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Old 09-04-2015, 00:05   #16
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

G'day SC,

We did our lifelines in the manner that you describe several years ago, and have been happy so far. Likely replace them this coming year...

Our fix for stanchion chafe was to use short lengths of Davis split PVC shroud cover material. Inexpensive and easy to install. Also used a length of it where the genoa sheet tends to ride and chafe when running with a poled-out genoa.

Also we just cow-hitched the dyneema eye splice directly to the bow pulpit rings forward, and have a thimble and lashing at the aft end... one less thing to go wrong!

Cheers,

Jim, using Ann's computer (still)
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Old 09-04-2015, 03:50   #17
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

Chafe Guards (I think Stumble meant the wire edge, or the bur on the inside).
* I did a bunch of testing, both side-to-side and back-and-forth over drilled holes in SS tubing for an upcoming article. NO question, NER Dyneema Sleeve out wears everything by a mile...
* Except for WR2. Very tough stuff also. Out wears plain Amsteel ~ 4:1.

* Heat shrink. When the other sailors point out that it is damaging to apply and basically USELESS against cutting it will be embarrassing. Same with most tubing. Dyneema outwears plastic tubing 10-100:1.

* 9/16" nylon tubular webbing is the only non-Dyneema product that gave respectable results. Not quite as neat, though.

Size. Why would you go with the minimum size when you know you will loose strength due to UV and chafe? It will be off-spec by the end of the summer. 1/4" seems the minimum rational size. I can understand not drilling out the lower hole (strength), but drilling out the upper would be practical. But I think you will be safe drilling out the lower (look at other boats--1/4" was just a random builder choice, not a strength requirement. I've never noticed smaller than 5/16").

ISAF. You know that ISAF dropped Dyneema from racing approvals for off-shore classes.

Gates. You can often reuse old hooks and turnbuckles by replacing the the threaded cable end with a LH rigging screw.
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Old 10-04-2015, 22:10   #18
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Size. Why would you go with the minimum size when you know you will loose strength due to UV and chafe? It will be off-spec by the end of the summer. 1/4" seems the minimum rational size. I can understand not drilling out the lower hole (strength), but drilling out the upper would be practical. But I think you will be safe drilling out the lower (look at other boats--1/4" was just a random builder choice, not a strength requirement. I've never noticed smaller than 5/16").
My driving reason for 5/32" was cost, actually a shocking lack of money. Really I just need them to last 3 years or so when I officially retire and live off the largeness that is social security. Mind you I lived on <$500 a month for 4 years and currently live on <$700 (which alas includes additional costs, just to work from a boat. Sigh...

Which is why I can just afford 160' of 5/32". With $1200 ish in SS after taxes and other fees, I'll be able to redo the lifelines for real. There is zero budget for 1/4" Dyneema. Only reason I purchased the 5/32 is Defender had it for sale.

The problem with 1/4" is I still need to add a copper sleeve at each stanchion and that makes the copper 5/8", which removed too much material from the stanchion.

Luckily I never race my boat so ISAF, never worries me.

On the plus side, I've got locking eye splices in Dyneema down pat.

I'm also using the 5/32" for a topping lift. That should be good for 10 years.

I expect that the stanchions will snap off before the Dyneema fails over the next three years.

I am looking about for a cheap UV protectant. Maybe a can of krylon fusion paint, works lovely on HDPE.
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Old 10-04-2015, 22:41   #19
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

Why bet your life on those skinny welded wire bails when you have all that delicious fat tubing to make fast to?

Cow hitch the Dyneema splices through the rings and AROUND the pulpit TUBING... one less thing to go wrong!!!


Interesting thought about the Krylon.
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Old 11-04-2015, 00:02   #20
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Why bet your life on those skinny welded wire bails when you have all that delicious fat tubing to make fast to?

Cow hitch the Dyneema splices through the rings and AROUND the pulpit TUBING... one less thing to go wrong!!!


Interesting thought about the Krylon.
I've an OLD boat and don't have skinny bails. Though I like the Idea of tying the line to the pullpit.

I'll let you know how the paint goes. I already use a painted UV strip (Latex paint on old insignia cloth) on my working Jib, which I need to touch up before summer. The fix-it list never gets shorter.
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Old 11-04-2015, 04:59   #21
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

My friend painted these sails with the Stars and Stripes in 2001 with using latex house paint. They get used once a year on September 11th to lay a wreath. Can't believe it's been fourteen years.
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:58   #22
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

Is the Dyneema not just as expensive as SS wire rope?

