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Discussion Starter #1
I know that lifelines have been covered in some detail in other threads, but my question has a twist.

I am replacing the lifelines on VICTORIA with Suncor kits. I like vinly coated because it's easer on the hands and other body parts. It's also provides a bit better grip due to its somewhat thicker dimension and because vinyl isn't as slippery as wire when wet. On the other hand, the consensus seems to be that wire is the way to go because water isn't trapped. That's a big consideration for me because I'd prefer to stay on the boat until I reach the dock.

My job takes me to sea on Naval vessels and I recently noticed that the U.S. and Japanese (JS Chokai) use vinyl coated wire. On Chokai, they use what appears to be a rubberized shrinkwarp over joint where the wire ends and the fittings begin. I assume that this is to keep out water. Certainly these vessels encounter enough salt water and that they have no problem with vinyl. In 30 years around these ships, I don't ever recall seeing lifelines replaced (not that I was really looking). Of course a caveat is that the general rule at sea is that you NEVER lean on lifelines, even pierside.........

Thoughts? Debate? I know that this is an arcane topic, but I'm sure that someone will take the bait :laugher
 

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Use coated, I'd rather trap water then snag a stray stand, besides, by the time the SS wire is eroded by traped water, it will be time to change them out anywho

I used 1/4" amsteel on my last boat and will most likely go that route again
 

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bare wire is safer and lasts longer, swaging professionally done leaves no gap for water to enter. If you're doing it yourself to save money I'd save money somewhere else...Are you going to build your own EPIRB? Don't skimp on safety. Buy cheaper cushions or dishes.
 

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oh hell, Lifelines are to safety what Berry Manilow is to Rock n Roll
 

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It would look nicer

Down with lifelines! Up with awareness!
I imagine the boat would look a lot nicer without lifelines. But I'm certain I wouldn't appreciate the location of the viewing area...gulp:laugher
 

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I read the title as barbed wire. Was thinking that would make people watch where they were walking on a boat!
Ouch!! Definitely no barbed wire -- which should only be used for halyards and sheets!:D

I prefer the coated for the same comfort reasons mentioned in the OP. I'm fine with the trade-off off, i.e. more frequent replacement interval.

The shrink-wrap is an interesting twist. Most of the problems I've seen in lifelines (aside from meathooks on bare wire) amounted to corrosion at or near the swage/coating gap. Maybe the Navies are on to something?
 

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Although the standards require 600kg holding power for life lines, both plastic coated and noncoated wires easily are above the limit. I would prefer using noncoated wire as thick as the coated one. This will have nearly the feeling with the coated one. Coated ones are not water proof. Water entering from the tips can be more dangerious than water through the wire. The water from the tips will not evaporate therefore cause more damage to the wire. Because the wire in a plastic skin will be less in diameter than a wire uncovered with the same outer thickness, the possibility of breaking due to rust will be more.

Plastic covers are also affected from the sun and they crack.
 

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Does this lend any credence to the preference for bare wire over coated.

huh, I can't put a link in (not old enough I guess) so check out the following:
www dot ussailing dot org slash safety slash ISAF slash cat2mono dot htm and look at clause 3.14.6 a)

I have no idea if they inspect for and enforce this.
 

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Does this lend any credence to the preference for bare wire over coated.

huh, I can't put a link in (not old enough I guess) so check out the following:
www dot ussailing dot org slash safety slash ISAF slash cat2mono dot htm and look at clause 3.14.6 a)

I have no idea if they inspect for and enforce this.
Warmbeer,

Welcome to Sailnet. When you hit 10 post you'll be able to embed links, photos, etc and use Private Messaging.

Here's your link: Category 2 - Monohull
 

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Yes, uncoated stainless is now a requirement and the Cat1 and 2 races I’ve been in enforced this as well as the other equipment/safety requirements. Not complying means anything from being assigned additional time as a penalty or even being scored DNF. The boat had to pass a pretty rigorous inspection but the Cat2 races were on the honor system but not complying with the equipment rules is enforced through the protest route. Vinyl coatings are grandfathered in here in S.F. if they are original equipment to the boat. Paul Cayard’s Hula Girl was assigned a time penalty in this past year’s pacific Cup because some of his crew did not wear life vests at the finish line (I think that Paul reported his own infraction.)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
THANKS warmbeer - That's the exact input that I was looking for. I'll go with uncoated if I can get it at a reasonable thickness. I plan to race Annapolis-Newport in the future, so my decision is now easy. I was kind of leaning the uncoaed direction anyway... the rule tiped me over.

Thanks guys...
 

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One problem not mentioned about coated lifelines is that they can't be inspected as thoroughly as non-coated bare stainless lifelines. The white pvc jacket can hide a multitude of sins. :)
 

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Back when I had insurance, the company zinged my boat for yellowed lifeline jackets during the last survey. I ended up replacing the life lines. Then I replaced the insurance co.
 

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Coated wire...I replaced mine this year and do every 8 years or so when I see the brown on them. All it takes is one small fray or burr on an uncoated bare lifeline wire to put a HUGE gash in a Jib when it catches the lifeline.

Dave
 

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If you inspect them regularly, that shouldn't be much of an issue. :)
Coated wire...I replaced mine this year and do every 8 years or so when I see the brown on them. All it takes is one small fray or burr on an uncoated bare lifeline wire to put a HUGE gash in a Jib when it catches the lifeline.

Dave
 
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