Join Date: Feb 2004
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You know, that should be right on the money. It really SHOULD work that way...
But I work on a lot of boats that are over 40 years old...and have lived somewhat hard lives (on moorings in salt water, rather then on trailer or in a sheltered marina) and the 304 on them is just fine, thanks.
At some point I went over to using 304 for staunchions instead of 316 because I liek it when they bend and I can heat and bend them back and shrink out the wrinkles instead of having them stress fracture and break. Same goes for bow rollers and such. So after a few years of doing custom hardware, I find that well finished 304 is actually pretty damned nice. I do still use a lot of 316...but as a rule I will use it where there is going to be a lot of human contact (hand rails and such). I find that the oils, sweat, and sunscreen residue form human contact promotes discolouration in 304 fittings much more than just salt and sun and ionised chlorine.
By the way, 316L greatly reduces the tendency to self harden and fracture when stressed, so you can always go that option for staunchions.