There are a lot of things which can go wrong with Dyneema, especially chafe. As much as I love cordage of all kinds and especially Dyneema, I would think that this is one application for which cordage of any kind is not really the optimum material.

You can buy the swaging tools and swage the ends yourself to save money. Then sell them, or make money by swaging wire rope stuff for other people.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:22   #23
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

[QUOTE=Delancey;1798027]Why bet your life on those skinny welded wire bails when you have all that delicious fat tubing to make fast to? QUOTE]

Isn't that where you would normally hook up the standard cable lifelines? You can drive yourself nutty with all the overkill precautions.

I replaced my 40 year old cable lifelines with low strength 3/8" Dyneema and it's tied on. Bowline forward and half hitches aft.....but I'm a coastal cruiser not outside of VHF range with the handheld which is stashed in my life jacket pocket. (which is great as long as the batteries are good)

Also, this is the first boat I've had with any sort of lifelines.

Offshore especially solo different story although it appears Robin Lee Graham hand possibly very thin single lifelines if any.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:26   #24
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

Any sailor worth their salt can quickly splice single braid dyneema with a coat hanger. Cost is about half wire rope. Weighs next to nothing.

The cost savings isn't in the rope anyway, it's the swaging, the need for rigging screws, shackles, etc. Some like self sufficiency. Others spend money to make up for lack of knowledge. Some are impatient and want to replace lifelines in an afternoon. Some are in no rush, like to order online and then wait til their stuff comes in the mail.

I've gone for a swim when wire rope lifelines let me down, not like they are infallible.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:39   #25
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

The lifelines on Paradise Cafe are 1/4" Amsteel Blue. I use a 4" length of the same material as a wear sleeve where the lifelines pass through the stanchions. Both ends of the sleeve are whipped using the West Country Lashing

West Country Whipping | How to make a West Country Whipping | Rope Care Knots


The gates use CSJohnson eyes and hooks. The forward ends are lashed to the pulpit tubing by the Colligo Marine method for lashing off shrouds

http://www.colligomarine.com/docs/mi...ie_ver_1_1.pdf

Very secure and easy to re-tie for any adjustment.

Guy
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:40   #26
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

Folks should be advised that it is difficult to tie knots in dyyneema that don't slip under load. Your old reliable bowline won't cut it and should not be used for lifelines. Locking Brummel splices in single braid rope are very easy to make.

Best video of dyneema knots slipping I have found so far, comes from a rock climbing equipment company website-

Knotting Dyneema®? [Vid] - Knowledge - DMM Climbing Equipment. Innovative climbing gear, made in Wales.
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:58   #27
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

[QUOTE=Delancey;1798173]Folks should be advised that it is difficult to tie knots in dyyneema that don't slip under load. Your old reliable bowline won't cut it and should not be used for lifelines. /QUOTE]

I've used the bowline with Dyneema for many years. The Dyneema I'm using isn't the same as what you folks are using.

Mine isn't as strong but it is stronger than the ski ropes we used to use and they worked reasonably well.

I trust what I have now much more than I trusted the 40 year old standard cable type that was on the boat when I got it with the many connections.

Actually I didn't trust it at all except to hang fenders from at the dock.

The stanchions were already on the boat so I used them. I ran some Dyneema. I may change it yearly. I'll have to see how it does.

This is I believe my 15th boat and the first with lifelines of any sort so it isn't like I'm taking a huge chance. Each sailor has to know his or her abilities as well as what type of sailing/boating they are doing.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:00   #28
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

I use modified water bowline with the tail buried through the tree, that has been tested as non-slip. There are very few for sure that are non-slip
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Old 11-04-2015, 15:29   #29
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

This is a useful post. At some point I expect I will try using Dyneema for the lifelines.

In anticipation of this, I wondered about rigging them so that the lifelines could easily be removed during the off season. I realize that they will be exposed to more UV "in season" but I thought it would help some, maybe keep the mildew at bay.

But to do this, one end obviously couldn't have an eye or any kind of terminal. So I would tie a clove hitch (or maybe a constrictor knot) around the tube within the bail (stern rail probably) and then several hitches around the standing part as is done on the dead eyes with synthetic rigging. Wouldn't look as good, though.

Yeah, and I like the idea of the cow hitch mentioned earlier.

Anybody think this might be a good idea?
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Old 11-04-2015, 15:47   #30
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

I was considering using 7/16-3/8 line and using the holes in the stanchion tops to hold the larger lines fast to the inside of the stanchions about 1-2 inches below the top.

For that matter, maybe even 1/2" plus.

It just seems that something that's a 1/4" or less diameter is really hard to hold on to ... no tactile feel to the holding.
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