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post #1 of 6 Old 02-27-2002 Thread Starter
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Spectra Lifelines?

Anyone using Spectra line instead of the standard wire lifelines? Saw it mentioned in Practical Sailor. Benefits? Drawbacks? Thoughts?

Thanks in advance, randy impatiently waiting for spring in Boston
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-27-2002
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Spectra Lifelines?

I see the Dashews are using it on Beowulf (see www.setsail.com). Strength is no problem, should be easier to cut free than wire, no corrosion. If you use the "new" fibers be sure to use the kind that are protected from UV as I understand they break down very rapidly when exposed continually to sunlight. Also I hear they are not very resistant to chafe but I guess the outer coating (dacron/nylon?) provides protection from the sun and abrasion.

I''m due new lifelines and I was thinking of using non-coated wire; now I might look into using Spectra.

Could anyone offer a comparasion?
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-27-2002
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Spectra Lifelines?

For the price difference and long term safety!Try 1"s/s tubing at 30" above the deck!In this day and age if your not using
deck sweepers the s/sworks fine and is much safer.Also gives you a place to secure fenders and if must be sail net for kiddies!
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-28-2002
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Spectra Lifelines?

A couple of caveats. First UV will destroy spectra in less time than plastic coated s/s wire will rust. Second, if you do any ORC/MORC racing you may find a requirement for wire.

IMHO
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-01-2002
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Spectra Lifelines?

Guess I was thinking more along the lines (no pun intended) of Vectran, an LCP, as opposed to Spectra, an HMPE. I see the ORC banned the use of coated wire back in 1999. Probably, for the cost alone, using uncoated wire would be the better way to go. I have seen some sailors terminate their lifelines with eyes and then lash them on using high strength small stuff. I suppose if one is concerned about being able to get the lifelines down in a hurry, a valid concern I hear, then this would certainly serve that purpose. Looks like I need to do a lot more investigating before replacing what I have.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-01-2002
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Spectra Lifelines?

Another benefit of Spectra lifelines is the weight. More important to racers probably, and standard equipment on some boats like the Melges 24. I will switching my coated wire to them eventually, as the spinnaker sheets have burned gouges into the vinyl coating. The spectra will actually be cheaper by the way, since I will save the cost of having a rigger swage the wire. I''m going to look into some of the small diameter covered hi-tech lines that have just come out primarily for dinghies first. I have Spectra, Technora, and Vectran halyards with uncovered portions and the Spectra seems more resistant to degradation from UV. My concern with Spectra is creep over time, so some method of tensioning will have to be considered.
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