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  #31  
Old 09-24-2012
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

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Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
I would tend to agree.

What I do not understand is why sail boat rigging has a life span according to riggers. All other rigging lifting equipment (like cranes, hoist, and rigging equipment used by construction contractors) does not have a useful life span. Its life is determined by visual inspection of the equipment and cables, splices and compression fittings. Contractors do not throw rigging equipment away due to age, it is disposed of when a certain amount of broken strands or cracks in the crimp coponents is visible. We do not restrand the golded gate bridge after a certain time frame, it is only done after visual inspection shows we have a problem.
Is it true that cranes, hoists etc use regular steel. If so the difference may be that stainless behaves differently.

Another difference is on boats we use the swage fittings that can hide flaws that can't be inspected.

Another difference might be getting a regular saltwater bath.

I would also be interested in the engineering safety factors used. Is it higher on the crane?

Last edited by davidpm; 09-24-2012 at 10:41 PM.
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  #32  
Old 09-24-2012
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

If you look at how a cable is rigged to a crane you'll notice that every connection is open.You can instantly tell when it begins to fail. Most states require that cranes undergo some type of inspection on a regular basis. I know a guy that worked at Bethlehem Steel Company in Baltimore and he said state inspectors were there at least once a month doing safety checks on heavy equipment. Same was true at Sparrows Point Shipyards.

My swage fitting on my 27 Catalina's forestay covered a completely severed cable. There was no rust, no indication that anything was wrong, and just prior to the forestay's failure we were sailing in 20-knot winds with a full jib on a beam reach. Within seconds of furling in the jib the 1/4-inch stainless cable parted inside the lower swage fitting and the jib-sail, roller furling system, etc... slid into the waters of Chesapeake Bay's upper reaches. Quick thinking and lots of luck resulted in being able to salvage the sail and system before any serious damage occurred. The sail and roller furler were lashed to the lifelines, the old jib halyard was quickly utilized to stabilize the mast to the bow, the main was folded up and secured and the engine was fired up and we were headed back to the marina - hoping no other rigging would fail during the 4-hour trip.

The rigging had been inspected by a certified and very reputable marine surveyor just a year prior to the forestay failure. The surveyor said "There's really no way of determining whether or not the rigging is OK. Without some very expensive X-ray equipment, there's no way of seeing inside the fittings, so they could be OK, or ready to fall apart and no one could determine which is the case." He did, however, suggest that the rigging be replaced because it was 30 years old and original equipment. He was right!
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  #33  
Old 09-25-2012
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

I guess that in summary:

- It depends. Is the boat in fresh water or salt water? How often is it used? How hard is it sailed? Are extremes of temperature a problem? To take extreme examples, carefully coiled rigging stored somewhere in a dry warehouse for 35 years would probably be safe...if used in offshore racing, 5 years could be too much!

- I think also we are talking probabilities. After 15 years of typical use, the percentage failure rate is low. At 20 years, probability of failure is higher, at 25 higher still, etc. As Clint would say, "Do you feel lucky"?

- How do you intend to use the boat? If you are daysailing in light winds, you may decide the odds are in your favor. If you are crossing the Atlantic, that may change your risk tolerance. (If I was going offshore, I would replace my chainplates and standing rigging without hesitation)

There's lots of good advice here; your rigging may be fine at that age, if just depends on your unique situation.
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Last edited by paul323; 09-25-2012 at 01:36 AM. Reason: typo
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  #34  
Old 09-25-2012
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

Lots of great points made, but you might just want to contact Tartan Yachts and ask them. I’m curious to see what they have to say.

Tartan Yachts
1920 Fairport Nursery Rd.
Fairport Harbor, Ohio 44077
Phone: 440-392-2628
Fax: 1-888-266-9070
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  #35  
Old 09-25-2012
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Is it true that cranes, hoists etc use regular steel. If so the difference may be that stainless behaves differently.

Another difference is on boats we use the swage fittings that can hide flaws that can't be inspected.

Another difference might be getting a regular saltwater bath.

