We rarely see problems with the wire of the standing rigging itself. More often it is with the terminals, chainplates and other fittings. Many of the problems with sailboat rigs originate near or below deck level where anyone can see them if they are looking. A few examples from our recent surveys are shown below.These swaged terminal fittings, are cracking due to stress corrosion. "Swaging" is a process where the tubular stainless steel fitting is squeezed, under high pressure, until it cold "flows" around the wire and grips it.
Incipient cracking like this will continue over time until the swage fails and the wire pulls out nexpectedly.rally swage cracking is more prevalent at the lower terminals because of the salt and pollutant laden water running down the wire. If we do see problems with the wire it is also often at the point where it enters the ing. (Stress Corrosion Cracking at the "Corrosion Doctors" web site gives technical details on this type of ailure.) ome ts have NorsemanTM or StayLocTM rather than swaged terminals. These are echanical ings which grip the ire strands between a conical wedge inserted in the center of the wire and the body which rs heend of the .More rarely we see fittings where the ends of the wire are cast into a lead alloy or polymer inside e body f theitting. Rigs with any of these mechanical or cast fittings do not have the oblem of wage cking. he fittings apparently last at least as long as the wire.The clues to what has actually happened with a rig are times subtle.