Do not use 7x19 wire from wire halyards for your lifelines, it will pinch and make meat hooks, Ouch!!. And no, you can absoloutley
not swage 7/32 on to 1/4". Use the right fitting for the right wire and please have a professional make it and make sure that it gauges. PLEASE!!!!
Synthetics are great! They have a real place in replacing halyards, runners, topping lifts, even sheets
. However, there is alot more work to convert to synthetic lifelines than a few brummel splices (if you want to do it right
). It will chafe, and it will stretch (especially if you use amsteel). You can cut spectra, vectran or dynex dux 75 with a nice pair of scissors, try cutting 3/16" 316 marine
grade wire with scissors. The stanchion ferrules have to have a welded tube on the inside of the hole, then counter bored then rounded and polished (totally fair). Now you can put your brummel splice in (no thimble, so you can get it off) cow hitch to the forward pad eye of the pulpit. Pull it tight through the first stanchion mark on either side. Pull it back out a little bit and make a service
of shrink tube, leather, or whatever you can come up with (mind your diameter the hole is only so big). Do this times all the stanchions on your boat and times all the courses. Oh, and do yourself a favor, spend the extra coin and use dynex dux 75. Don't forget to make the service
long enough and leave enough throw for the material to stretch, whether you are terminating with a turnbuckle, lashing or one of those nice spectra lifeline adjusters. BAM! looks nice. Never mind gates, thats a whole other project
, to do it right.
Now, did that really cost less than a 1x19 316 marine
grade stainless wire, which was measured and gauged by a pro (add as many gates as you can dream up, you just have to purachase the fittings) and then just laced through your stanchions regardless of fairness. Plus if you're really good to your synthetics and remove them every winter and wash them they will be on your boat for five years or so, max (before they become a safety
issue). With 1x19 your looking at 10-15yrs., just rinse it off after some salty sailing and put some fresh tape on those cotter pins or ring dings.
Look I know some of you are really happy to finally find a material that is easy to splice, stronger than stainless, and alot lighter. But this is a CRUISERS FORUM so do yourself a favor (all of you) and don't go mental over lifelines. Breaking strength is never an issue with any of these products even if you weigh 500lbs., the stanchion will pull out of the deck
before anything else fails. As far as weight is concerned, let's be real, even if you are sailing a carbon/kevlar race
boat this is barely an issue for winning regattas (especially if you weigh 500lbs.)
304 architectural grade 7x19 and 7x7 vinyl coat is dead, and should no longer be used on boats. 1x19 316 grade wire (the stuff your standing rig uses) is maybe dying at best, but not dead yet. Don't always opt for cheaper, opt for your best bang for your buck. Quit making excuses, do it right, do it once, keep it simple and just go sailing damnit!