Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: New Lifelines
I ultimately had my lifelines replaced with bare stainless wire and oversized the top line from the OEM coated wire that was there previously.
I agonized over all these alternatives, as well. I quickly eliminated coated wire, for the same reason the offshore committees do. My OEM wire was coated and it clearly rusted from within. The tell tale orange rust was appearing out the ends of the coating and through cracks.
The concern over getting rash from uncoated is intuitively sound, but I've never experienced it on any boat with uncoated. Perhaps I'm lucky, perhaps I'm more inclined to treat the lifelines, as if they were an electric fence, like I was taught. Never come in contact. However, that's not always practical on some side decks.
I gave serious consideration to dyneema, particularly for the DIY element. I would have insisted on the specialty hardware that would have allowed me to splice each end. I'm not a fan of the methods that essentially have adjustable hitches at one end of the line, but it's only aesthetics. I believe dyneema will need to be done more often.
In the end, what put me over the top was the relative efficiency of just paying the local rigger to come to the slip, while I was away, and just get it done. I would have been fiddling with the lifelines over two weekends at a minimum. One to fully disassemble, one to reassemble. The added cost of paying the rigger was much less than I had assumed and was the price of admission for two more sailing weekends last year. Done.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.