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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 01-16-2008
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lifelines-coated vs non coated

I need to replace my life lines. I'm interesed in hearing opinions on replacing with bare ss wire as opposed to coated. I've heard that coated is on the way out. What do you think??
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Old 01-16-2008
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The reason coated is not recommended (and that includes buying the sleeves from like West marine etc)... is that holds moisture and hides corrosion...

That is the only reason the coated stainless steel lifelines are on the way out... it is too difficult to inspect.. the same goes for shroud cables... if they have sleeving over them a surveyor may just put in 'may need to be replaced'... because they can not easily inspect them...


Personally, I replaced all of the coverings / coatings on mine - they all checked out ok... from 1980 on at least - there is a higher quality steel being used... but - the arguments for bare ss have merit unless you actually have to use them to hoist yourself up... that extra 1/6 covering is a comfort zone - and makes the boat look smart...

so the issue is cosmetics versus is it really an issue..
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Old 01-16-2008
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Many, many boats have coated lifelines, mostly for the cosmetic reasons mentioned. True, the coating can hide corrosion issues etc etc, for most of us I suspect it's not a serious issue.

Our current boat has bare SS lifelines and I have to say it's really not a problem. We made some loose fitting lifeline cushions for the cockpit area and it's worked out fine.

I think some racing organizations have banned coated lines - but if you're racing offshore or in severe conditions then the issue of a sudden failure due to undetected corrosion is more important.
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Old 01-17-2008
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In my opinion the added safety of actually being able to hold on to the plastic coating outweighs the risk of corrosion inside the coating. In REAL life I have yet to see or hear of the failures mentioned in the theoretical sailing books.
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Old 01-17-2008
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come look at my old life lines & I'll show you the theoretical failure that almost put me in the drink
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Old 01-17-2008
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Mine are coated, boat came that way and I like them that way. They are softer to the touch, don't leave fishooks in your hand, and are far, far more visible. I'd make 'em reflective if I could.

I really don't care about offshore racing rules. I understand and agree that corrosion may result - so check, test, and replace them - if no one will hold/slide their hand down them they are useless.
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Old 01-17-2008
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Since I had to pull my stanchions to properly re-finish the rails and gunwales I decided to strip off the coating which was showing brown rust stains at the ends. It was a fairly easy job especially with a knife and a vise in the cellar. Lots of easily cleaned up surface rust that may or may not have been an issue for 5... 10... 20 years... who knows At least now I can see whats going on and for me with the lines only being in the middle with a teak rail on top comfort would never be an issue... so it was a win - win for me As for appearance I think the SS looks fine and requires much less maint to keep it looking good. Soo...... much better than the constantly dirty white lines I've had over the years
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Old 01-17-2008
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I looked into replacing mine. The wire doesn't cost much, but the fittings, wow. Talk about sticker shock. I think I will give what Stan of Christy Leigh did and hope for the best for now.
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Hoping for the best can be even more expensive. Ask NASA.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tumblehome32 View Post
Hoping for the best can be even more expensive. Ask NASA.

When something is knee high, I tend not to lean on them. Seems like an easy way to be a MOB. I was even thinking of removing them at one point. Lifelines are false security.
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