Standing rigging corroding after 2 years

Tranona

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2007
Messages
41,062
Visit site
According to the UK consumer law, giving consideration to the value of the goods, the life expectancy of a product such as this should be at least 6 years. If it fails during that period, then it is our legal right to seek for compensation. However, unless the survey declares the rigging “not fit for purpose”, it could be interpreted merely as an opinion and not a proof that it is, indeed, faulty.
Even if we did get a second, hopefully independent opinion, would they testify that the rigging wire is not fit for purpose, given that they all use the same supplier and presumably wouldn’t want to tarnish their relationship over our case?
We would very much welcome any advice or suggestions. It would also be interesting to hear if anyone has faced a similar predicament with their rigging.
Thanks in advance.
That is not quite what the law says. The 6 years is the time limit for being able to make a claim, not the expected life of the product. To make a claim you need to show that the product was not of merchantable quality or fit for purpose and that the defect was there when the product was made. The important point is that the onus is on you to show that, which means some form of expert opinion. As you rightly say, this is not easy to obtain and would need to be supported by "technical" evidence that will have to better, or rather more convincing, than that of the supplier.

The second challenge to bringing action is that your contract is with the rigger although he could join his suppler and the original manufacturer in support. As you have found getting those people to engage is not easy and you have no legal claim against them. While the intention of the law (which originally came from the EU, although similar law previously existed in the UK) was to provide a backstop for when the defects are found outside 1 year or not covered by makers warranty the reality is that it is extremely difficult to make a successful claim in relatively small everyday cases like this. The mechanism is there (Small Claims track) but the fundamental problem of establishing liability and then if successful getting redress mean it is a bit of a paper tiger. On a positive note, although not much help here, it has forced makers of complex consumer products like cars and domestic appliances to establish more realistic and accessible "goodwill" systems for dealing with out of warranty claims.

As to whether the rigging is not fit for purpose, the level of staining does look more than normal for the time in use, but as others have said this probably has not affected its strength and is unlikely to fail as a result of the staining. You would have to show that the wire would fail which means destructive testing - but your 15000 miles usage is probably far more likely to be a cause of any failure. A rabbit hole awaits.

TBH you have had your "moneysworth" out of the rigging. One of the reasons why replacement recommendations are inconsistent is because there is no standard measure of wire degradation, but usage is the major cause. 15000 miles is far more than 10 years coastal sailing usage and insurance claims seem to show that it is offshore and ocean sailing is the source of claims. Most insurers apply more stringent conditions on rig replacement for those going offshore for sound reasons.
 

vyv_cox

Well-known member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
25,469
Location
France, sailing Aegean Sea.
coxeng.co.uk
I'm surprised to see 302 and 304 being quoted. I bought from here : Stainless Steel Wire Rope | S3i Group
304 is widely sold as marine stainless wire in UK and elsewhere. Maybe some of this is actually 302, which is stronger by virtue of carbon content. It is quite common for a superior grade to be sold as the inferior. E.g. Chinese grade 30 chain that tests as grade 40.

It is the ferrite content that causes stainless to be attracted to a magnet. Good quality 316 has rather more nickel, which reduces the possibility of ferrite.
 

steveeasy

Well-known member
Joined
12 Aug 2014
Messages
2,092
Visit site
Your supplier whome you paid should sort this matter for you. I suggest you write to him asking to deal with the matter.

Steveeasy
 

Bobc

Well-known member
Joined
20 Jan 2011
Messages
9,979
Visit site
The firm they paid to do the rigging, who will have liability insurance, who will perhaps claim against the wire supplier on the basis of not being fit for purpose, who will maybe be more careful about their goods being to spec.
Even if no action is taken, the OP will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are not imagining things.
Fair point about the original spec, but yacht standing rigging "is" either 316 or galvanised wire. Does anyone make non-316 wire?
The Chinese do
 

steveeasy

Well-known member
Joined
12 Aug 2014
Messages
2,092
Visit site
Good luck with that. See both the OP and my post#21.

There is a gulf between "should" and reality

The reality is you try that first. If that proves unsuccessful then if the op feels he has a genuine claim he Sue’s them in the small claims court. It’s simple but you have to try an resolve the matter first , which I’m sure you would always advise is the best policy.

Steveeasy
 

AnnelyR

Member
Joined
2 Sep 2020
Messages
36
Visit site
Thank you all for your helpful suggestions and sharing your knowledge, much appreciated! There are some very valid points and it could certainly be worth getting the wire composition analysed and also opinions from other rigging companies.
The original rigger (one man operation) seems to be as stressed about the situation as we are. He claims that he has never had a case like this in his 30+ year career, doesn't know what to do and is on the verge of giving up his trade! We have asked for his professional opinion on the condition of the wire and to arrange for Seago to carry out assessment of the rigging for structural safety, but no joy so far.
 

