Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Orleans Louisiana
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Re: New England Ropes Synthetic lifelines?!?!
I replaced my coated wire with Dyneema a couple of years ago after noticing some cracks in the swaging and some corrosion through the coating. I did not want to worry about corrosion and swages again. They are light, strong, have no meathooks, and are a see-able quantity. There's no guessing about whether swages are good or not. The best solution would probably be eye-spliced bare wire. Brion Toss has a good method of splicing 1 x 19 wire in his book and a demonstration online. Brent is right about wire being tougher. You aren't going to slit it with a sharp edge. That's my main worry about the Dyneema. Once I become proficient at doing wire splices, I may start replacing all my swaged fittings, swageless and swaged, with splices.
As far as length of Dyneema lifelines goes, I would leave 6" and use lashing. That's what I did and it has worked out well. The lashing method allows adjustment for stretch. Dyneema does stretch over time. My 6" is down to about 5" now, maybe a little less. Another plus for Dyneema is being able to easily wrap them up and stow them in a locker. I spliced around 5/16" shackles at the gate ends. The shackles act as stops so that the gates, when secured put tension on the run.
For what it's worth Brion Toss is on record saying he nor his shop will install wire lifelines anymore. They will only use dyneema. The reasoning he gives is that he considers wire dangerous, more expensive, and harder to inspect.