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  #11  
Old 02-28-2011
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When I go forward in bad weather, the life lines are in my right hand (if stbd) and the cabin top hand holds are in my left hand. Forward of the cabin top, I'm on my knees. Of course, if it's really bad, will employ a harness on a jack line. High toe rails are very helpful to stand against...(forgot the nautical term)
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Old 02-28-2011
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SD is right about the possible corrosion of the lifelines under the vinal. I prefer vinal over plain wire, and am will to spend $300 every 5 years and replace them as regular maintainenece. I couple of my firends of my friends have bare lifelines and have gotten a small burr or broke a wire in the strand and it tore a nice hole in the jibs as it slip over the lifeline.

Also as SD and others have mentioned or intimated. They are really not safe, but a safety net and shoul,d noit be relied upon when more prudent safety should be followed.

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  #13  
Old 02-28-2011
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I like the 1000 foot cliff and 10,000 volt lifeline analogy. Gotta remember that.

In the Navy, the Chiefs "strongly" discourage leaning bodies or feet on the lifelines. I get yelled at a lot. Gotta stop doing that.
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2011
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We were caught in a strong blow, strong enough to snap the ties on the dingy that was lashed to the foredeck. And I'm talking a big RIB that is heavy and was stowed upside down (that storm has been documented on this board).

The wind peaked around 70 gusting 80 when the tie snapped and the dingy went into the air like a child's balloon. The other two ties however held on and the dingy ended up on it's side against the lifelines with the full force of the wind in it.

The stanchion that was right there bent through about 20 degrees and when the gust relaxed the dingy fell back onto the deck and we had an opportunity to re-secure it. The stanchion base has not been repaired since then because there is no repair required. The stanchion was put into a 100 ton press and straightened and reinstalled with no noticeable stress on the aluminium other than tool-marks.

Your lifelines, if properly installed and in good shape are waaaay stronger than many of the earlier posts give them credit for. I don't believe that an adult thrown against them is likely to break anything except maybe the adult.
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Last edited by Omatako; 03-01-2011 at 12:58 AM.
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  #15  
Old 03-01-2011
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Andre--

I'm not saying that properly installed and maintained lifelines aren't strong... just that you shouldn't rely on them to keep you on the boat, especially if the boat isn't yours and you don't know how they've been maintained. I'd note that even you are heavily qualifying your post by saying:

Quote:
Your lifelines, if properly installed and in good shape are waaaay stronger than many of the earlier posts give them credit for.
In so many cases, the lifelines haven't been maintained or regularly inspected. Also, a lot of lifelines, especially on smaller boats, are only 24" tall or so, and unless you're a midget, that's not tall enough to keep you aboard, but just tall enough to trip you and ensure you end up overboard in many cases.
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Old 03-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
SD is right about the possible corrosion of the lifelines under the vinal. I prefer vinal over plain wire, and am will to spend $300 every 5 years and replace them as regular maintainenece. I couple of my firends of my friends have bare lifelines and have gotten a small burr or broke a wire in the strand and it tore a nice hole in the jibs as it slip over the lifeline.
For bare wire, in my opinion Dyform is the way to go - very smooth on the hand, and stronger, as well...

I cringe every time I see fenders hung from lifelines, I can't believe how widespread this abuse of the integrity of lifelines and stanchions has become... Sailors who routinely do this deserve the deck leaks that will result from the working of their stanchion bases created by this ungodly practice (grin)...
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If the lifelines had a burr or meathook large enough to gut a jib, then they weren't paying attention or inspecting the lifelines often enough more likely than not.

If they had been inspecting them each time they went out, they could have easily put some rigging tape over the meathook to protect the sail while sailing that day...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
SD is right about the possible corrosion of the lifelines under the vinal. I prefer vinal over plain wire, and am will to spend $300 every 5 years and replace them as regular maintainenece. I couple of my firends of my friends have bare lifelines and have gotten a small burr or broke a wire in the strand and it tore a nice hole in the jibs as it slip over the lifeline.

Also as SD and others have mentioned or intimated. They are really not safe, but a safety net and shoul,d noit be relied upon when more prudent safety should be followed.

Dave
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #18  
Old 03-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
For bare wire, in my opinion Dyform is the way to go - very smooth on the hand, and stronger, as well...

I cringe every time I see fenders hung from lifelines, I can't believe how widespread this abuse of the integrity of lifelines and stanchions has become... Sailors who routinely do this deserve the deck leaks that will result from the working of their stanchion bases created by this ungodly practice (grin)...
I sufferred a friction burn on bare (brand new) lifeline wire on my last boat. I slid my knee down the wire while boarding and it left a 5/16" burn about 2" long that took several days to heal. Other than that, I love the bare wire and will rig my new boat with it when I replace the lifelines. It is much easier to keep than the vinyl.
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  #19  
Old 03-01-2011
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what about using the amsteel stuff or some other form of heat-treated dyneema braid for lifelines? Other than the risk of cutting it with a knife, could it work as well as traditional vinyl-coated steel cable?
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There was a study of this question. US Naval Academy/US Sailing Lifeline Failure Study you can google it.
They found that stanchions failed at 1,000#. This was usually where the middle wire went thru it and the lifeline just folded over to half its height. Wire terminals failed at 3-5000# and the wire failed at about 7,000# Keep in mind that the tension force on the wire/terminal is several times the lateral deflection force.

Thier recommendations were:
Use 9x16 wire, avoid gates, make sure there’s adequate backing plates, meet Offshore Ocean Racing Council Specs, keep the lines tight and inspect/maintain them.

Usually lifelines are kinda’ low to keep you onboard if you fall against them. I use a track and harness line when single handling or if there’s a risk of going over. Here in the northwest with 40 deg water… fall overboard and you soon die.
I looked into jack lines but found that I couldn’t get them tight enough to keep me on the boat side of the lifeline . Deflecting a 30 ft. jackline 1ft. with 200# lateral load puts about a 1.500# of tension on the wire That’s why I went to a track
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