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Discussion Starter #1
I have some sad, loose, vinyl covered lifelines. I'm trying to avoid the expense of new lines, so I'm experimenting with removing the vinyl covering, removing whatever rust stains there are, and tightening up the lines.

This question relates to adjusting the lines. I took one of the shorter lines home to work on over the winter. I figured out a good way to remove the vinyl, but the adjusting nut is frozen. I've applied PB Blaster, but the big question is: which way do I turn the nut to "loosen" it? So far, it won't budge in either direction, but I haven't let the oil work for long. I'm just frustrated that my efforts in one direction may be totally counterproductive. I guess the question really is: is there a consistent way these things are built so that one knows which way to turn the nuts?

thanks.
 

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If you take a very close look at the threads on the male portion, it should become obvious which direction to turn to loosen the fitting.
Can't tell from your photo, but they are often a left hand thread. I take my life lines off every fall and store for the winter. I also removed the vinyl. I found it was easier to do it on the boat with a knife. Hope this helps.
 

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How about putting the nut in the vice and turning the pelican hook?
 

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Did you find an easy method for removing the vinyl covering?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Did you find an easy method for removing the vinyl covering?
Easy? I guess that's subjective. Using a heat gun, I soften the vinyl, about a foot or two at a time, then I score it using a utility blade. Reapplying the heat gun, I use a pair of pliers to pull the vinyl off. Once I got the hang of it, I could get the vinyl to pull off on the scored sections, often a couple of feet at a time. I suppose I could try and soften/score the entire length of the lifeline, then go back, reheat and try and pull it off all at once. Hmmmm. Gonna try that.
 

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Easy? I guess that's subjective. Using a heat gun, I soften the vinyl, about a foot or two at a time, then I score it using a utility blade. Reapplying the heat gun, I use a pair of pliers to pull the vinyl off. Once I got the hang of it, I could get the vinyl to pull off on the scored sections, often a couple of feet at a time. I suppose I could try and soften/score the entire length of the lifeline, then go back, reheat and try and pull it off all at once. Hmmmm. Gonna try that.
Are you sure all this work is worth it, to end up with lifelines that you are still not quite sure if they have not been somewhat compromised? I bought uncoated wire, the necessary fittings (some I reused) and a crimping tool, and I replaced everything. I bet I spent less time than if I would have stripped the cover with a heat gun, foot by foot. And I now know that the lifeline is 'good as new,' because it IS new! And the wire and stuff is really not that expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Are you sure all this work is worth it, to end up with lifelines that you are still not quite sure if they have not been somewhat compromised? I bought uncoated wire, the necessary fittings (some I reused) and a crimping tool, and I replaced everything. I bet I spent less time than if I would have stripped the cover with a heat gun, foot by foot. And I now know that the lifeline is 'good as new,' because it IS new! And the wire and stuff is really not that expensive.
Clearly not as good as new lifelines. But immediate financial circumstances (virus related) dictate that I not spend the money for new right now. I've priced it out, and even if I do the work myself, I'm looking at at least $600 in materials. I have a few other projects ahead of lifeline replacement that will likely take up all of my pre-launch time anyway. I'm just hoping that the marina does launch boats this spring.
 

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Clearly not as good as new lifelines. But immediate financial circumstances (virus related) dictate that I not spend the money for new right now. I've priced it out, and even if I do the work myself, I'm looking at at least $600 in materials. I have a few other projects ahead of lifeline replacement that will likely take up all of my pre-launch time anyway. I'm just hoping that the marina does launch boats this spring.
Understandable that you have a lot to think about right now. I would caution you NOT to think of this like other "nice to have" boat expenses, but more accurately as part of your (and your friends and crew) Life Insurance coverage. While many folks that go O/B due to a broken lifeline get recovered - if in a marina or in quiet waters with crew to help - others just get "recovered" ! :(

Last time we 'did' all of our lifelines, all of the (nowadays, bare) wires were replaced along all of the turnbuckles. Most of the original turnbuckles were frozen by corrosion, anyway.

Stay safe, and alive.
 

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Clearly not as good as new lifelines. But immediate financial circumstances (virus related) dictate that I not spend the money for new right now. I've priced it out, and even if I do the work myself, I'm looking at at least $600 in materials. I have a few other projects ahead of lifeline replacement that will likely take up all of my pre-launch time anyway. I'm just hoping that the marina does launch boats this spring.
I redo my double lifelines for our 35 footer every 7 years. I have a swagger though you can DYI them at most WM. The expense 2 years ago was only $325. Most of that in fittings. $600 seems high.

We you do it I suggest you use reusable solid bodies so you are only replacing the fitting on the lifeline itself. The attachment fitting on the other side ( to the station or superstructure is never removed. The barrel attaches to both ends and can be tensioned .

https://www.e-rigging.com/three-sixteenths-X-200-foot-Coated-Galvanized-Cable

https://www.e-rigging.com/Stainless-Turnbuckles_c_3973.html

https://lifelinesandrigging.com/product/lifeline-tubular-turnbuckle
 
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I wonder if a drawknife would be helpful in removing the vinyl.

I replaced my 10 year old lifelines a couple of years back. Went with bare wire.

If the wire and swages are not showing any corrosion, I see no reason to replace. However, it sounds like the OPs are. I certainly understand the practical limitations right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I won't know if the corrosion is bad until I get the vinyl off. The two sections I've done so far aren't bad.

Drawknife, eh? Interesting idea. Would need another vise or a helper to hold the line, but...interesting.
 

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A vice or helper? Are you not doing this with the lines on the boat? I would think that it would be much easier and that's where you want them when the job is finished.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A vice or helper? Are you not doing this with the lines on the boat? I would think that it would be much easier and that's where you want them when the job is finished.
I removed the vinyl from my two "test" lines in my workshop over the winter. I can't do much with the others right now because of the shrink wrap. But if I can free up the turnbuckles while the lines are on the boat so I can adjust them, I do intend to try and remove the vinyl while the lines are in place.
 
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