Balsa and rigid foam cores. Aluminum, magnesium, and titanium alloys. Epoxy resins. Unidirectional glass, carbon fiber , and Kevlar. Builders have the most fantastic tools at their disposal to build light, durable boats … and then we weigh them down with all manner of stuff.
Our upcoming report on lifelines, stanchions, and stanchion bases brought to mind several past articles we've run on stainless steel failures. Although high-quality stainless can provide years of reliable service, sailors need to be aware of its limitations. Owners of used boats with hardware of an unknown age should be particularly scrupulous when carrying out routine inspection of stainless-steel rigging and hardware.