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Old 11-09-2011
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Lifelines

I am replacing my lifelines and have seen options recently that are a departure from white vinyl covered wire rope, such as black vinyl, bare wire, and dynema. What do you think about the options?
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Old 11-09-2011
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When I replace our lifelines I'm going with bare wire. I'm not convinced that the vinyl does not hold moisture, thus shortening the life of the wire.

There was another thread about lifelines. Some do not like them at all and removed them completely.
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Old 11-09-2011
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We had our lifelines replaced by HOME. I was ready to go with uncoated lines but they pointed out that white lines are easier to see in the dark. So we went with coated wire. They did a great job cutting back the coating about 1/8" to 1/4" at each terminal and I couldn't be happier.

I thought about dynema but didn't like the look of the fittings. Bare wire is the choice for offshore work, but coated wire is easy on the hands and we spend far more time inshore than offshore.
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Old 11-09-2011
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Lifeline Options

If you're going to go with wire, then bare wire is the way to go. The coating really does hold in the moisture. Plus, because of the coating you can't see the corrosion until it's too late. Mechanical end-fittings are now available, so you can do it yourself and save some money. There are some newer fittings on the market (Hi-Mod) that seems to be simpler to use. All the mechanical fittings are reusable, too.

Low stretch line is a viable alternative. All the necessary end-fittings are now available for line, too, and splicing isn't too much of a challenge (Brion Toss is a good resource.)

Fair winds,

Bruce Dart
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Old 11-09-2011
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I replaced my lifelines with dyneema and will do so again when the time comes around for the new boat. It is easy to splice, and the 8mm or 10mm is so strong that it doubles as emergency standing rigging.
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Old 11-09-2011
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Bare wire will burn the skin on your legs if you slide against it, where the vinyl or dynema is not as likely. Ask how I know! I burned a slot deep enough on the side of my knee it took a couple of weeks to heal completely.
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Old 11-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
We had our lifelines replaced by HOME. I was ready to go with uncoated lines but they pointed out that white lines are easier to see in the dark. So we went with coated wire. They did a great job cutting back the coating about 1/8" to 1/4" at each terminal and I couldn't be happier.

I thought about dynema but didn't like the look of the fittings. Bare wire is the choice for offshore work, but coated wire is easy on the hands and we spend far more time inshore than offshore.

My lifelines will be replaced with bare 1 x 19 wire in the spring. Bare wire is the choice for offshore racing because with coated wire you never know when it will break. Bare wire is much easier to inspect. Whether you are offshore or not the same risks exist.
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Old 11-09-2011
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Bare wire is easier to inspect, but don't forget that failure is most likely to occur inside a swege where you can't see the problem beforehand anyway.

This year I replaced my horrible old coated wire lines with 5/16" Dyneema lashed to the pulpits with 1/8" Dyneema. Did all the work myself in two afternoons. You have to watch for chafe with Dyneema, but even replacing the lines twice as often as steel, it's still cheaper than steel.
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Old 11-09-2011
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I played the non-committal approach. I replaced my lower lifeline with uncoated wire -- for longer life. The uppers I used Amsteel. Easy to splice, easy on the hands.
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Old 11-09-2011
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I see more and more synthetic lifelines in my travels. If chafe and uv are watched it is a good option.
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