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post #11 of 43 Old 08-08-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Replacement of vinyl lifelines

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Originally Posted by knothead View Post
I'm stubborn I know, but I'm going to keep trying to drive this point home.

Vinyl coated wire is NOT unreliable UNLESS it's older than it's usable life span. The only reason that it is considered unreliable and was banned by the racers is that some people do not replace it when it's due to be replaced.

With bare wire and exposed meat hooks and rust and such, it's a bit harder to ignore when the wire has reached the end of it's life. Vinyl will often hide the problems in wire that should be replaced.
But whether or not it is coated, it still has a limited lifespan. And it's just about the same afaik for coated or uncoated.
That's why it's rather important to know how old stuff on your boat is. Standing rigging, chainplates, lifelines etc.
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post #12 of 43 Old 08-08-2012
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Re: Replacement of vinyl lifelines

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Originally Posted by knothead View Post
I'm stubborn I know, but I'm going to keep trying to drive this point home.

Vinyl coated wire is NOT unreliable UNLESS it's older than it's usable life span. The only reason that it is considered unreliable and was banned by the racers is that some people do not replace it when it's due to be replaced.

With bare wire and exposed meat hooks and rust and such, it's a bit harder to ignore when the wire has reached the end of it's life. Vinyl will often hide the problems in wire that should be replaced.
But whether or not it is coated, it still has a limited lifespan. And it's just about the same afaik for coated or uncoated.
That's why it's rather important to know how old stuff on your boat is. Standing rigging, chainplates, lifelines etc.

There is no usable lifespan for wire coated lifelines. There are cases of them failing in less than a year from installation. Tightly encasing stainless is litterly the text book example of how to accelerate crevice corrosion, which is why it was banned. Not because people failed to replace it (they tried replacement cycles intervals before the ban).

Sure it works for years on some boats, but I know a lot of people that sail around with all sorts of stupid things installed on their boat, just because they haven't sunk yet doesn't mean it is a good idea.

The sailing authorities that spend huge amounts of money figuring out why sailors die, specifically while underway figured out years ago that coated stainless was dangerous and leads to people being injured. Absent evidence to the contrary, why would you suggest breaking from their recomendations?

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post #13 of 43 Old 08-08-2012
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Re: Replacement of vinyl lifelines

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Originally Posted by knothead View Post
I'm stubborn I know, but I'm going to keep trying to drive this point home.

Vinyl coated wire is NOT unreliable UNLESS it's older than it's usable life span. The only reason that it is considered unreliable and was banned by the racers is that some people do not replace it when it's due to be replaced.

With bare wire and exposed meat hooks and rust and such, it's a bit harder to ignore when the wire has reached the end of it's life. Vinyl will often hide the problems in wire that should be replaced.
But whether or not it is coated, it still has a limited lifespan. And it's just about the same afaik for coated or uncoated.
That's why it's rather important to know how old stuff on your boat is. Standing rigging, chainplates, lifelines etc.
I prefer coated wire as well but I do something to keep the water from getting between the coating and the wire. When I make up the lines I put a 2" piece of shrink tubing over the joint between the wire and the fitting. When it is shrunk down it seals the joint which is the only place for water to get in until the plastic cover starts to break down or get worn through. At that point it's time for new ones.

I've been doing it that way for nearly 20 years and never had a hint of a problem.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #14 of 43 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Replacement of vinyl lifelines

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
There is no usable lifespan for wire coated lifelines. There are cases of them failing in less than a year from installation. Tightly encasing stainless is litterly the text book example of how to accelerate crevice corrosion, which is why it was banned. Not because people failed to replace it (they tried replacement cycles intervals before the ban).

Sure it works for years on some boats, but I know a lot of people that sail around with all sorts of stupid things installed on their boat, just because they haven't sunk yet doesn't mean it is a good idea.

The sailing authorities that spend huge amounts of money figuring out why sailors die, specifically while underway figured out years ago that coated stainless was dangerous and leads to people being injured. Absent evidence to the contrary, why would you suggest breaking from their recomendations?

No offense intended, but you would have to site a specific example before I can believe that there are cases of vinyl coated lifelines failing in less than a year from corrosion. I know that there are cases of lifelines and even standing rigging failing in less than a year due to defective parts or incorrect swageing or installation, but in my many years of manufacturing, installing and inspecting rigging and lifelines, I have never once seen what you describe.
If I am wrong, I will be the first to admit it, but you're going to have to do a little better than just stating your opinion.

