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post #1 of 11 Old 09-15-2012 Thread Starter
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Tightening Lifelines

Any way to tighten up the slack in a lifeline when the turnbuckle has no more room to turn? I was able to tighten 3 of 4, but this top one is still quite loose:

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post #2 of 11 Old 09-15-2012
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Re: Tightening Lifelines

What has happened is that over the years, the stanchions have been bent inward because of fenders hanging on the lifelines or people grabbing and pulling or pushing on them.

You might be able to remove the lifelines, and carefully bend the stanchions back out a little. Or, if you don't want to do that, you can have the old turnbuckle stud cut off and another one swaged on which will shorted the lines.
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-15-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Tightening Lifelines

I should have said that the former owner of the boat secured the main halyard to this lifeline and tightened it up when putting the boat to bed. That was my guess as to why this lifeline has slack and not the others.

The stanchions I guess could be bent (I'll have to take a closer look), but this boat was never kept at a dock, so fenders wouldn't have done it (wouldn't fenders pull the stanchions outward?).
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Re: Tightening Lifelines

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Originally Posted by caberg View Post
I should have said that the former owner of the boat secured the main halyard to this lifeline and tightened it up when putting the boat to bed. That was my guess as to why this lifeline has slack and not the others.

The stanchions I guess could be bent (I'll have to take a closer look), but this boat was never kept at a dock, so fenders wouldn't have done it (wouldn't fenders pull the stanchions outward?).
Fenders, halyards or people pulling on the lifeline in any direction will tend to try to make the curved line straight. Thereby always bending the stanchions inward.
The thing is, there's just not that much stretch in the wire. It could be that they were made a little on the long side originally and it just didn't take much to use up all the adjustment.

It's really easy to just mark the bearing point on the on turnbuckle, take it in to a rigging shop and they will remove and readjust the turnbuckle and simply cut off the old stud and swage another in the right place.
Shouldn't cost you more than 20 bucks.

Last edited by knothead; 09-15-2012 at 02:37 PM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-15-2012
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Re: Tightening Lifelines

This assumes the boat is in a place that has the tools to do it. My boat in the bahamas has this problem (an encounter with Hurricane Dennis that bent the bow pulpit). The boatyard in the bahamas says they have no swaging tools.
I have been tempted to make an adjuster where the lifeline comes in thru two holes and the lifeline is pushed down by a curved piece pushed by a screw. It would not take much deflection to shorten it and the gadget could also be used as a fender hanger. If I go thru this trouble to make it, does anybody else need such a thing?
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-15-2012
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Re: Tightening Lifelines

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Originally Posted by Frogwatch View Post
This assumes the boat is in a place that has the tools to do it. My boat in the bahamas has this problem (an encounter with Hurricane Dennis that bent the bow pulpit). The boatyard in the bahamas says they have no swaging tools.
I have been tempted to make an adjuster where the lifeline comes in thru two holes and the lifeline is pushed down by a curved piece pushed by a screw. It would not take much deflection to shorten it and the gadget could also be used as a fender hanger. If I go thru this trouble to make it, does anybody else need such a thing?
Naturally, this would depend on how loose the line is, but in your case, for a quick fix, I would probably just remove the turnbuckle, (assuming you have one), and make a simple adjuster using only the stud and a nut and a piece of thin flat stock. You're eliminating at least a few inches or so.
Something like this.


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post #7 of 11 Old 09-15-2012
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Re: Tightening Lifelines

This is exactly what I have. There is NO turnbuckle. For reasons that elude me, the boatyard in the Bahamas cannot cut the lifeline, shorten it and then swage in a piece to rejoin it. I could do it here no problem. For some reason, they cannot.
I could cut the lifeline myself. Do these type of fittings join with a Nicopress tool (Which I have on the boat)?
I hesitate to cut it and then make joined loops with nicopress fittings as this would leave sharp wire ends that would grab bare flesh.
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Re: Tightening Lifelines

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Originally Posted by Frogwatch View Post
This is exactly what I have. There is NO turnbuckle. For reasons that elude me, the boatyard in the Bahamas cannot cut the lifeline, shorten it and then swage in a piece to rejoin it. I could do it here no problem. For some reason, they cannot.
I could cut the lifeline myself. Do these type of fittings join with a Nicopress tool (Which I have on the boat)?
I hesitate to cut it and then make joined loops with nicopress fittings as this would leave sharp wire ends that would grab bare flesh.
So much for that idea then.

If you have the ability to cut the wire and put a nicopress eye on the end. Then you can simply lash it to the pulpit as tightly as you wish.
If you have sharp ends of wire sticking out of the sleeve. Just apply a dab of silicone on the sharp ends and then wrap it with tape after it sets up.
Of course, you will probably want to replace the line when you fix the pulpit.
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-15-2012
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Re: Tightening Lifelines

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Originally Posted by Frogwatch View Post
This assumes the boat is in a place that has the tools to do it. My boat in the bahamas has this problem (an encounter with Hurricane Dennis that bent the bow pulpit). The boatyard in the bahamas says they have no swaging tools.
I have been tempted to make an adjuster where the lifeline comes in thru two holes and the lifeline is pushed down by a curved piece pushed by a screw. It would not take much deflection to shorten it and the gadget could also be used as a fender hanger. If I go thru this trouble to make it, does anybody else need such a thing?
The pull type work better than the push type.
You can buy them for a few bucks from an auto parts or industrial hardware store although not in stainless. Not sure if you will find them in the Bahamas.

Or maybe you can remove one end of the lifeline, shorten it by threading it through two holes drilled into a piece of metal and then use the adjuster to re-tension. Not pretty but it is cheap and better than loose lifelines.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-16-2012
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Re: Tightening Lifelines

if you use the nicropress sleeve you can cover the wire end by letting the wire extend out about 2/3 of the length of a compressed sleeve past the sleeve and install a second sleeve to cover the raw wire end. this is done a lot on smaller boats for the same reason, to hide the end. do not put tap eor silicone over a nicropress sleeve as it will hold water and cause corrosion that you can not see

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