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Old 24-08-2012, 03:25   #31
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Possibly a mix of costs and looks. However, when was the last time someone replaced their life lines, rigging yes but the life lines. Our are 24 years old.

Pete
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Boats that have marine insurance companies will require a Survey every 3-5 years. The surveyor will require life lines to be replaced if they show signs of rust or if they are more than 7 years old. Until you replace them the insurance company will not insure you.

If you are using 24 year old life lines, you must be using your home owners insurance that does not require surveys. But if you look at the fine print in your policy, if something happens and it was the fault of negligence, such as not replacing life lines, you many not be cover in the event of a claim.
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Old 24-08-2012, 03:28   #32
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

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Anyone else just using rope instead of wire between the stanchions?

That would be a lot simpler to replace.

Pete
Yes many boat owners are turning to AMSTEEL, which is a very strong synthetic line.

The advantages are strength, UV resistant and the ability to splice it yourself.....
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Old 24-08-2012, 03:46   #33
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

Just a further thought on this one

CE certification requires lifelines - which says to me that they are useful

Especially if you want to freely sail your boat anywhere in Europe - which now requires all boats to be CE certified, if they were built since 16th June 1996

CE regulations ( from memory ) state that lifelines must be 42 inches height ; must have 3 strands; stanchions no more than 2.2 mtres apart; stanchions must be able to withstand a lateral / horizontal force of 300kg ( i have pics of the factory pressure test on my boat )

With that kind of strength and because I sail single-handed quite a bit of the time, i will put up with them, but will still rely on my harness/ offshore auto-inflatable lifejacket

Since CE certification also requires a safety Pad Eye in the cockpit, no more than one metre from the wheel , i have had cockpit safety harness belt made , which i strap into most of the time i am single-handedly underway.

I have two such harness belts, and can work my way up to the mast , without no risk of falling into the water ( the harnesses are deliberately measured to ensure that this doesnt happen )

Call me paranoid but i also tuck the waterproof autopilot remote-control into my lifevest while underway, just in case. I am not even sure i could deploy it before my boat got out of range ( 15 mtres ) , but it would give me something to go for, should i ever end up in the drink

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Old 24-08-2012, 05:53   #34
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

clue!! LIFELINE
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Old 24-08-2012, 05:59   #35
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

I've never seen 36" lifelines, let alone 42" lifelines on a 30' sailboat.

BUT, as a compromise, I've considered a lengthened stantion(maybe 42+") opposite my upper shroud, into 24"(maybe 30+"), stantions fore and aft, then onto the deck near the cockpit and short of the bowpulpit.

But my "real" idea is for 1' or 1.5' stations on the cabin outside(where it drops to the deck), for real useful, actual support while going forward.

Here, the support should be less stressful since I'd be pulling in a more upward direction pitching during use . . . and I'd be only somewhat crouched.

As it is 24"(which is higher than most 18") stantions(on the outside) are totally useless when the waves are kicking. I mean . . . the ABSOLUTE last place I want to grab when I'm pitching about(on only 3'-4' short waves), is a lifeline that seems to only offer a photographic moment to a good tumble.

I have ALWAYS looked for internal handholds. I can't help but think that nearly 100% of the sailing population would prefer an internal handhold to the "external" lifelines . . . even if they feel the lifelines are important otherwise.

Claims for visual limits and child safety for lifelines make a lot of sense to me. Even the idea of falling off the cabin while doing repairs or maintenance make sense to me. BUT, unless LARGE stantions are 42"-48" high, extremely well seated and more numerous in number, I won't expect them(the lifelines), to be my salvation.

Gawd . . . the talk E-V-E-R-W-H-E-R-E, is not to use them to get on board or to even hang bumpers from.

If lifelines are not substantial enough to even hang bumpers from(without fear of damage), then how on earth can anyone feel they're substantial enough for much of anything.

