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Old 03-12-2012, 19:32   #1
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Lifelines

I'm thinking of not putting my 24" stanchions and lifelines back on the boat. Most of the deck has been recored once and all stanchions were leaking when I went on the hard. I'd prefer jacklines and while I'm in great shape for 70, if that's not oxymoronic, I'm not as agile as I used to be.

Kids/pets/racing aren't a factor. I have a pulpit and pushpit. Poking around on the net I found that going without these low and ineffective stanchions is common (tho I don't know of a boat without 'em). I'd like to hear comments on going without.
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Old 03-12-2012, 19:59   #2
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Re: Lifelines

When I was a teenager, my primary station was the foredeck (launching, retrieving, and jibing the spinnaker) of a flush-decked, 28.5-foot sloop with only a pulpit and no lifelines. Being four times older now, I prefer all-around, wait-high metal railings. (This is my dad who was captain of that sloop, sitting on the forward cabin of my current boat.)

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Old 03-12-2012, 20:01   #3
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Re: Lifelines

I prefer to keep mine on, just to keep things I forget to stow from going swimming...but whatever you choose, its all personal choice, and personal risk
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Old 03-12-2012, 21:08   #4
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We have stanchions & lifelines on- even though they are just at the right height to trip most people. It shows me just where the edge is & looks bette toor.
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Old 03-12-2012, 21:14   #5
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Re: Lifelines

Took the lifeline stanchions off to paint the boat. Really really really didn't feel safe walking around the deck even after a couple weeks. Nearly went overboard twice. Even though they are only at 24", they really help keep you on deck.

Best to tear out the core around the stanchion bases and laminate up a solid base. A lot of torque on the stanchions because the 24" lever arm compresses any core below and leaking often results. Sealing with butyl would probably go a long way to control any leaks.
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Old 03-12-2012, 23:02   #6
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I don't use my seatbealts in my vehicles as a general rule, but I have not removed them. Any safety equipment is not needed, until you need it.

Other side of the coin, holes not drilled, never leak.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:41   #7
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Re: Lifelines

Assuming youre just bay sailing, life lines are probably overkill. The provide false security IMHO.
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:03   #8
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Re: Lifelines

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
I'm thinking of not putting my 24" stanchions and lifelines back on the boat. Most of the deck has been recored once and all stanchions were leaking when I went on the hard. I'd prefer jacklines and while I'm in great shape for 70, if that's not oxymoronic, I'm not as agile as I used to be.
......
I'd like to hear comments on going without.
If they are only 24", they are just at knee height and may do very little to stop you from going over, so omitting them may not compromise safety much.

The only thing to consider is that they are possibly legally necessary for 'safety', so you may face insurance issues (or legal ones if a crew member is injured as a result of going over).
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:55   #9
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Re: Lifelines

Don't be a goose, crab; put'em back on. Their very obvious purpose is to reduce the chance of watching from the water as your boat sails away. If anything, you'd be better to build the fence higher. And if the leaking is a worry, a poster above (roverhi) tells how to fix that.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:15   #10
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Re: Lifelines

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Don't be a goose, crab; put'em back on. Their very obvious purpose is to reduce the chance of watching from the water as your boat sails away. If anything, you'd be better to build the fence higher. And if the leaking is a worry, a poster above (roverhi) tells how to fix that.
Honestly, 24" high lifelines do little more than offer a false sense of security. Although its a PITA (and getting back on board is another issue altogether) I feel it's far safer to permanently use jacklines and handholds than rely on 24" high lifelines.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:16   #11
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Re: Lifelines

My opinion: lifelines usefulness slightly exceeds their annoyance. With them one can get careless. Without them one really pays attention to proper, effective, safety gear like harnesses and hand holds. I have sailed on boats big and small without lifelines.

I have gone thru lifelines when the pelican hook let go. But then I grabbed the pelican hook in mid air and eventually crew pulled me aboard. I've been plastered against lifelines, arms and legs spread, by solid water. Had a harness on but it was nice to not go overboard. I've also looked down at the cockpit from six feet up, my tether stretched tight to the padeye, when a big wave hit hard. The lifelines wouldn't have stopped me from that launch.

With lifelines at just 24 inch height they seem to only guarantee that one will go in headfirst with abrasions.

The do keep the sails on deck. That's handy.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:29   #12
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Re: Lifelines

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Honestly, 24" high lifelines do little more than offer a false sense of security. Although its a PITA (and getting back on board is another issue altogether) I feel it's far safer to permanently use jacklines and handholds than rely on 24" high lifelines.
Going over the fence is one option; that's why I prefer mine higher. But perhaps the more common way of going overboard is through the fence, carried by a wall of water. In that circumstance, the fence will very likely save you. A fence would also likely save you from a simple slip-slide on the side deck, caused perhaps by a sudden unexpected motion, or even something as simple as stepping on a sheet. Whatever, I agree 24" is too low; it may be a minimum for racing but wise cruisers build them higher.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:49   #13
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Re: Lifelines

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Going over the fence is one option; that's why I prefer mine higher. But perhaps the more common way of going overboard is through the fence, carried by a wall of water. In that circumstance, the fence will very likely save you. A fence would also likely save you from a simple slip-slide on the side deck, caused perhaps by a sudden unexpected motion, or even something as simple as stepping on a sheet. Whatever, I agree 24" is too low; it may be a minimum for racing but wise cruisers build them higher.
A wall of water will not stop you going through the fence unfortunately. And a 24" high fence is not likely to save you after a side slip unless you are crouched down at the time. I think the extra care taken knowing you have no lifelines would be better at preventing accidents.

I agree though that higher lifelines are extremely useful
The ideal is of course these, coupled by using jacklines and at all times observing the rule "one hand for yourself and one for the boat"
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:57   #14
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Re: Lifelines

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A wall of water will not stop you going through the fence unfortunately.
Er, yes it can!
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:59   #15
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Re: Lifelines

I have the lifelines and plan to keep them, but I did take off my toe rail. When I'm going forward in weather, then I'm on the high side to windward and teathered. I've never depended on the tops of my stanchions or the top lifeline, not expecting them to hold me with their leverage points, but the bases are strong points. The final choice only requires that you have a plan to stay safe and the lifelines are not the prime security choice.
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