Hey, I think I might have saved our lives today!! Seriously. . . .OK, I'll back up a bit.
I'm in the process of re-doing/strengthening/improving quite a few things on our Catalina 27. It's 40 years old . . . but still a solid boat. We love her. But, we are planning an extended trip with her in spring, so going through things from top to bottom.
One of those things is all new standing rigging. I had earlier posted a query here requesting advice on the old wire ends (nicorpress and looking pretty gross).
I found the mast head was cracked, old style spreader sockets, etc. Lots of things.
But today . . . was the clincher. 2 of the four chain plate nuts were completed corroded off. I mean "off" as in "not there at all". The nut had just disappeared somewhere along the line. There was a plastic "cap" where the nut should have been.
I pulled the long steel pieces that are bolted to the bulkhead and theey were a little "gunky" where they went through the deck, but when cleaned up, no crevices or corrosion noted.
You know, I've read in a dozen different places about dis-masting and rig failure and how it usually comes down to failed fittings or corroded chainplates. I feel super fortunate to have discovered this on the hard . . . instead of out on the water.
Thanks for all of the advice here . . . and GO CHECK YOURS TOO!