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  #1  
Old 02-04-2009
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Life lines and other confusion

I have seen them loose (drooping between stantions), and tightly strung. Which is it supposed to be?

Can 1/8" SS liflines be replaced with say 1/4" polyester double braid?

I have seen them connected to the top of a pushpit/pulpit then along the stations and I have seen them connected to the bottom of the pushpit/pulpit, then go up at an angle, and then along stations. Which is preferable and why?

If double braid can be used I have a question about stretch. If it's advertized to stretch say 2%, does that mean it gets 2% longer and stays longer after loading it up a few times, or does that means it gets 2% longer when loaded and returns to it's original length when unloaded?

Thanks, Eric
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Old 02-04-2009
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Quote:
I have seen them loose (drooping between stantions), and tightly strung. Which is it supposed to be?
Taunt
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Can 1/8" SS liflines be replaced with say 1/4" polyester double braid?
No, you are probably thinking of 12 strand Amsteel, see website below:
Johnson Splice Lines
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Which is preferable and why?
Depends on the boat, the headsail, and personal preference I guess, never thought about it.
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or does that means it gets 2% longer when loaded and returns to it's original length when unloaded?
Yes
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Old 02-04-2009
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Quote
I have seen them connected to the top of a pushpit/pulpit then along the stations and I have seen them connected to the bottom of the pushpit/pulpit, then go up at an angle, and then along stations. Which is preferable and why?

The way the life lines are connected to the pushpit/pulpit depends on the sweep of the fore sail. Deck sweepers need room at the pulpit to ease the sails out and keep their shape.
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No, you are probably thinking of 12 strand Amsteel
Not to be a pain, but what is the problem with the doublebraid (halyard material)? Is it too stretchy or what?
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Old 02-04-2009
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Lifeline tightness (or looseness) is often determined by racing requirments. People that need heavy crew leaning outboard as far as possible, but "staying inside the lifelines" rig them as loose as possible. Some class rules specify how tight the lifelines must be, so there is less of this fudging. Lifelines are led to the base of the bow pulpit in order to avoid them chafing on the jib. People who rig them this way don't race, since the racing rules require lifelines at a certain minimum height. Stretchy lifelines may stretch enough to enable crew to go overboard - not a desireable result. Low-stretch synthetic fibers are sometimes used for lifelines because of weight (racing) and cost (cruising) factors. Many of them are VERY susceptible to chafe and UV degradation/deterioration, however. This puts into question their efficacay as LIFElines. Steel is less prone to these problems and is generally regarded as the simplest solution
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Old 02-05-2009
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paulk hit all the points. I also avoid using coated wire for lifelines since it is more difficult to inspect.

If you do use amsteel or a low stretch synthetic, make sure you take turns around the tubes of the pulpits and not terminate at the bales.
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Old 02-05-2009
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Life lines have to carry a load of 600lbs. This is the main rule. The main idea of life lines is to keep persons on board. Therefore the height and tightness of them should be such that they keep you on board.

2 % stretch means that the rope will elongate 2% when under load and return back to its original length when not under load.
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Old 02-05-2009
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Too stretchy, too weak. Amsteel is much stronger for the same diameter. A 1/4" polyester double braid has a breaking strength of about 2000 lbs. 1/4 Amsteel 12 has a breaking strength of 7400 lbs.

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Originally Posted by AllThumbs View Post
Not to be a pain, but what is the problem with the doublebraid (halyard material)? Is it too stretchy or what?
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Old 02-05-2009
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Quote:
make sure you take turns around the tubes of the pulpits and not terminate at the bales.
Huh?

Quote:
A 1/4" polyester double braid has a breaking strength of about 2000 lbs.
The existing 1/8", 7 x 19 lifelines I would be replacing have a breaking strength of only 1760 lbs, which is probably much stronger than the stantions that hold the lines.
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Old 02-05-2009
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Any line that can be used as a halyard isn't going to be too stretchy to use as a life-line. 2% is nothing. You are correct, your stantions or something else will break before 2% becomes too much stretch or 2000lb strength rope will break as you fall on it.

Put rope lifelines on, they are just as safe and plenty strong enough plus incredibly cheaper than cable or amsteel. Life-lines should not be depended upon anyway.
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