While all components of boat lifts are important, the cables play a vital role in making sure that the lift is as functional as possible. It enables you to lift your water vessel in an efficient manner. There are different lifts to choose from and your choice will depend on your personal needs. They usually come in two types of materials: stainless and galvanized steels. Both of these materials have their own merits, which is why making a decision can be difficult.
When in the process of choosing your new boat lift cable, or replacing the existing one, you want to make sure that you are buying the right cable. It should resist corrosion and is strong enough to lift your watercraft. Once you have an idea about the size and length of the cable, the next thing you need to think about is the material that your lift will require.
Stainless Steel versus Galvanized Steel Boat Lift Cables
Stainless Steel: This type of steel is carbon steel with 10% chromium. It has the ability to resist corrosion or oxidation. This steel is resistant to corrosion when the chromium exposes itself to the atmosphere. Its thin layer of chromium oxide protects the cable.
The steel’s anti-corrosion nature makes it an ideal boat lift cable. However, you need to keep in mind that the process of developing chromium oxide will not be complete if the environment lacks proper oxygen. The protective layer will have trouble regenerating and this can cause damage to your cable. Corrosion will take place if the steel has prolonged exposure to salt water. You can prevent corrosion by rinsing the stainless steel cables in fresh water.
Galvanized Steel: This type of steel also has its own benefits. Since it has a thin layer of zinc oxide, boat lift cables made from galvanized steel are also resistant to corrosion. It goes through the process called hot dip wherein the steel is dipped in a zinc bath, also know as passivation. Its thin coating or layer increases the metal’s resistance to corrosion and other negative effects of nature.
When it comes to the cost, galvanized steel is less expensive because of the processing difference. You can also count on this steel because each cable is strong enough to complete the lift. Despite the benefits, galvanized steel has its own drawbacks. Many consider this product less noble because of its potential to have a higher electron, rendering its resistance to corrosion ineffective.
Rust is proof that corrosion is invading your boat lift cables. Galvanized steel becomes problematic when rust starts to form as it tends to spread in larger areas. Stainless steel, on the other hand, will only spot pit or rust. The presence of chromium in stainless steel makes the product regenerative.
The zinc coating in galvanized steel cannot regenerate. Once damage exposes the steel, you will need to replace the cable. Saltwater can create serious damage to cables made from galvanized steel. In making a choice, always consider the cost, quality, and efficiency of the cable.