Galvanic Corrosion

30th November 2008

Galvanic Corrosion

Initial Report

Report Text:

The owner of a traditional gaff-rigged yacht advised that the mast had been lost when sailing in wind of 15 to 20 knots.  This was caused by the failure of a splice on the starboard forward shroud of main mast.  On examination it was found that a copper wire lightning conductor, which had been routed down the shroud, had been  touching  the  splice through the rope serving. This had resulted in  corrosion of the galvanised wire.

CHIRP Comment:

A reminder of the care needed to avoid galvanic action between dissimilar metals.  The Editor still remembers an incident on a  vessel on which he was serving when the aluminium radar tower secured directly by steel bolts toppled over!

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