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post #11 of 39 Old 05-18-2017
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Re: New to Dyneema, want to make lifelines

When I did this on my old boat, I used single braid, 12-strand dyneema with a locking brummel splice to a D shackle on either end. One shackle secured to bow pulpit, other shackle lashed to stern pulpit. I cut up the tubes from a couple of Bic pens for chafe protection at stanchions. Whole thing was a piece of cake and cost me like fifty bucks all in.
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post #12 of 39 Old 05-18-2017
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Re: New to Dyneema, want to make lifelines

One thing to keep in mind if you are racing is that US Sailing has backed away from allowing this for Cat 1. I don't have any Cat 1 races in my near future (and I'm not concerned about the underlying reasons cited for the change -- the potential for melting from high speed chafe seems like the primary one) so I'm happy to keep the dyneema. If you search on SA you will find some discussions about this.
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Re: New to Dyneema, want to make lifelines

Yes, ISAF has now disallowed synthetics for lifelines but they are still allowed for inshore or just cruising. One thing you want to keep in mind is the chafe issue (why ISAF stopped allowing them). DON'T size them for strength as that is really a pretty small diameter, instead use some synthetic line w/ a Dyneema/Amsteel core and get the largest size line that will fit your stanchion holes. This is also what a rigger recommended when I was pontificating on this topic.
Personally I'm staying w/ wire and using Amsteel lashings. I can still cut the lifeline loose quickly but have something that's tried and proven and I can inspect it easily. Just my .02

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post #14 of 39 Old 05-18-2017
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Re: New to Dyneema, want to make lifelines

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Yes, ISAF has now disallowed synthetics for lifelines but they are still allowed for inshore or just cruising. One thing you want to keep in mind is the chafe issue (why ISAF stopped allowing them). DON'T size them for strength as that is really a pretty small diameter, instead use some synthetic line w/ a Dyneema/Amsteel core and get the largest size line that will fit your stanchion holes. This is also what a rigger recommended when I was pontificating on this topic.
Personally I'm staying w/ wire and using Amsteel lashings. I can still cut the lifeline loose quickly but have something that's tried and proven and I can inspect it easily. Just my .02
This is one approach -- see the WR2 line marketed by New England Ropes for example. Looks like a nice solution although I understand that burying the cover on a splice is quite difficult. I looked into doing it this way and ended up going with bare dyneema for several reasons.

1. It is easier to inspect.
2. Using a line with a cover may actually create chafe issues between the cover and the core.
3. Using a line with a cover means using a smaller core and thus less strength to start with, in exchange for having the cover. You get better UV protection as a tradeoff, but with the added strength of the larger bare dyneema I think I end up ahead even taking into account UV related degradation.
4. It is easier to replace/splice.

I think either solution works. FWIW, I like the aesthetics of the bare dyneema too.
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post #15 of 39 Old 05-19-2017
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Re: New to Dyneema, want to make lifelines

I used WR2 - very happy with it (I guess it has been about 3 years ago now). Splicing was easy - did not use the locking brummel as it reduces line strength, just regular brummel with the splice sewn in. No problem slipping the cover over the splice. Some initial stretch as the splice settled in, but easy to re-tension.

I likes WR2 as (a) I did not need to worry about chafe - this was a big one for me, (b) much reduced concern over UV - a factor in California, and (c) I like the appearance. Much admired by other folks who at first glance assume it is standard wire.

As for inspection, I left the loops at the end uncovered (as you know, dyeema does not like sharp bends, so knots are clearly out - and not very salty - and thimbles are essential).
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post #16 of 39 Old 05-19-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: New to Dyneema, want to make lifelines

The WR2 looks nice.

I guess I'm not overly worried about max breaking strength. 4,000 lbs versus 12,000 lbs? Really? I'm sure my stanchions would break off well before that.

Is C.S. Johnson the only company that makes pelican gate hooks with an eye?

