Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Thanked 155 Times in 147 Posts
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Re: Double or single lifelines?
Despite misapprehensions by many, the strength of life-lines does not come from stanchions, which merely hold the life-lines in position, but from the end connectors when the life-line goes into tension as a load is placed on it alone it's length, in a manner similar to the load a bow string when an arrow is drawn or the supporting ropes of a hammock. It is the tension in the line, not the bending resistance in the stanchions, that keep one aboard. (The stanchions do help of course, but their strength in bending is nothing compared to the tensile strength in the wire/rope.) By eliminating the lower life-line, you will significantly reduce the strength of the entire life-line "system". As pointed out elsewhere herein, at a height of 24 to 30 inches, a person standing full height is not going to be stopped from going over the side. But, when does one ever really see someone out for a stroll standing up-right when conditions get crappy? Most people are crouched over, if not on their knees, and a lurch coming off of a wave, or the misfortune of a wave breaking over one while on deck (BTDT), can throw one into the life-lines, at which point one wants all the strength they can offer (to say nothing of blocking one from sliding under the upper life-line). Eliminating the lower life line will significantly degrade the performance potential of your life-line system. (They ain't called "life-lines" for no reason!)
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."