I would also be interested in the engineering safety factors used. Is it higher on the crane?
Where I work some lifting cables are stainless. I have spoken with rigging inspectors and they tell me the inspection requirements are the same for stainless as carbon steel- look for individual broken strands.

Crane safety factor is about 4 to 1, about the same as a sail boat.

Industrial lifting gear does use a swage type fitting. These are used mainly for lifting chokers but are found on all types of lifting equipment. Here are some pics:
Attached Thumbnails
35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok-wirerope_sectionheader.jpg  

Last edited by casey1999; 09-25-2012 at 02:34 PM.
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  #36  
Old 09-25-2012
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
If you look at how a cable is rigged to a crane you'll notice that every connection is open.You can instantly tell when it begins to fail. Most states require that cranes undergo some type of inspection on a regular basis. I know a guy that worked at Bethlehem Steel Company in Baltimore and he said state inspectors were there at least once a month doing safety checks on heavy equipment. Same was true at Sparrows Point Shipyards.

My swage fitting on my 27 Catalina's forestay covered a completely severed cable. There was no rust, no indication that anything was wrong, and just prior to the forestay's failure we were sailing in 20-knot winds with a full jib on a beam reach. Within seconds of furling in the jib the 1/4-inch stainless cable parted inside the lower swage fitting and the jib-sail, roller furling system, etc... slid into the waters of Chesapeake Bay's upper reaches. Quick thinking and lots of luck resulted in being able to salvage the sail and system before any serious damage occurred. The sail and roller furler were lashed to the lifelines, the old jib halyard was quickly utilized to stabilize the mast to the bow, the main was folded up and secured and the engine was fired up and we were headed back to the marina - hoping no other rigging would fail during the 4-hour trip.

The rigging had been inspected by a certified and very reputable marine surveyor just a year prior to the forestay failure. The surveyor said "There's really no way of determining whether or not the rigging is OK. Without some very expensive X-ray equipment, there's no way of seeing inside the fittings, so they could be OK, or ready to fall apart and no one could determine which is the case." He did, however, suggest that the rigging be replaced because it was 30 years old and original equipment. He was right!
As my privious post show. There is a lot of rigging equipment that uses swage type fittings (chokers for example- which cranes typically attach to to lift equipment) and they are inspected reguarly, but they are not disposed of bast on an age. The other thing, if sailboat rigging cannot be inspected and cetified 100% that it is good for service, seems we got a problem. Either we use a different material (galvanized or bronze wire) or we have additional stays and shrouds to act as back ups. Seems we put a lot of faith into a single piece of wire that even an experienced rigging inspector cannot tell you "this wire is good for 25,000 miles of 25 knot sailing". When you get an industrial crane inspected they do not use x-ray, yet the inspection is assumed 100% reliable and in fact we do not have many crane failures if the inspections are done properly.

Last edited by casey1999; 09-25-2012 at 03:12 PM.
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  #37  
Old 09-25-2012
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

deleted - Reason 'senior moment'.

Last edited by RichH; 09-25-2012 at 03:02 PM.
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  #38  
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

Yup youre right, had s senior moment ... I'll remove the post.

please remove your quote of my quote.
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  #39  
Old 09-26-2012
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

Well now I'm really confused. Why is their such a difference between crane and sailboat inspection.

Maybe it is shock loading that a boat gets that is particularly hard on the wire.

Maybe the number of swage fittings used are so low in crane use it has not become a statistical problem that has been dealt with.

Larry Pardee prefers hand spliced wire on a thimble for that very reason. It is easy to inspect and more flexible without any hard spots.
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Old 09-26-2012
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

OK I think I got it.
http://www.ndttech.com/Papers/Crane%...%20methods.pdf

The first couple of paragraphs says the the most wear with wire rope in crane service is rolling over the pulleys caused damage to wire.

Usually, fatigue breaks develop in segments of the rope surface that come into direct contact with a sheave or drum.


If that is the case then bad strands will show up before any other damage is critical in a crane.
With a boat since the wire don't move it can fail first in places that can not be seen.
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