What kind of wire are my shrouds and stays?

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
3,071
1,010
East central Illinois
The standing rigging on my 1989 PSC34 is failing with broken strands at most of the bottom swages. No surprise given the age. I would like to replace the swages with long-stud Sta-lok self-fit terminals with threads into the existing turnbuckles. The wires are 7mm in diameter with 12 strands on the outside. What kind of wire is this and would it be one of those Sta-lok says works with their units, "right hand and left hand lay 1×19, 7×19 7×7 and compacted strand stainless steel wire rope"

Thanks for any advice.
 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,793
1,138
San Diego
How many strands on the inner core? You seem to have an oddball wire construction - 1x19 is close to universal for standing rigging. Pics? Mechanical fittings are sized to the OD of the complete wire & the OD of the inner core. There is a hole thru the 'cone' which has to be a tight fit to the core for the fitting to hold. How old IS wire?
 

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
3,071
1,010
East central Illinois
I have not cut any of them, so do not know what is on the inner core. I have sent an email to Pacific Seacraft to ask if they know what this wire is. I believe it is the original standing rigging from 1989, but will check with the two more recent owners if they know better. Not sure a pic will help, but I'll post one below of a broken strand at the bottom swage.
 

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
3,071
1,010
East central Illinois
8605DEC8-2DFB-40C2-9F8D-3442084D6B1C.jpeg
 

mgs

canoeman
1,129
255
maine
Looks like 1x19 to me.

Second the thought about re-using the old wire.

Also see if there is a number stamped on the swage stud, or the upper fitting. If so that will tell you the wire diameter (for example 8 would be 1/4” or 8/32)
 

Rasputin22

Rasputin22
13,910
3,467
Replace your old (way past use date) 1x19 with the similar configured Dyform which works great with Sta-lock or Norseman fittings or whatever they are marketed these days. I think HAYN has taken over the StaLock style and use excellent SS alloy. Dyform has the same 1x19 lay but the individual strands are rolled into a sort of compressed configuration which results in less space between strands and more metal for the same diameter. It weighs more per foot that the equivalent 1x19 standard but stretches far less due to the compact forming.

1662998438536.png
 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
9,714
5,668
Canada
"What kind of wire are my shrouds and stays?"

They are made of metal wire. You are welcome.

But seriously they are 1x19 just like 99.5% of current sailboats with wire rigging. And yes it is amazingly stupid to think about re-using the wire. Can I introduce you to the concept of "fatigue"? If you want to save money look elsewhere.
 

LakeBoy

Random Internet Guy
Not sure when Dyform hit the scene.

The proper question to ask PSC is "What do you recommend for new shrouds & stays now?" What they did 33 years ago is much less relevant. You could also ask them for the price of a new set. Assuming the mast dimensions are know / same, they may be able to provide as opposed to getting with your local rigging shop / supply.
 
Under normal usage water runs down the wire ( which is stainless steel BTW ) and collects in the swage and then rusts out and then the wire breaks .. This process usually takes a bit less than 28 1/4 to 32 years but you don't want to test that. Non-normal usage can shorten the life of the wire even more.
 
Some things you should never follow the cheapest option, and that includes everything that keeps your mast standing.

Broken strands anywhere on a shroud are a sign you are very lucky, and that you should have replaced your standing rigging many years ago -- its very far past end of life.

Switch to Rod. It is dramatically better, safer and by far the longest lasting rigging, and not much different in price over 1x19. The reduction in stretch is remarkable, meaning it is fundamentally easier to tune and the mast remains in tune. The reliability is famous: Navtec, the now gone but not forgotten original rod rigging supplier to the marine industry and dominant leader for many decades, had the advertising tag line: "No rig has ever been lost due to Navtec rigging failure." While Navtec is gone, the identical product is widely available. I got mine from Doug Grant in San Pedro CA (http://marineproductsengineering.com/about-us.html), but also try The Rigging Company (https://theriggingco.com/locate-us/) in Annapolis, Rigrite, and so on. Search for Nitronic 50 rod rigging.

