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Old 29-03-2015, 22:10   #1
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Synthetic lifelines DIY

Well the old lifelines on the Rose are getting a wee bit long in the tooth. I've ordered a bit of amsteel dyneema line 5/32" from Defender to replace the 16+ year old 3/16" steel lifelines.

My thought is to use double braid lashings at the bow instead of the $$$ SS turnbuckles and to use fixed Bail Snap Shackles ($5 each) for the gates.

I'm pondering making and installing 3/16" copper tubes with flared ends at each stanchion to reduce chaff issues and perhaps rubber tubing over the Dyneema at the shrouds. Copper and SS are close on the galvanic chart, so should be fine. I'm only looking at a 5-8 year lifetime before replacement anyway.

I am as always a cheap date, so am doing this with as little expensive hardware as possible. I'll be making my own eye splices (via Sampson's instructions). and have 3/16" double braid for the lashings at the bow.

Any thoughts, suggestions comments are appreciated.
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Old 30-03-2015, 07:46   #2
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

Sorry have no suggestions to help out. However since I plan on the same project at that undefined moment in time when other more urgent matters higher on the to do list all get done or something happens to move this project to the top of the list.

So look forward to you doing all the work, figuring out the best options and then posting the results so I can ride along on your coat tails.
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Old 30-03-2015, 08:54   #3
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

That's a good idea with the copper tubing. Maybe a bit of heat-shrink tubing where the lines pass through?
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Old 30-03-2015, 08:59   #4
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

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Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
That's a good idea with the copper tubing. Maybe a bit of heat-shrink tubing where the lines pass through?
Oh, good idea with the heat-shrink tubing,
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Old 30-03-2015, 09:03   #5
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

I prefer to splice directly onto the bow pulpit. Not reason not to and it makes it clean and easy. As for sizing there are my lifeline leingth notes.

1) figure constructional stretch pf 12" in 50' (for 1/4")
2) plus 2" per splice (for 1/4")
3) leave at least 12" per side for lashings.

Keep in mind that the gate side slice can be redone if need be.

For chaff guards I would probably use dyneema chaff sleaves. That stuff wears like nothing I have seen before.

For the stantions I wouldn't stress to much unless you have particularly bad edges. In which case look into adding lifeline ferrules. With bell housings on the end.

Your line size is also a little small. I always recommend using the largest size dyneema you can fit. Good luck.
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Old 30-03-2015, 09:05   #6
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

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Oh, good idea with the heat-shrink tubing,
NO. Heat shrink is useless for abrasion, plus you have to be very careful about applying heat to dyneema. The critical temp for dyneema is only about 110C, so any heat gun will permanently damage the line. If you choose to go this route at least apply the heat shrink with a pot of boiling water.
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Old 30-03-2015, 09:16   #7
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

I also question the need for chafe guards, at least on my boat. My stanchions are not just drilled but have integral SS tubing through the lifeline holes and very smooth edges.

I also like using the largest diameter line that will fit. Makes the line more comfortable and easier to hold.
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Old 30-03-2015, 09:18   #8
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

Remember, pictures are worth 1,000 words!
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Old 30-03-2015, 09:24   #9
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

My stanchions are just drilled tubing. My boat was a kit and the original guy that finished her did a good job, but it's an old design.

So my idea was to add a copper tube with flared ends. This as I have a flaring tool I thought about using 1/4" but I also wanted to add the copper bits and did not want to drill out the stanchions, which are 1/4" holes

My gates are actually just the last section on each side. So I'm thinking a lashing on one end (bow) only.
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Old 30-03-2015, 09:36   #10
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

I haven't seen copper tubeing used like this, but I can't think of a reason not to. I would still probably go with dyneema chaff guards instead however. The wire on the inside of the tubing is what will do the cutting and dyneema chaff guards will knock this wire down in a hurry. Long before it can actually do much harm.
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Old 30-03-2015, 09:56   #11
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

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I haven't seen copper tubeing used like this, but I can't think of a reason not to. I would still probably go with dyneema chaff guards instead however. The wire on the inside of the tubing is what will do the cutting and dyneema chaff guards will knock this wire down in a hurry. Long before it can actually do much harm.

HUm what wire on the inside of the copper tube. I figure it would be pretty smooth inside.

Yes the copper sleeve was my idea for a cheap way to protect the Dyneema from the cut holes in the stanchions. My budget is incredibly tight, which is the other reason for the 5/16" and not 1/4" My feeling is the tubing /stanchions will bend, before the Dyneema parts. I'm a fair weather coastal sailor and not blue water so maybe less worry of being out in big storms. Least on the west coast.
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Old 30-03-2015, 10:52   #12
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

Although I never had bare metal rubbing against the insides of the stanchion tubes, I ran a piece of tubing (it was scientific-grade peristaltic pump tubing that was going to be trashed) over the Dyneema and pulled it hard enough through so it is now "locked" inside the stanchion section. Does that make sense? If not, I can send a picture. Seems to work well.
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Old 30-03-2015, 10:54   #13
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

My solution was WR2. I've had these on the boat for probably close to a year. They're a straight bury with 72x diameter tapered tail, cover not buried (see Brion Toss' high-tech covered-line splice). Not easy but not really too bad.

Rather than having all sorts of weird fittings, I just lash them with smaller-diameter Amsteel to the eyestraps on my pushpit and bows. The pelican hooks I bought via eBay and now i can't remember the brand, was it Johnson? The eyes are plain old sail thimbles I had laying round, some are round brass, and some are rather oval





Chafe? just get some plastic tubing, no?
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:59   #14
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

I have done the copper tubing trick before and it worked well. First flare was easy, but getting the second flare done once it's been inserted into the stanchion was more challenging. The hole in my stanchion was bigger and I was able to overwrap the lifeline with irregular rigging tape. I found inexpensive quick release lifeline pelican hooks on eBay with a standard coarse pitch thread and mated these to regular stainless steel eyebolts. This gave me some length adjustment and avoided the lashing arrangement. An eyebolt and matching eyenut spanned the gate stanchion.
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Old 08-04-2015, 14:22   #15
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Re: Synthetic lifelines DIY

Do not use copper it will turn green. Use bronze if anything. Or else cast resin bushings.

You cannot use heatshrink that's sure. But you can splice an extra Spectra wrap.

Our lines are SS and I will keep them as they are (tops) but I may use synthetic for the lower pair. Not racing here. ;-)

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