I totally understand when people say that lifelines should not be expected to save you just when you need them, etc. But I also understand that they do provide some measure of extra safety and peace of mind. Ever noticed how naked you feel if you have ever been on to the deck of a sailboat with no lifelines at all. Makes me fee uncomfortable even at a slip.
There are times when you are just about to lose your balance and just the tiniest bit of support can catch you and make the difference from dry to wet in a heart beat. But I would never "rely" upon cable lifelines as a secure handhold. I like the poster above who said he liked to go along the deck using the more secure bolted down hardware
even when not needed so as to create "muscle memory" or practice so you know where to put your hands/feet when you need to without overthinking it.
Our previous boats lifelines, all the way around, were changed by the prior owner to all tubing and at a 40" height. I loved those lifelines! I did use them at times but never when a failure could have pitched me through them, although there were some times when they did make a difference. My current
wire lines make me nervous and think about changing them to all tubing at the increased height. But even raising the existing wire stanchions higher would be a huge expense so not likely to happen.
I do plan to add netting from the top wire to the rail though when I get a chance. It will certainly catch a lot of gear
that might otherwise be lost
and it would lessen the possibility of me going under the wires a lot. Would I bet my life on it? Not by plan, but it wouldn't make me feel bad if it did save me once by accident
Anyone who thinks lifelines are dangerous are welcome to just remove them from their boats and see how they like it.