Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Orleans Louisiana
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There was a huge cost advantage in switching over rod for me, for wire it was pretty close, within 1-3%. The reason it wasn't more is that I chose to go with turnbuckles instead of lashings, and they added to the price a bit. That being said, when I need to replace the system next time, the only cost will be for new line, so the long term cost will be lower.
The reason you don't get as big of a difference as compared to lifelines is two things. One for lifelines you use dyneema (amsteel) and not the Dux which is slightly more expensive. And two, lifelines don't take any fittings, where as the stays do. However unlike SS fittings the Collegio ones are machines aluminum, and thus don't have the same corrosion problems of SS.
I did keep the wire under my tuff-luf, since I was concerned about non-visible chaff, I can't say for sure if there are now alternatives though.
Since I use turnbuckles for tensioning I can't tell you from personal experience. But the recommended way is to tie the lashing to a hallyard and pull. For lifelines a lashing works fine.
It really isn't anything like SS braided. It is designed to keep working loads at less than 10% to minimize creep. When first making the splices though you have to tension them to work out the constructional stress. I just attached them to my truck and a piling and put it in gear.... I have no real idea what I loaded them too, but they haven't budged since they were installed.
Other than weight... Price on replacement, and it just feels better, but nothing critical. But I will tell you even on a cruising boat the weight is significant. For instance a 50lbs reduction from a 50' mast will see an increase in righting moment of 50lbs*25'=1250foot-lbs of torque. That is the same as having a 250lbs person on the rail at all times ( on a 10' wide boat), or adding 416lbs of lead into the keel (at 6' deep). This makes the boat much more stable, so much more comfortable at anchor, reduces rocking, and pitching, ect... The boat will also be noticeably stiffer upwind, particularly in a blow.
Actually as I was typing I thought of something else. Because there is less total stretch as compared to wire, you reduce the amount of pretension you need in the rig, which help to reduce the static load the chain plates have to carry. In my case i didn't experience this, but I switched from rod, but there are reports of people reducing the pre-tension by 30-40%.
There is also the real ability to carry a backup stay for anywhere on the boat if need be, though you could do this anyway.
I do want to point out the difference in dyneema, and Dynex dux. Though they are made from the same material, Dynex is work and temprature hardened. This makes it stronger, and gives it much less stretch than the dyneema. But it also means it need a larger radius around turns. This is why Dynex while great for standing rigging is no so good for lifelines, and why dyneema for lifelines is not so good for rigging.