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Old 19-06-2013, 07:26   #31
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Re: Why do sailboats have wire lifelines?

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Originally Posted by Jubilee39 View Post
With bare wire not only can you see problems developing it is very easy to set up an electric fence security system using a 12v electric fence charger
Ohhhh you stinker!
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Old 19-06-2013, 07:29   #32
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Re: Why do sailboats have wire lifelines?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
its just tradition, to my mind there should be solid 1" stainless guardrailsils all the way round on a blue water boat, the stanchion/lifelines are nothing of the sort, it must be one of most stupid things on a boat.

Ive sailed Amels, and it a great security, Ive also taken serious mobs out in big seas, proper guardrails are very useful.

dave
Have to agree. Seems more an asthetics/racing/traditional issue.
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Old 19-06-2013, 07:43   #33
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Re: Why do sailboats have wire lifelines?

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Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
Time for new lifelines. Walking around the marina I see all power boats have solid 1" SS tube railings. Its just the sailboats with wire, and the wire is connecting solid 1"SS bow and stern pulpits. Why not connect the pulpits together with tube all the way (except for the boarding gates). I am reminded that when West Marine founder Randy Repass, outfitted his dream sailboat, he choice solid.

Falling overboard and grabbing a nice 1" rail, I know I can get back on board since I do 20 chin-ups a day on a similar sized bar. I couldn't do a single one on a typical lifeline wire.

Intuitively, it seems like going all solid, at least on a cruising sailboat, is a no brainer. But no one does. Why?
I have seen several sailing yachts that were refitted with rail. A simple tube with vertical lengths of tubing that matched the placement of the stanchions and slipped over the tops of the stanchions and held in place with bolts or fast pins through the holes that the wire would otherwise have been led through.

Note, however, that the performance of rail is much different than the performance of wire. For the most part wire functions like a bow-string, with lateral loading being take up by tension in the wire that is transferred to the bow and stern pulpits or anchor points on deck. The stanchions primarily function to maintain the position of the wire but largely do not take lateral loading themselves.

Solid railings will work in a somewhat similar fashion but will be far more reliant on the lateral load capacity of the stanchions. Of course, they will also not give much for those awkward moments that most have when one rubs along a piling and it is not unusual to find rather more bends and dents in a rail than one might suspect.

In any case, solid rail can work if one is prepared to accept the cost related to making them up and the effort of maintaining them verses the ease of replacing wire.

FWIW...
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Old 19-06-2013, 07:55   #34
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Re: Why do sailboats have wire lifelines?

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In any case, solid rail can work if one is prepared to accept the cost related to making them up and the effort of maintaining them verses the ease of replacing wire.
Unless mobos drivers are simply better at docking !!!, I dont see what 'effort of maintaining' is required, A polish now and again.

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Solid railings will work in a somewhat similar fashion but will be far more reliant on the lateral load capacity of the stanchions.
This doesnt bear inspection, what you mean is that the ability of a single stanchion to withstand a point loading is so compromised that it in effect provides little or no lateral support, Furthermore, the tension in the lifelines is by neccessity low, as the stanchions cant even withstand high tension ( which could then restrict a body) as they would collapse inwards.

IN any lifeline failure, typically the stanchion revolves and the lifelines collapse onto or near the deck , because of the shape of the hull .

The system is practically useless and the design simply owes its heritage to racing boats, that rarely had lifelines at all. If you look at traditional sailing craft they usually had decent gunnels or combination of rails etc.

A continuos stainless guardrail and integrated stanchion averages the shock loading out over a far larger area, in addition the limited movement means the stanchions can contribute significant lateral strength. They dont look 'racey' of course
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Old 19-06-2013, 07:58   #35
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Re: Why do sailboats have wire lifelines?

Wire lifelines should be replaced every ten or twenty years, not true of a proper rail. I think it's probably actually cheaper long term, just polish twice a year and you are good for just about forever.
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:17   #36
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pirate Re: Why do sailboats have wire lifelines?

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Wire lifelines should be replaced every ten or twenty years, not true of a proper rail. I think it's probably actually cheaper long term, just polish twice a year and you are good for just about forever.
I think that's maybe true for a day sail and back to the marina on nice days... and lots of FW to hose down with after.. but when voyaging its another matter..
Steel Bruce Roberts.... Ft Pierce-SMX... clean and polish rails... SMX-Panama... clean and polish rails... Panama-Nuku Hiva... clean and polish rails... Nuku Hiva-US Samoa... clean and polish rails... Samoa-Vanuatu... clean and polish rails... Vanuatu-Darwin... clean and polish rails... Darwin-Perth... did not bother cleaning a damn thing...
Anyway... that adds up to once a month on average... I'll take rope or wire any day... to much other stuff to attend to voyaging to be bothered with marina queen spit and polish.
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:25   #37
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Re: Why do sailboats have Wire Lifelines?

Another choice is unpainted aluminum. No maintenance - ever.

Steve
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:30   #38
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Re: Why do sailboats have Wire Lifelines?

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You forgot to mention:

a) harder to splice
b) more expensive

With three strand you can run much thicker, the stretch is negligible, and it's easier to grab. The "advantages" of spectra for lifelines are on paper; it's a distinction without a difference. If people want to spend more money and work harder to do a "better" job that offers no material benefit I certainly won't stand in their way.
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:32   #39
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Re: Why do sailboats have Wire Lifelines?

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Anyway... that adds up to once a month on average... I'll take rope or wire any day... to much other stuff to attend to voyaging to be bothered with marina queen spit and polish.
what ... ,I mean it kept you out of the pub , didnt it.


me I quite like polishing stainless!!!
dave
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:35   #40
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Re: Why do sailboats have Wire Lifelines?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
what ... ,I mean it kept you out of the pub , didnt it.


me I quite like polishing stainless!!!
dave
Now you see the problem ...
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:42   #41
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Re: Why do sailboats have Wire Lifelines?

One nice system I've seen is rail all around the cockpit, integrated with the pushpit, up to the gates, and then dyneema forward of the gates. Best of both worlds, it seemed.
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:42   #42
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Re: Why do sailboats have Wire Lifelines?

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Another choice is unpainted aluminum. No maintenance - ever.

Steve

Provided it's anodised and you never drill it.
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:44   #43
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Re: Why do sailboats have Wire Lifelines?

Aside from tradition, which I agree with, the cost of putting up rail is more time consuming, therefore, costly. Most sailboats prior to the mid 60's did not have stantions or wire. Just a toe rail and handholds. We've come a long ways and maybe it's time for a "tradition change". You know if some hotshot cruiser had them on his boat and wrote a popular book, everyone would be running out putting rails on their vessel.
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:45   #44
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Re: Why do sailboats have Wire Lifelines?

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You know if some hotshot cruiser had them on his boat and wrote a popular book, everyone would be running out putting rails on their vessel.
Aint that the truth


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Old 19-06-2013, 08:47   #45
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Re: Why do sailboats have Wire Lifelines?

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Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
Falling overboard and grabbing a nice 1" rail, I know I can get back on board since I do 20 chin-ups a day on a similar sized bar. I couldn't do a single one on a typical lifeline wire.
On our boat, the lifelines don't have anything to do with staying aboard. We use jacklines and tethers for that. The lifelines, rather, are what we lash the kayaks to on the foredeck, and what we affix the weather cloths to around the cockpit.
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