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  #1  
Old 02-26-2012
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replacing lifelines

Am looking at the 723 or so projects I need to do on my boat and one of them is to replace the lifelines - they are looking tired and the coating over the wire has become brittle.

Question - being the cheap person that I am, can I remove the lifeline fittings from the existing wire and replace with new wire? |Thus saving buying what are rather expensive fittings.
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Old 02-26-2012
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Many people are now replacing lifelines with Dyneema 'rope'..

Here's a discussion: Dynex Dux for lifelines (and standing rigging)

And here's a manufacturer's link: http://www.colligomarine.com/Synthetic-lifelines.htm

The lashing shown on this page is a bit coarse looking, I think it could be done more nicely with lighter line, but this stuff is relatively easy to splice into fittings and you can set the tension with the lashing at one end. No meathooks, no cracking coating... but ultimately not as 'clean' looking an installation.
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Old 02-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nodders View Post
Am looking at the 723 or so projects I need to do on my boat ....
ONLY 723???? Phiittt... You must not have tried very hard when you were making up that list. I could come up with that many things to fix on my boat w/o breaking a sweat (or bothering to crack open Volume II of the "Mañana List").
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nodders View Post
Question - being the cheap person that I am, can I remove the lifeline fittings from the existing wire and replace with new wire? |Thus saving buying what are rather expensive fittings.
Yes, of course you can do that.. if you choose to stick with wire.. and then you're faced with 'coated' or not.. Coated avoids the possibility of cable frays for some time, and you may prefer the 'look'.

But you'll still need someone to swage the end fittings in order to attach the new wire to the old fittings..
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Old 02-26-2012
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PM Knothead here on SN. I replaced our lifelines and re-used the fittings after sending Knotty pics and then sent him the old lifelines (they all fit in a flat rate USPS box). Had the new ones in no time and everything fit perfectly. Reasonable cost too.
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Many people are now replacing lifelines with Dyneema 'rope'..
I've also been thinking about replacing my lifelines with rope. One question I have is whether ultra-low stretch line, such as Dyneema, is really necessary. The life-lines on my boat are about 6m long (26.5-foot boat, minus the pulpit and push-pit). So a line with 0.5% stretch would only result in 3 cm (slightly more than an inch) of total stretch over that length (Colligo Dux has about 0.05%, or about 3 mm, stretch at a similar load). I don't see how that little stretch is going to make the lifelines particularly sloppy, and the cost difference is something on the order of a factor of two or three. Am I missing something here?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
PM Knothead here on SN. I replaced our lifelines and re-used the fittings after sending Knotty pics and then sent him the old lifelines (they all fit in a flat rate USPS box). Had the new ones in no time and everything fit perfectly. Reasonable cost too.
I was going to suggest Knotty too, John, but the cross border shipping might be enough to make it not such a good deal.. but if the OP can arrange a mail drop in the US and drive down to get them then that may work. Plenty of people do that in Blaine, a short drive (assuming the border lineups are minimal) from here.

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Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
I've also been thinking about replacing my lifelines with rope. One question I have is whether ultra-low stretch line, such as Dyneema, is really necessary. The life-lines on my boat are about 6m long (26.5-foot boat, minus the pulpit and push-pit). So a line with 0.5% stretch would only result in 3 cm (slightly more than an inch) of total stretch over that length (Colligo Dux has about 0.05%, or about 3 mm, stretch at a similar load). I don't see how that little stretch is going to make the lifelines particularly sloppy, and the cost difference is something on the order of a factor of two or three. Am I missing something here?
Might be worth a try.. just thinking out loud.. if someone has to 'fetch up' against the lifelines that might cause an immediate sag, also I wonder about the temperature stability and whether that might be another difference. But it would be rather inexpensive to try, then you can report back after a season with the results!

Way lower 'cool' factor though!!
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Last edited by Faster; 02-26-2012 at 12:42 PM.
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Volume II of the "Mañana List").
Easy SBS, no need to make things seem so urgent.
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Fast- I should have checked his location, the USA being the center of the universe and all
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Oops. Maybe a little stretch goes a long way.

If we treat a 6m long lifeline as a straight line (OK, usually it isn't, but it makes the analysis easier), and we calculate what the deflection would be if we push at the mid-point, then we would basically have two right-triangles. Here the hypotenuse of each of these triangles would be half the stretched length, and the other sides would be half the the original length and the deflection. Solve using Pythagoras, and we wind up with a 30 cm (about a foot) deflection. Hmmm... Might be a bit more than would be considered acceptable. Dux (if I'm doing this right) would have a deflection less than a third as large.
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