my CAL 29 and most 25 foot boats i look at the rigging works but seems tiny

1970 Cal 29 Sea Fever

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post #7 of 14 Old 11-20-2009
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Had a stainless steel one crack on a 38 foot steel boat. No idea how old it was but the boat was 30 years old. Had all the others crack tested.

The boat had completed several long distance Atlantic passages to my knowledge.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-20-2009
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I've seen turnbuckles fail because of crevice corrosion, mainly because they were taped and were made of stainless steel.

Sailingdog

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post #9 of 14 Old 11-20-2009
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Get one of these..if they all test OK I would reuse them.

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post #10 of 14 Old 11-20-2009
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I can tell you that the turnbuckle on a J/24 will part explosively if you're tightening up the shroud when you think you're loosening it, well before the shroud has any problem. Don't ask me why I know this. :-)

Yes, stainless turnbuckles can and will fail from crevice corrosion after time and if they're 20+ years old, it might be time to either have them xrayed, dye checked, or simply replaced. On a 19'er there's a limited amount of damage you can get into by losing the rig, but still, it could really ruin a nice day on the water.
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