Originally Posted by SlowButSteady
However, it's not as nice looking as stainless, and it needs to be replaced much more often.
My understanding is galvanized rigging needs replacement much less often than stainless if it's maintained (rinsed with freshwater and oiled) regularly.
Stainless is subject to crevice corrosion, and can fail suddenly without warning if not replaced regularly, whereas galvanized wire won't fail until it's visibly rusted through, which takes a very long time when it's maintained properly.
As for strength- stainless and galvanized are virtually identical and can be sized the same for the same applications.
The downsides of galvanized wire as I see them are increased chafe on sheets and sails which touch them due to the rough surface, and rust stains on sheets, sails, and deck. But it's just as strong, cheaper, and longer lived.
IF you use galvanized wire, and learn how to do your own wire eyesplices it's possible to totally re-rig a large sailboat for well under $100.
I think it's an okay choice for rigging, but I can't see using it for lifelines due to rust staining and abrasion/chafe issues.