Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Orleans Louisiana
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Re: Replacement of vinyl lifelines
I'm stubborn I know, but I'm going to keep trying to drive this point home.
Vinyl coated wire is NOT unreliable UNLESS it's older than it's usable life span. The only reason that it is considered unreliable and was banned by the racers is that some people do not replace it when it's due to be replaced
With bare wire and exposed meat hooks and rust and such, it's a bit harder to ignore when the wire has reached the end of it's life. Vinyl will often hide the problems in wire that should be replaced.
But whether or not it is coated, it still has a limited lifespan. And it's just about the same afaik
for coated or uncoated.
That's why it's rather important to know how old stuff on your boat is. Standing rigging, chainplates, lifelines etc.
There is no usable lifespan for wire coated lifelines. There are cases of them failing in less than a year from installation. Tightly encasing stainless is litterly the text book example of how to accelerate crevice corrosion, which is why it was banned. Not because people failed to replace it (they tried replacement cycles intervals before the ban).
Sure it works for years on some boats, but I know a lot of people that sail around with all sorts of stupid things installed on their boat, just because they haven't sunk yet doesn't mean it is a good idea.
The sailing authorities that spend huge amounts of money figuring out why sailors die, specifically while underway figured out years ago that coated stainless was dangerous and leads to people being injured. Absent evidence to the contrary, why would you suggest breaking from their recomendations?