For all fore-and-aft rigging (headstay, inner forestay, runners, and backstay) Dyneema is the better option: much less weight (one seventh the weight for the same strength), cheap, easy to inspect and maintain. The slow stretch (creep) of Dyneema is not a problem on fore-and-aft rigging as it gets adjusted all the time anyway, so you don't need to go oversize to prevent creep, as one must with Dyneema shrouds.

I did go a bit oversize (sized for creep rather than strength) on the headstay due to potential for chafe from (soft) jib hanks, but after 4 years still no sign of chafe on hanks nor headstay. I used the same rope for the backstay, so its oversize too. When I replace them, I'll go much smaller (size for strength) to reduce windage, weight aloft, and cost.

I've been using Dyneema for headstay and backstay, with Nitronic 50 rod for shrouds.
 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,793
1,138
San Diego
Better not go to cold regions - Dyneema gets LONGER in the cold. In the vid, go to 7 min to watch them shake shrouds


Rod is not the longest lasting, read Navtec's papers on inspections & lifespan. It IS very labor intensive to inspect (even if you have fittings that can be taken apart). It is the hardest to replace outside major yachting centers.
 

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
3,071
1,010
East central Illinois
Thanks all. Pacific Seacraft confirms it is 1X19. I agree that not replacing the standing rigging was not the best decision, but I was fixing so many things before sailing off across the Pacific that it was just too much to contemplate. Also, the boat lived on Lake Superior for its first 22 years, so only in warm seawater for a decade. I hoped that would make a difference. Anyway, the problems are only at the bottom swages, so while I hear you all, especially Zonker, on not reusing the old wire, it seems to me that I can get away with that. But I will maybe rethink things. I doubt I will go to rod. Asking PS for a set of shrouds and stays to bring back to the boat in New Zealand next season is a good idea, but they are rather pricey for everything and if I am going to do that I should replace the chain plates too, at least for the shrouds at $2k for a set. There is a rigger in Vuda Marina who I will consult with, but I think I already know what he will say!
 

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
3,071
1,010
East central Illinois
For those wondering what I am doing in the interim, I posted pics in my Sailing the South Pacific thread in CA of the backup rigging and swage-sistering I am using to sail around in Fiji.
 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,793
1,138
San Diego
Since you a a lot of swages with broken strands: it is possible that the original swage fittings were poor. If the fitting does not have enuff of an entry chamfer, when it's run thru the machine the entry becomes a hard point. Determining rigging 'longevity' is an nebulous concept. Depends on wire alloy, fitting alloy, swaging method used, loading percentage, total load cycles, age of rigging in use. Were lee shrouds snug when sailing upwind hard? (boat heeled 15 deg or more?). Loose tune can allow for 'snatching' loads. Have you inspected upper ends?
Best swage fittings are 316 alloy. Insist on it. Dyform, mentioned above, is also 316 alloy
 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
9,714
5,668
Canada
I'd pull the chainplates and inspect (clean carefully and then green or burgundy scrubby pad). Look for any pitting or cracks. With the fresh water life, they are probably quite OK. But crevice corrosion on the backside or at the deck interface is a real issue and has brought down many rigs. So do it.

It is really, really, a bad idea to re-use the wire. I'm cheaper than anybody in terms of saving money on boat gear but the broken strands everywhere is telling you: FUCKING REPLACE IT ALL.

Its likely 1989 rigging. 33 year old wire is fatiguing/corroding all over the place and your solution is to clamp it up a bit higher on the wire with a longer Sta-lok? That is nuts.
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
62,307
5,505
De Nile
I'd pull the chainplates and inspect (clean carefully and then green or burgundy scrubby pad). Look for any pitting or cracks. With the fresh water life, they are probably quite OK. But crevice corrosion on the backside or at the deck interface is a real issue and has brought down many rigs. So do it.

It is really, really, a bad idea to re-use the wire. I'm cheaper than anybody in terms of saving money on boat gear but the broken strands everywhere is telling you: FUCKING REPLACE IT ALL.

Its likely 1989 rigging. 33 year old wire is fatiguing/corroding all over the place and your solution is to clamp it up a bit higher on the wire with a longer Sta-lok? That is nuts.
Challenge is he's already in the mid-pacific.
 




Top