Get me lifelines that are substantial enough to hang laundry or bumpers, that are high enough to about reach my belt-line, and with additional supports to the cabin top(even if I have to step over the added supports), then you'll have another person who will agree that lifelines are the best thing going.

Then I can forget all the nonsense about all these "internal" handholds and extra lifelines . . . well . . . maybe not.

As it is, these lifelines(in my mind) are little more than a demarcation of limits and a warning not to come too near for fear of getting "burnt".

I . . . WANT . . . MORE . . .
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Old 24-08-2012, 06:50   #36
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

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I've always wondered why builders don't glass in pockets to the inner side of the hull extending down below decks to accept longer, more substantial stanchions. I guess one could retrofit this concept, but it would be a pain...
This is exactly the way they were installed on a lot of the ultralites that came out of Santa Cruz,CA in the 80s such as the Olson 30 and 40 and Santa Cruz 27. A good way to deal with this very stressed area that keeps the stanchions right out at the edge where they belong, I hate the way a lot of builders,due to poor planning placed the stanchions well in from the edge making it difficult getting around narrow sidedecks While lifelines may not be perfect i have seen them save people many times and personaly will keep mine.

Steve.
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:03   #37
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

Lifelines on our 25D are used much more for hand holds than LIFE LINES...

They are there AS A LAST RESORT, and are never relied on...Like all safety gear should be treated..

So far, 33 years, no one has ever fallen off or needed to use the lifeline to stay aboard any of our boats..
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:12   #38
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We are installing lifelines in hopes to keep our dogs on board.
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:17   #39
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

Most lifelines are 24" high,not 18"except on very small boats,maybe under 20 ft. It is pretty much impossible to make them structurally sound enough to not cause at least a bent stanchion if someone is thrown against the lifeline with force, theres just too much leverage and this is made worse as you increase the height. Be that as it may,even if you tear a stanchion out of the deck the lifelines will still prevent you going over the side as long as you are not launched off the cabintop right over the lifelines. If they save a crew from going in the water the repairs to the boat is a small price to pay imho. When i used to do foredeck in club races,when it was lumpy i kept a low stance but on many boats the non skid is less than adequate and there were many times when the lifelines kept me onboard, I think that double lifelines are important, some boats such as J24s have 24" stanchions and no lower lifelines and ive seen people go right through the large gap.
A combination of good agressive non skid, decent 2" or taller toerails, minimum 24", preferably 30" stanchions and jacklines will keep you reasonably safe.

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Old 24-08-2012, 07:29   #40
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

lifelines are meant to tell you where the edge is not to save you.
jacklines need to be the correct length for your boat so you CANNOT go over the side. my boat is 12 ft beam, jacklines 6 ft and only from centerline, not applied onto side of boat ever.
i use remnant lines for my lifelines--spectra. looks a lil fun and is cheaper than the usual lifelines that look great until they snap under your load.
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:34   #41
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

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Pete

Boats that have marine insurance companies will require a Survey every 3-5 years. The surveyor will require life lines to be replaced if they show signs of rust or if they are more than 7 years old. Until you replace them the insurance company will not insure you.

If you are using 24 year old life lines, you must be using your home owners insurance that does not require surveys. But if you look at the fine print in your policy, if something happens and it was the fault of negligence, such as not replacing life lines, you many not be cover in the event of a claim.
Tom, I am insured with Pantaenius UK, whilst they did require a survey on first writing the policy they were happy to accept the previous years survey carried out on purchase.

They don't require a survey every 3-5 years and there is no mention of having to replace lifelines at the 7 year point. Which US company requires you to do this?

Interestingly the renewal arrived this morning 330 for 40k worth of yacht with European cover. The only point they make is the need for 5m indemity if you now sail in Italian waters.

Pete
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:38   #42
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

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We are installing lifelines in hopes to keep our dogs on board.
We have also put the netting on our lifelines to stop the doggies taking a unexpected swim. There is definitely a knack to putting it on and we had a couple of false starts but looks okay now. Already saved one of our fenders from going over the side.