Roberto

Well-known member
Joined
20 Jul 2001
Messages
5,114
Location
Lorient/Paris
sybrancaleone.blogspot.com
We would very much welcome any advice or suggestions. It would also be interesting to hear if anyone has faced a similar predicament with their rigging.
Hello,
I do not know about supposed changes in magnetic properties, but during the past 5-10 years there have been countless cases of new rigging wire, terminals, etc showing a brownish colour. "Older steel was better than today's" being often heard. Have a look around in your marina to make your own opinion.
After a number of worried customers calls, one manufacturer said regulations about end of production cycle passivation had become more stringent, so it takes a bit longer for steel to passivate itself once it is in use. Cheeky interpretation might suggest that passivation products or processes have become more expensive, so they leave it to the end user to complete the task. Maybe.
It's a fact there are many boats with very recent steel rigging components with brownish coloration yet no dismasting epidemic.
 

Daydream believer

Well-known member
Joined
6 Oct 2012
Messages
19,601
Location
Southminster, essex
Visit site
I would not let the bloke give you the "I am stressed" routine. That is just a typical ploy. Another one you get from small traders is " I have a wife & 3 kids to support etc". Do not fall for it. Some of them are craftier than a bunch of monkeys.
The cost of the rigging should be within his financial means & if he replaces it it will save him money in the end. You could come to a part payment deal for the years you have used it. That is not unreasonable as you would have 10 years from new.
But if no deal forthcoming & If you have been disadvantaged, sue him & do not wait.
If he does not have insurance, he should be stopped from trading.
 

flaming

Well-known member
Joined
24 Mar 2004
Messages
15,185
Visit site
Hello,
I do not know about supposed changes in magnetic properties, but during the past 5-10 years there have been countless cases of new rigging wire, terminals, etc showing a brownish colour. "Older steel was better than today's" being often heard. Have a look around in your marina to make your own opinion.
After a number of worried customers calls, one manufacturer said regulations about end of production cycle passivation had become more stringent, so it takes a bit longer for steel to passivate itself once it is in use. Cheeky interpretation might suggest that passivation products or processes have become more expensive, so they leave it to the end user to complete the task. Maybe.
It's a fact there are many boats with very recent steel rigging components with brownish coloration yet no dismasting epidemic.
It's definitely true to say that steel today is "different" than steel from years gone past.

For context we've been buying 304 and 316 (and mild steel) for about 50 years...
When you say "316" or "304" you're asking for a specification of steel, and on top of that you can specify certain other properties. But what you're really asking for is for there to be certain percentages of the various elements that make up the alloy. And the specification sheet for each one has a maximum or an allowable range for each element.
For example, here's 316.

316 Chemical Composition
C Carbon - 0.08% maximum
Mn Manganese - 2.00% maximum
Si Silicon - 0.75% maximum
Cr Chromium - 16.00 - 18.00%
Ni Nickel - 10.00 - 14.00%
Mo Molybdenum - 2.00 - 3.00%
P Phosphorous - 0.045% max
S Sulfur - 0.030% maximum
N Nitrogen - 0.10% max
Fe Iron - Balance

What's happened as the mills have got better at controlling their processes is that where in the past they used to aim at the middle of the band for just about everything, they are now able to aim at bottom limit for all the more expensive elements. We get the spec sheet for every batch we buy, and I haven't seen anything more than a smidge over bottom limit for Cr, Mo and Ni for years.

You can tighten up the spec if you want, but to do that you need to be buying an entire casting to have it made to your spec, not a few tonnes....
 

steveeasy

Well-known member
Joined
12 Aug 2014
Messages
2,092
Visit site
I had 10 year old rigging and had it replaced for peace of mind. The new standing rigging that was in no way cheap rusted within a couple of months. So did another boats. In the Solent and an independant rigger. Quite frankly his attitude was crap but he’s highly regarded. I did not even get all I paid for and had to go buy another inner forestry.

Not even a thank you. Typical crap attitude by a business that had too many customers. It sickens me but I said nothing.

Steveeasy
 

Tranona

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2007
Messages
41,062
Visit site
The reality is you try that first. If that proves unsuccessful then if the op feels he has a genuine claim he Sue’s them in the small claims court. It’s simple but you have to try an resolve the matter first , which I’m sure you would always advise is the best policy.

Steveeasy
That is exactly what the OP has done as explained in the original post. It was not successful for the reasons I suggested in my post. It is extremely difficult to get anywhere with this sort of claim because you have to prove something that is almost "unprovable" - that is the product was not suitable for the job or that it failed to perform in the manner expected. Surviving 15000 miles of ocean cruising in all weathers without failing suggests it was adequate. The complaint is about the staining and apparent magnetism, neither of which seem to have affected performance. As the OP says, all he has for support is the opinion of a rigger - no evidence of the specification required, whether it was made correctly nor tests of failure for example.
 

Fr J Hackett

Well-known member
Joined
26 Dec 2001
Messages
64,129
Location
Saou
Visit site
When you commission small independents to do work cost is often a consideration and one should ask why is it cheaper? In using small independents you enter a minefield and sometimes you get to the other side and at others you get damaged.
I for one would only use one of the large companies for such work and in the past used Allspars and had no regrets.
 

Refueler

Well-known member
Joined
13 Sep 2008
Messages
17,985
Location
Far away from hooray henrys
Visit site
I know some may question my stand ... but I cannot help but feel - the rigging may show signs and have that magnetics - but is it really a risk ?