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post #17 of 39 Old 05-20-2017
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Re: New to Dyneema, want to make lifelines

I've not made lifelines, but I have made a harness, where four lines needed to be of equal length, with splices on all eight ends. Getting the lengths right was trickier than I expected. I used Brummell splices, so a do over was possible, once or twice. The first end is easy. The other end is tougher, if you're forced to "invert" the knot. I just used a larger fid and got the eye on the opposite end to go through the line.

As others mentioned, there will be some stretch to be readjusted, after she settles for a bit. Not sure of your plan for this. If you tie the thimbled end to your stanchions, they could be retied, if your lines aren't too long. If you are tying to a turnbuckle, or an eye bolt on the end of a pelican hook, your length is critical. Long enough to allow for grabbing enough threads, but not so long you run out of tightening space. Lets us know how you make out. Good luck. Pics please!


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post #18 of 39 Old 05-31-2017
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Re: New to Dyneema, want to make lifelines

Just finished splicing both my new upper lifelines, using 3/16" WR2. My splices were sloppy, but should serve for the time being. The cover is not easy to work with. I'm naive about all the high tech and Dyneema based cordage out there, and in retrospect would have looked at alternatives to WR2 because of the cover. Also, I ordered the 1/8" WR2 for my lower lifelines based on the logic that my old vinyl coated steel lifelines were small diameter for the lowers, and since there are only two sizes of WR2, it must have been their intended application. But it's sooo small, and the core is sooo sooo small. I've never seen a fid small enough to work with this stuff (not that I've really searched).

For those considering this route: I finished making my uppers after dark and am not thrilled with how invisible the gray WR2 is -- a potential safety issue. Bare or coated stainless are much easier to see. Hopefully the white WR2 is easier to see.
And I'm pretty sure the 1/8", if I get it installed, will be uncomfortable at best, and a serious pain inducer at worst or limb amputator at worst. The good news is this stuff is cheap enough that a do-over isn't a killer. I'll give mine a try as-is but anticipate replacing with larger diameter, more visible, easier to splice line in the future. Not to mention I'd like my gates back (and yes, seems only CS Johnson makes splice-friendly lifeline hardware).
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post #19 of 39 Old 05-31-2017
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Re: New to Dyneema, want to make lifelines

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Originally Posted by bajaking View Post
Just finished splicing both my new upper lifelines, using 3/16" WR2. My splices were sloppy, but should serve for the time being. The cover is not easy to work with. I'm naive about all the high tech and Dyneema based cordage out there, and in retrospect would have looked at alternatives to WR2 because of the cover. Also, I ordered the 1/8" WR2 for my lower lifelines based on the logic that my old vinyl coated steel lifelines were small diameter for the lowers, and since there are only two sizes of WR2, it must have been their intended application. But it's sooo small, and the core is sooo sooo small. I've never seen a fid small enough to work with this stuff (not that I've really searched).

For those considering this route: I finished making my uppers after dark and am not thrilled with how invisible the gray WR2 is -- a potential safety issue. Bare or coated stainless are much easier to see. Hopefully the white WR2 is easier to see.
And I'm pretty sure the 1/8", if I get it installed, will be uncomfortable at best, and a serious pain inducer at worst or limb amputator at worst. The good news is this stuff is cheap enough that a do-over isn't a killer. I'll give mine a try as-is but anticipate replacing with larger diameter, more visible, easier to splice line in the future. Not to mention I'd like my gates back (and yes, seems only CS Johnson makes splice-friendly lifeline hardware).
Thanks for the update. I've had replacing the lifelines on my to-do list for a couple of years. I'm sure the white covered wire is original from 1985 and doesn't inspire confidence. This thread encouraged me to consider going the dyneema route. I will be using 1/4" Amsteel Blue single braid for reasons you describe. I've never developed good double braid splicing skills, but a simple bury splice in single braid looks like something even I can handle.

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post #20 of 39 Old 05-31-2017
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Re: New to Dyneema, want to make lifelines

I used 5/16" Dyneema for the lifting pendant for my 500# centerboard, easy to work with, stronger than the SS wire it replaced and last but certainly not least, it will never rust.
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