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Old 23-06-2014, 11:09   #16
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pirate Re: Using Retired Rigging as Lifelines

Methinks its a grand idea..
But then again I like braided rope lifelines.. easier to hold on to and I got tired of discovering snags before clearly visible to the eye..
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Old 23-06-2014, 13:39   #17
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Re: Using Retired Rigging as Lifelines

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I've used bare wire before and wouldn't hesitate to re-use rigging that looked good. It seems to me rigging failures are near the ends usually..? Cut the ends off with new terminations.
SS wire , including the usual plastic covered type, is probably way overkill for lifelines in the first place. It seems stancions bend before the wire breaks, and I don't think a 200 lb body is going to break the wire.
Wow, a 67 Rawson all the way over in Annapolis huh? That was my first offshore boat.
The most likely place to fail is the terminals at the bottom. I haven't seen any scientific studies, but it is by far the most likely. Next is the fittings at the top of the mast. Third is where the wire crosses the spreaders. Of course if any area of the wire is taped, or has close fitting coverings, or has a piece of rope tied around it ect. These places also become likely failure points.

Stanchions bending is actually working as intended. They absorb a huge amount of impact load as they bend. Which is why carbon fiber has been disallowed by ORC pretty much since boats first started to use them.

Again, I am not saying I think a failure is likely. There is probably more than enough residual strength to be fine. But it just isn't that expensive to replace them, and the consequences if there is a hidden failure are just too high.
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Old 23-06-2014, 17:42   #18
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Re: Using Retired Rigging as Lifelines

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post

...
Again, I am not saying I think a failure is likely. There is probably more than enough residual strength to be fine. But it just isn't that expensive to replace them, and the consequences if there is a hidden failure are just too high.
This sounds like Greg the Attorney speaking, not Greg the cruising sailor!

The chances for a "hidden failure" seem higher for PVC coated 7x7 s/s wire than for bare >1/4" 1x19 s/s wire. I have actually seen this happen with the lifeline wire, ie corrosion inside the PVC cover which had reduced the wire to brown crumble. I have also seen 1x19 with the internal wires similarly corroded. The difference is that the outer course of strands in the 1x19 have a lot more residual strength than the PVC!

So, while I have gone to Dyneema for our lifelines (you may also object to that, Greg, I dunno), I would not have any fear of using our recently discarded 7 mm Dyform inner forestay as lifeline material... after moving the Norseman terminals in a few inches from the old ends of the wire.

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Old 23-06-2014, 18:26   #19
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Re: Using Retired Rigging as Lifelines

Jim,

It's really both. Greg the attorney doesn't want people to get sued, Greg the sailor doesn't trust gear taken out of service because it is beyond its useful life. Particularly for gear that is going from a critical system to a life critical system.

As for Dyneema, I am a long time advocate of it. I have it on my boat (at least the ones with lifelines), and am convinced it is a better option than wire.
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Old 23-06-2014, 18:45   #20
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Re: Using Retired Rigging as Lifelines

It only took 6 posts before the bloody shirt came out. Not a record, but predictable.

My argument against would be weight and cumbersomeness. I tend to go with calculations and failure history rather than how I feel or might hypothetically feel. As soon as some ask "how would you feel if" any useful and rational discussion ends.

(As for concerns that the wire is certainly cracked and used up, the actual strain on 1/4" rigging during its last sail would meet the lifeline code requirement; if the stick is still up the wire is fine. Honestly, the pulpit will deform at ~ 1000 pounds. Huge safety factors.)
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