Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seal Harbor, Maine
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Liquid Penetrant Inspection?
Is Liquid Penetrant Inspection a common diagnostic tool used for rigging inspections?
Tundra Down is enjoying a rejuvenation worthy of its pedigree. I don't know the age of the standing rigging but I am starting to budget for replacements. I do inspect every inch by touch and visually examine each fitting looking for signs of age. It all looks solid but could easily be quite old. This boat spent its mid life on the hard.
The vinyl covered lifelines have been bleeding rust in several places. I noticed a split starting in one of the bow terminals and put their replacement on this years to do list. I can imagine these are original!
Sunday we had 15+ ssw and enjoyed a lively sail. Returning to our mooring as I "carefully" leaned against the stbd lifeline, with a firm grip on the bow rail, to reach the mooring with the boat hook, IT PARTED!!! I heard the "pop" and felt it relax. I was wearing my Mustang pfd and found myself still holding tight to the bow rail with my left hand, the boat hook with my right, pleasantly surprised that the water in Seal Harbor was actually swimming temperature. Ha! I switched hands and was facing the stern holding onto the toe rail. I was only wet half way up my chest. The life vest did not get wet enough to deploy. My shoulders were dry and I was headed for the rope ladder we hang over the transom. My wife had managed to grab the dinghy and it was tied to the mooring. When I made it to the stern I was sharing the water with mooring lines, an Avon and my rope ladder. I got a mooring loop onto the stern cleat and climbed up the ladder. No harm no foul. My wife was a little shaken watching me go over the bow. I was fine. I have a lot of time in the water over the years. BUT!
It was a most fortunate event. If something had happened while we were at hull speed in a sea of lobster pots tacking against the strong running tide in Eastern Way, the consequences of that failure would have been a bit more inconvenient. I know the water would have been colder out there. Ha! Sobering thoughts for sure.
I had seen what I thought was a crack in the fitting that failed. I noted it and was thinking about it. It was one of those, "Should I put in a reef?", moments that I didn't heed! Lucky me! I didn't even drop the boat hook.
There is a temporary dacron replacement that will get me through the rest of the season. I will be sailing with new lifelines next year.
That brings me to Liquid Penetrant Inspection. I am interested in having a clear "picture" of the condition of my standing rigging and Liquid Penetrant Inspection looks like a worthy diagnostic step. Does anyone have any experience with this process? I would like to avoid any more "surprises"!
Last edited by downeast450; 09-18-2012 at 08:02 AM.