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  #1  
Old 12-27-2003
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Lifelines

Why not use stainless steel tubing rails as lifelines instead of wire? Is there a good reason or is cost the main factor? Thanks, Kyle
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Old 12-27-2003
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Lifelines

I have heard several arguements for and against wire. The current thinking for offshore use as published by the ORC favors uncoated wire. The logic behind wire is that it is more able to withstand and absorb impact without inflicting injury. Other issues is that tubing can lose a lot of strength when welded or accidentally bent.

That said,there seems to be a new phenomina of people rigging solid rails. I don''t get it. Solid rails has never appealed to me both for the reasons above plus the added weight of solid rails.

Jeff
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Old 12-27-2003
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Lifelines

Jeff:

"...there seems to be a new phenomina of people rigging solid rails. I don''t get it. Solid rails has never appealed to me both for the reasons above plus the added weight of solid rails."

I think the Westsail 32 in the next basin offers the explanation you seek. Using the existing stern pulpit and stanchions, they added a top rail inbetween on each side. The difference in one''s ability to exit/enter that cockpit seems to me to be siginficantly enhanced: the rail doesn''t give as does wire and is easier to use as one of your handholds. They found it worked a lot better offshore, moreso as boat movement increased. The added weight (5-6# for 2 x 6'' x 1" s/s tubes + fittings?) is insignificant, especially so on a boat of that type.

Mindful of the new weak links (the fittings; there are no welds involved), they left the top lifeline in place. Since I find W32 cockpits to be about as ergonomically unsuitable offshore as one can get, I found this to be a welcome if small improvement.

Jack
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Old 12-28-2003
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Lifelines

Thanks JeffH and Jack for your response and insight. I appericiate your opinions and was hoping "you regulars" would offer an answer. I have a 47'' Formosa/Puvieux ketch that I''ve just purchased. Currently rigged with vinyl coated lifelines(that need to be replaced). It seems to me that when walking the deck there would be a more secure hand hold with stainless tubing. I personally have not seen many sailboats rigged with SS tubing, but I have seen alot of power boats rigged this way.Thanks again for you response.

Kyle
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Old 12-29-2003
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Lifelines

Do not like your supposition. Replacing the wire lifelines with s/s tubing, in my opinion, is false security. I have seen very few stanchions that will support much of an impact. Depending upon stainless tubing tied to weak stanchions is not a good idea. Use your jacklines and harness if you feel insecure with wire lifelines.
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Old 12-29-2003
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Lifelines

Use your harness and jacklines even if you don''t feel insecure. Lifelines are more for show than to really do much to keep you onboard.

Jim
Aboard the Argo
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Old 12-29-2003
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Lifelines

Interesting arguments. Jacklines are always a good practice.Thanks for your responses. More opinions are welcome.

Kyle
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Old 12-30-2003
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Lifelines

Typically, lifelines are placed too low. As such, they have little to no value in keeping you aboard. Personally, I would not invest too much time, money, energy, or faith in a new life line system. A harness, tethers, and jacklines are a better system.
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Old 12-30-2003
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Lifelines

The last time we went out, I grabbed the upper lifeline just in time to keep from falling overboard. I think they help, and that''s my $0.02.

~ Happy sailing to you ~ _/) ~
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Old 12-30-2003
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Lifelines

I would n''t say they don''t "help" butthat was a good lesson for you to harnes up and use jacklines especially when sailing alone...
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