As far as evidence to the contrary, I can only rely on my nearly two decades of rigging experience in the sub-tropical area where I live and conduct my business. Plus the information and recommendations that I get from the wire manufacturers that I buy my materials from.

Respectfully,
Steve
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Re: Replacement of vinyl lifelines

I would like to point out that well over 1/3 of the boats in the US are sailed in FRESH water where corrosion is not nearly as big an issue as it is for those of you living on the fringes. 20+ year old rigging on the Great Lakes, in excellent condition, is not unusual.
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post #16 of 43 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Replacement of vinyl lifelines

Steve,
I wouldn't be surprised to hear someone had lifelines fail in only a year. After all, the problem of substandard and counterfeit wire cables goes back all the way to the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. Where yes, they had a scandal involving cables that would have failed.

Today? There's no way to tell where your lifelines really have come from, and most folks shop on price, which means the folks are are cheating and using the cheapest possible sources, are going to pass on some substandard cables. Meanwhile others will be trying to make sure they are using good cable--but fooled by the scoundrels at the back end anyhow.

Which is not to say I disagree with you, I've never heard of vinyl-clad lifeline being a problem for recreational users. I've had one lifeline blow out from under me while I was standing on it (well, there was nothing else to stand on at the time) but that was from punked out lashings on the end of it, not the cable.
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Re: Replacement of vinyl lifelines

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Steve,
I wouldn't be surprised to hear someone had lifelines fail in only a year. After all, the problem of substandard and counterfeit wire cables goes back all the way to the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. Where yes, they had a scandal involving cables that would have failed.

Today? There's no way to tell where your lifelines really have come from, and most folks shop on price, which means the folks are are cheating and using the cheapest possible sources, are going to pass on some substandard cables. Meanwhile others will be trying to make sure they are using good cable--but fooled by the scoundrels at the back end anyhow.

Which is not to say I disagree with you, I've never heard of vinyl-clad lifeline being a problem for recreational users. I've had one lifeline blow out from under me while I was standing on it (well, there was nothing else to stand on at the time) but that was from punked out lashings on the end of it, not the cable.
That is a good point. There's vinyl coated wire and then there's vinyl coated wire. I know that I have replaced lifelines that were constructed from stuff that you can get at the Home Depot or Walmart.
I'm pretty sure that they were done by people on a very limited budget and not by a reputable rigger.

I guess what I was trying to say is that if you have your lifelines replaced by a qualified rigging shop with a solid reputation. Then there is virtually zero chance that you're going to get something that will fail in a year or less.
Shoot, if I got the reputation for risking people's lives by selling stuff that shoddy, I would have been out of business years ago. As would be any rigger.

The truth is, that the uncoated wire will almost certainly last longer than vinyl coated wire. It's easier to maintain and Stumble is absolutely right about the oxygen deprivation and moisture thing being really bad. But the statement, "There is no usable lifespan for wire, (I'm sure he meant to type vinyl), coated lifelines", is, to put it kindly, not at all accurate.
Even Home Depot wire has a lifespan. Just not a very long one.

In this climate, vinyl coated lifelines, made properly from 7x7 type 316 or 304 stainless wire will last at least ten years. The problems start to happen when that ten years is stretched to 12, 13, 15 years. But even then, you will normally see swage cracks well before a piece of stranded wire will fail catastrophically. You'll see rust bleeding from the terminals and from cracks in the vinyl. You'll see rusted, frozen or cracked (stainless) turnbuckles.
In other words. If one pays attention, they'll know when they should replace stuff.

Brand new, I.E, less than one year old proper lifeline wire will not fail.

Last edited by knothead; 08-09-2012 at 07:24 PM.
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post #18 of 43 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Replacement of vinyl lifelines

Yo Knotty,

What's your take on using Dynema or other synthetic line for lifeline applications?


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Re: Replacement of vinyl lifelines

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Some insurance co's require lifelines that are not vinyl coated wire. Stripping the coating and reinspection by a surveyor was sufficient.
Just had a survey done for renewal and both surveyor and mainstream insurance company had no concerns about vinyl coated lifelines.
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post #20 of 43 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Replacement of vinyl lifelines

Just out of curiosity, does anyone here have personal experience of anyone going over the side due to the failure of the wire in vinyl coated lifelines?

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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