Any first hand experience with using Hot Dipped Galv Cable in permanent lake installation ?

swbcaswbca Posts: 408 Baller
This first year, I used 750 feet of 3/32" of hot-dipped Galvanized cable to wind down a submersible slalom course. I will be making some adjustments so it would be fairly easy to swap it out with Stainless if there was significant benefit. One supplier that distributes both says galvanized can last decades in water - but that was generic comment not specific to cable products. If I could expect 5 years that's good enough for me. Its not a cable course. The cable attaches to a winch to pull down a course with individual anchors for each buoy anchored with poly rope. 250 feet of the cable is running through thick walled polyethylene tubing where it has lake-bottom contact so maybe galvanized would be affected by 30 feet of movement in the tubing when winding up and down ?


  • DWDW Posts: 2,403 Mega Baller
    My experience with lift cables, galvanized break at the waterline due to corrosion. The cable that stays submerged tends to be fine. Stainless has a much longer life span. I have also seen lots of variation in life for galvanized.
  • liquid dliquid d Posts: 1,378 Mega Baller
    stainless lasts on boat lifts for over 10 years....i wouldn't experiment with anything else.
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,791 Mega Baller
    The stainless mainline on the old Broho floating course lasted almost 30 years until we set an anchored version for the BD events in 2014 and 15. It’s still on the bottom and would probably still be viable if we removed it and cleaned it up.
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 408 Baller
    edited September 4
    Cable with these specs is hard to find. It easy to find in 1/8" and larger.
    3/32" Stainless Steel Wire Rope 304 Grade 7x19

    I found one brand and it was cheaper than Galvanized from E-Rigging

    Anything to be concerned about ?
    Laureola 3/32" Stainless Steel Aircraft Wire Rope 304 Grade 7x19-1000ft
  • DWDW Posts: 2,403 Mega Baller
    I did the good price buy once on galvanized and it broke in 6 months! Chinese junk so that would be my word of warning.
  • buoyboy1buoyboy1 Posts: 152 Baller
    Use grade 316 stainless under water. It will last longer and perform better than 304.
  • marknmarkn Posts: 460 Crazy Baller
    Tried galvanized on our course...softened and failed in 6-8 months. Stainless is the way to go. Heck the galvanized pipe on our boat lift almost rusted through before I noticed. The stainless lift cable would have cut the pipe in half.
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 408 Baller
    edited September 5
    I get the impression the only small stainless cable sold by retail and online sellers is made in China. I could have USA cables made if I was building a bridge or for aircraft carrier arresting cables. Its hard to tell the quality difference between small imported cable from one vendor versus another. Its good that the USA still makes almost everything we use in competitive skiing, including the best competition rope products.
  • andjulesandjules Posts: 848 Mega Baller
    edited September 5
    "My experience with lift cables, galvanized break at the waterline due to corrosion. The cable that stays submerged tends to be fine."
    Consider a short section of stainless at your (presumably above the waterline) winch, tying/looping into your galvanized underwater. Or see how long your galvanized lasts and do this localized repair when the time comes. But the completely submerged sections should last quite a while, especially if there are no sharp stress points underwater.
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,345 Mega Baller
    Stainless is the way to go. Our Accufloat course is over 30 years old and the cable still looks like new.

    We had a galvanized course in the river about 40 years ago and it never saw air and it had corroded and had that dark rusty look to it when we moved to our lake and it broke a few years in.

    We swapped the homemade course out for an Accufloat with stainless end anchor lines and they all look new.

    It was just surveyed this year and the boat guides were within record tolerance. The pvc arms had bent over time so were replaced with individual anchored skier balls.

    We would have replaced galvanized a few times by now in my opinion.
  • Alberto SoaresAlberto Soares Posts: 365 Solid Baller
    Our lake water is very corrosive, I imagine due to the iron rich soil, on our 4 floating courses I first used galvanized which last about 5 years (the clamps go first, then the cable), stainless is the way to go, it has been on the water for more than 10 years without any rust sign.
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