I post not to ignore the situation .. in fact I would be pursuing every avenue possible for solution from suppliers / riggers etc.
 

steveeasy

Well-known member
Joined
12 Aug 2014
Messages
2,092
Visit site
That is exactly what the OP has done as explained in the original post. It was not successful for the reasons I suggested in my post. It is extremely difficult to get anywhere with this sort of claim because you have to prove something that is almost "unprovable" - that is the product was not suitable for the job or that it failed to perform in the manner expected. Surviving 15000 miles of ocean cruising in all weathers without failing suggests it was adequate. The complaint is about the staining and apparent magnetism, neither of which seem to have affected performance. As the OP says, all he has for support is the opinion of a rigger - no evidence of the specification required, whether it was made correctly nor tests of failure for example.
Well he has this report in post 1

We fully expected there to be a few minor advisories, but what we didn’t anticipate was a damning report advising to replace all the rigging wire together with the terminals! The reason – corrosion and magnetism of the rigging wire.

With a report such as that it might be said the op may be negligent to continue to use the boat until a inspection has determined the rigging is indeed suitable and indeed safe.

Or are you suggesting the initial report is inaccurate. Carried out by a apparantly professional.

Steveeasy
 

Fr J Hackett

Well-known member
Joined
26 Dec 2001
Messages
64,129
Location
Saou
Visit site
Well he has this report in post 1

We fully expected there to be a few minor advisories, but what we didn’t anticipate was a damning report advising to replace all the rigging wire together with the terminals! The reason – corrosion and magnetism of the rigging wire.

With a report such as that it might be said the op may be negligent to continue to use the boat until a inspection has determined the rigging is indeed suitable and indeed safe.

Or are you suggesting the initial report is inaccurate. Carried out by a apparantly professional.

Steveeasy
That is the problem the OP has someone has condemned his rigging he is now obliged to replace it or question the riggers competence and ability to make such a statement.
"Carried out by a professional" always something that is debatable in the marine industry, what makes him competent in anything else other than installation work? From my reading he has condemned the rig on a visual inspection that has only found surface discolouration, it would be interesting to know what he is getting at by saying that it is magnetic, is he inferring that the original quality was suspect and not of the correct specification. We have a respected metallurgist that has confirmed that stainless of various grades that could be regarded as suitable in this application can become magnetic simply in their processing.
Personally I think the OP will get nowhere without specific testing of the wire to confirm whether it was initially of an acceptable specification or not and in the meantime if he wishes to use the boat should discuss with his insurers who will no doubt based on use alone recommend / instruct replacement.
 

Refueler

Well-known member
Joined
13 Sep 2008
Messages
17,985
Location
Far away from hooray henrys
Visit site
Visual determination of rigging is extremely suspect - especially in Stainless as usually there are no outward signs of imminent failure - unlike the deterioration of ordinary steel or galvanized.
Even experienced riggers I know, - and metals people locally running fabrication facilities have difficulty with visual on such.

As another says - OP now has a damning report that puts him in difficult position ...
 

Roberto

Well-known member
Joined
20 Jul 2001
Messages
5,114
Location
Lorient/Paris
sybrancaleone.blogspot.com
Visual determination of rigging is extremely suspect - especially in Stainless as usually there are no outward signs of imminent failure - unlike the deterioration of ordinary steel or galvanized.
Even experienced riggers I know, - and metals people locally running fabrication facilities have difficulty with visual on such.
Plenty of riggers willing to provide a written statement that a rigging needs replacement, hardly anyone willing to provide a written statement a rigging does not need replacement.
 

Daydream believer

Well-known member
Joined
6 Oct 2012
Messages
19,601
Location
Southminster, essex
Visit site
Plenty of riggers willing to provide a written statement that a rigging needs replacement, hardly anyone willing to provide a written statement a rigging does not need replacement.
I had my mast dropped at 5 years & the rigger confirmed everything Ok except the forestay- which I was changing anyway. The new forestay plus survey of the rig cost me circa £250 which I sent to the insurance co to demonstrate regular maintenance.
 

Tranona

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2007
Messages
41,062
Visit site
Well he has this report in post 1

We fully expected there to be a few minor advisories, but what we didn’t anticipate was a damning report advising to replace all the rigging wire together with the terminals! The reason – corrosion and magnetism of the rigging wire.

With a report such as that it might be said the op may be negligent to continue to use the boat until a inspection has determined the rigging is indeed suitable and indeed safe.

Or are you suggesting the initial report is inaccurate. Carried out by a apparantly professional.

Steveeasy
Depends on how you define "accuracy". He says the wire shows signs of corrosion and is magnetic. This may well be an accurate description, but it does not say anything about whether the product was suitable for the application or whether it has failed to perform as expected. Those are the tests the court will apply if any claim is to be successful. An "opinion" even when it comes from somebody who specialises in fitting the product is simply not enough. Remember also his opinion is that the product in its current state is not fit for further use. For the claim to be successful it needs to show that it was unsuitable right from the beginning.
 
Top