Pete
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Old 24-08-2012, 09:23   #43
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

Properly designed, installed, and maintained the stanchions and lifelines are part of an engineered system intended to help keep you on the boat. On a traditionally built monohull that system is comprised of three parts; the stanchions, the lifelines, and the curved sheer of the boat.

The job of the stanchions in this system is to hold the lifelines up, in a properly designed system they do not need to be terribly strong athwartships (not saying they should be weak, just that they don't need extreme lateral resistance).

The job of the curved sheer of the boat is to form the stanchions and lifelines into an arch, a very strong structural shape.

And then the job of taut lifelines is to form that arch and pre-stress all of the components inwards. By doing this the system becomes very strong against an outward force (like you getting thrown into the lifeline while moving forward on a pitching deck). The lifelines should be taut enough that they are close to bending the stanchions inwards. When you fall into the lifelines you then have to overcome this inward tension before putting any outward load on the stanchions. If you have loose or stretchy lifelines then you will immediately transfer almost all of your impact loading to the two nearest stanchions. However, if you have taut, non-stretching, arched lifelines most of that impact will be transferred forward and aft to the anchor points, which are generally significantly strengthened.

If you want to play with this a little, test your lifelines by pulling outward on them from the dock. Watch for movement of the stanchions. Now do the same thing, but push inward. By doing this you are relieving some of the tension and collapsing the arch. Bet you'll see stanchion movement. I've actually seen stanchions that could easily keep a person on the boat pulled out by having a large sunshade over the cockpit tied to them. When a gust hits that shade you put an additional inward pull on the stanchions that they simply are not designed for.

All of that falls apart with cats and tris (and some monohulls) with very narrow hulls because there is insufficient arch to provide the pre-loading. These boats need a different design, although too many builders simply transfer over the stanchion and lifeline designs from traditional monohulls. On our own tri the stanchions have two legs (like the stanchions that are used at gate openings in a standard layout), but the second leg is swung inward 45 degrees and bolted into some substantial backing. This provides the lateral resistance that would normally be provided by the arch shape. We have the deck space to spare, and actually find it quite useful to have the second leg 8 or 9 inches inboard of the lifelines.

None of which addresses the point of lifeline height. On many boats the lifelines represent a fulcrum about which the falling body pivots on its way into the water. This is where aesthetics, owner preference, and actual use cases come in to play. To be truly effective the top lifeline should be above the center of gravity of the object it is intended to catch. Depending on the size of our beer bellies, that usually falls somewhere between hip and waist height. So, to be effective, the top lifeline should probably be about waist high, which falls in line with the CE standard of 42" (which is also the current building code standard in the US for things like deck and stair railings). Not everyone likes that look, and some would argue that when you need them you probably aren't standing upright, but if you are looking at this from an engineering perspective and a worst-case scenario that's where you would end up height-wise.
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Old 24-08-2012, 09:42   #44
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

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I often wonder why we don't see more rigid stainless pipe handrails like say on the Amels, on more boats.

Dave
One other thing already on my wishlist . But I had the couple of inches of bulwarks already "installed" and they be excellent for foot not dissapearing overboard, followed by body!

It's one of the changes me Father did on his (33') Motorboat 20 years ago, and whilst of course she don't heel like a sailboat (albeit being displacement and with a round bottom and 3 6" (?) of draft she does roll a bit ) they do make one helluva difference, probably went up an inch in height from standard though (me might be tempted for a couple of inches).

The bonus is that makes hauling an inflatable dink aboard singlehanded wayyyy easier

I suspect the reason for the wire still being used is cheaper in both materials and installation for the builder.
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Old 24-08-2012, 10:10   #45
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

while they do seem flimsy and just high enough to make you tumble over.... the reality is they do work. I have been saved from going over more than a few times, or used that top line as a "grab to steady device". In a commercial enterprise they would probably be 42" high... but that wouldnt work too well on a sailboat. On a larger sailboat I would be tempted to have welded stainless like the pulpits are....
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