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Old 16-11-2008, 17:10   #1
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Spectra Lifelines?

Mentioned to a chap today that I need to replace my (coated wire) life lines.

He said he had used Spectra line instead and had not had any stretch problems. Much the same cost, he said.

NEone have any experience or thoughts on this alternative?

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Old 16-11-2008, 21:20   #2
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I did this on my catamaran recently. One hint - for a 40' lifeline, I allowed 1' of 'construction' stretch. Once you get this out of the way, it stays nicely tight. I used smaller diameter spectra lashings at the ends to adjust the length and take up the slack until it set. Chafe isn't a big worry because Spectra is so chafe resistant.

Here's a few pictures:

CEILYDH UNDER CONSTRUCTION --Woods Meander 40' Catamaran (scroll down a bit)
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Old 17-11-2008, 00:21   #3
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Google Dynex dux 75, for best product to use, also think there is a thread on here about it
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Old 17-11-2008, 08:19   #4
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Yep more info

I have had Dynex life lines for while now. Thery are currently off due to painting but..... You can find a lot of info here about synthetics. I see thet recently came out with a terminator for life lines.

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Old 17-11-2008, 09:55   #5
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Hi Connemara,
I've no practical experience but you also asked for views - and in my opinion whilst the high tech rope my be low chafe, I find it tough to believe its going to come close to the anti chafe properties of wire.
Until such time as offshore racing regs determine sprectra is good for lifelines - I'll be sticking with wire.
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Old 17-11-2008, 10:37   #6
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I replaced one of my lifelines as a trial. I am going to do the other four based on trial. The splicing was easy, installation easy and hopefully they will last a good long time.

redden marine as great prices on the Amsteel. I installed using lashings on the aft end, stainless thimbles on both, and a shackle on the front. Lashings was done with 1.8 inch amteel, the lines themselves are the 1/4 inch variety.

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Old 17-11-2008, 11:23   #7
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Chafe is the problem with rope. Bare stainless steel 1x19 wire with lashings at the aft end is considered best practice by the ISAF.
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Old 17-11-2008, 13:43   #8
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Yes, chafe is a concern. I am going to monitor this of course. The initial chafe points are of course the stantions, so making sure the pass-through is clean with no burrs is important. I think a placement of heat shrink tubing at these points, it one is worried about that, would be ok. I have some self annealing tape that I would like to try. Other than that, keeping other lines and halyards away from the lifelines is always a good practice anyway, so I am comfortable with handling that risk.

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Old 17-11-2008, 14:03   #9
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Chafe is easy to see, vinyl coated wire tends to fail where the coating cracks and cant be seen
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Old 17-11-2008, 14:20   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nauticatarcher View Post
Chafe is easy to see, vinyl coated wire tends to fail where the coating cracks and cant be seen
You can see those vinyl cracks.
Notwithstanding, coated cables hold moisture, which causes wire failure sooner than in un-coated wire.
Tapes & heat shrink will provide very short-term protection at chaffe points. Lifelines are (should be) long-term installations.
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Old 17-11-2008, 14:44   #11
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What benefit can be had with using synthetics over solid stainless (no vinyl covering)? Cost? Less tools? Less fittings? No corrosion? I cant see a great advantage, but I could be wrong...
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Old 17-11-2008, 15:19   #12
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You can see those vinyl cracks.
Notwithstanding, coated cables hold moisture, which causes wire failure sooner than in un-coated wire.
Tapes & heat shrink will provide very short-term protection at chaffe points. Lifelines are (should be) long-term installations.
From what I've noticed, the stanchions are what get underbuilt and overlooked the most.

... Still wondering about the UV resistance of synthetics.
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Old 17-11-2008, 16:38   #13
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We replaced our runners with 1/4" dia. Spectra but our life-lines with uncoated 7x19 SS wire. The runners, now 5 years old, are due for replacement due to UV. The wire, frequently washed down with freshwater, has much more life-span.

Where weight is not a consideration, I do not see the advantage of Spectra over wire, which will last 3x as long.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 18-12-2008, 20:45   #14
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Why would you bother . 1/4 inch 1X19 stainless rigging wire works fine ,and we are awash in the stuff.If it aint broke , don't fix it.
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Old 18-12-2008, 23:06   #15
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I had my stern pulpit lengthened and the wire lifelines from the midship gate aft no long fit. Tried using 7/16" double braid as a temporary replacement but it was hopeless. Could not get the stretch out of it and it was dangerous because of that. Remembered I had some 3/8" Dyneema line and thought I'd try that. Replaced the whole run of the line from bow pulpit to stern pulpit. Even using trucker's hitches to to tighten the line, it worked a charm. The line was way easier on my body and had as low a stretch/tautness factor as the wire lifelines tensioned with turnbuckles. The stuff works great. I wouldn't worry about chafe if you make sure there aren't any sharp edges where the line rubs. The line will have to be replaced sooner than uncoated wire but it's relatively cheap if you do the splicing yourself.

I opted to stick with the oversized vinyl coated wire since it was nearly new, however. Had the rear section shortened and a new end swaged on. Though I do question my sanity as the cost of the new swages was almost what I'd paid for the surplus Dyneema.

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