My standing rigging is getting a little long in the tooth. The forestay and backstay look fine, but the terminals for the upper and lower shourds look like they're accumulating a little surface rust.
So here's my question: is it possible or advisable to replace just the terminals for the shrouds, or do you have to replace the entire wire rope? I have 1x19 SS wire rope, and it looks to be in very good condition.
I've been up the mast and inspected that end of things, and it looks fine.
Sailhog, This probably isn't what you want to hear but it's pretty generally accepted among riggers, surveyors and wire and terminal manufacturers that if your terminals need replacing, your wire should be replaced also.
There are certainly exceptions. For instance they make extra long mechanical fittings that are specifically designed to be able to replace a compromised swage fitting without losing any overall length. But I believe that should only be done in case of emergency repairs or in the case of a damaged swage terminal on fairly new wire.
Surface corrosion is not uncommon on fairly new rigging. And it's usually nothing to worry about.
I believe that the age of the rigging and the location of the boat are the two biggest factors to consider when trying to determine the condition of the rig.
I do rigging inspections very regularly. For brokers, prospective buyers and people who are trying to buy insurance.
Before I even go aboard, I ask the age of the rig. If it's more than ten years old and it's been in the sub tropics, I'll tell the customer that I will recommend a rerig no matter what the inspection reveals. But that's just to cover my butt. Because if I don't find any visible defects and he gets his insurance so that he can do the Mexico race and something that I couldn't see in the course of a hour long inspection fails and he loses his rig and I hadn't mentioned in my report that the rigging was of a certain age, I could theoretically be liable. Because in fact occasionally
catastrophic failures do occur with rigging that on the surface looks okay.
The real truth of the matter is rigging in general is very forgiving and will usually give you plenty of notice before it fails completely.
But all this is just a long winded way of suggesting that you consider the age of your rigging rather than just the surface corrosion.