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Old 08-10-2019, 14:48   #1
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Life lines

On our Catalina we have wire and plastic coated life lines from 2006. I would like to replace them with double braid low stretch rope.
I have looked at other boats and mostly see bare steel cable about 4mm or rope in about 5mm.
I checked and I could fit 8mm rope but that seems not common at all. Is there a reason why a bigger rope is generally not used?
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Old 08-10-2019, 14:58   #2
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Re: Life lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by reiner View Post
On our Catalina we have wire and plastic coated life lines from 2006. I would like to replace them with double braid low stretch rope.
I have looked at other boats and mostly see bare steel cable about 4mm or rope in about 5mm.
I checked and I could fit 8mm rope but that seems not common at all. Is there a reason why a bigger rope is generally not used?
Cheers
Reiner

I just looked at a boat that used grey 5/16" = 8mm Dyneema. Overkill for the job, strengthwise, but very nice to your hands and body. I may do that too.
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Old 08-10-2019, 15:08   #3
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Re: Life lines

replaced mine with 5mm marlow d12 max dyneema, just feels about the right size. Great for hanging the laundry out
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Old 08-10-2019, 15:18   #4
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Re: Life lines

I don't care much for a lifeline that can be cut with a knife or something else that is sharp.

Stainless lifelines with the plastic covering are no longer used because of potential internal corrosion that may not be detectable.
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Old 08-10-2019, 15:31   #5
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Re: Life lines

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
I don't care much for a lifeline that can be cut with a knife or something else that is sharp.

Stainless lifelines with the plastic covering are no longer used because of potential internal corrosion that may not be detectable.

I prefer a lifeline that can be cut with a knife or something else that is sharp in an emergency such as a MOB recovery.
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Old 08-10-2019, 15:40   #6
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Re: Life lines

Different opinions make for a good forum.
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Old 08-10-2019, 15:54   #7
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Re: Life lines

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I don't care much for a lifeline that can be cut with a knife or something else that is sharp.
Few knives onboard sharp enough to cut marlow d12. They don't come out much so I don't care
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Old 08-10-2019, 17:34   #8
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Re: Life lines

I replaced my coated SS wire lifelines several years ago with uncoated 1X19 SS. I currently use this product https://www.neropes.com/products/per...ail/wr2-ultra/ for my wind vane self steering control lines and its great. Were I to replace my lifelines I would be inclined to use WR2.
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Old 08-10-2019, 17:39   #9
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Re: Life lines

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Few knives onboard sharp enough to cut marlow d12.
It is really not that difficult to cut when it is tensioned.(like a life life probably would be).

For the OP - 8mm Dyneema is fine/good. People tend to use 5mm because it is the minimum set in the racing standards (and saves weight and windage vs bigger). But as a cruiser, feel free to use as big as you can fit and afford.

As an aside, there is a debate about whether single braid or double braid is better for life lines. If you use double braid, only the core counts for strength - so the core alone should be 5mm or bigger. Personally I prefer single braid as big as you can fit.
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Old 08-10-2019, 17:52   #10
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Re: Life lines

@Reiner,

Hi, there, friend. Nice to see you posting again.

Here's another way: Use dyneema line, for the life lines. In our case, the top lifelines are our old 10 mm running back stays, and Jim spliced one thimble on, and the last one after the line was led through the stanchion tops. They're very strong, and the diameter is kindly on the hands. Then, we lash them with 3 mm polyester braid, easy to cut if need be. We also have gates in our life lines, so there is somewhere to board someone without cutting them, but at least the life line lashings can be cut, quickly.

Ann
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Old 08-10-2019, 18:01   #11
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Re: Life lines

I replaced my coated SS lifelines with 6mm single braid dynemma two years ago. Very happy with them. Single braid is very easy to splice (simple bury splice) and the gray looks good. I would absolutely do this again.
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Old 08-10-2019, 18:05   #12
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Re: Life lines

Lots of folks are going dyneema. As stated coated wire no longer approved because you can't inspect. With dyneema, are there inspections that can be done over time or do they last forever.
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Old 08-10-2019, 18:27   #13
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Re: Life lines

A note if/when planning to put Dyneema thru stanchion holes which have previously held wire ..... you absolutely need to make sure the hole surfaces (thru the stanchions) are super smooth. Wire can create grooves and gouges in those holes which have proven to quite quickly damage/cut Dyneema. This is not just a theoretical concern, it has happened repeating out in the real world - is one of the big reasons racing (mostly) retracted their approval for Dyneema.

If the prior wire was plastic coated, that may have protected the stanchion holes, but it is something you need to check carefully - each and every hole needs to be all smooth surface.

You can polish out any grooves you find.
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Old 08-10-2019, 18:41   #14
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Re: Life lines

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
I don't care much for a lifeline that can be cut with a knife or something else that is sharp.

Stainless lifelines with the plastic covering are no longer used because of potential internal corrosion that may not be detectable.
Have you ever tried to cut dyneema with a knife? Its a truly difficult task that requires alot of sawing to get through! That's one of the reasons i used dyneema for my lifelines! Its really tough stuff! Ideal for the job and much cheaper than SS wire and fittings!
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Old 08-10-2019, 19:25   #15
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Re: Life lines

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
@Reiner,

Hi, there, friend. Nice to see you posting again.

Here's another way: Use dyneema line, for the life lines. In our case, the top lifelines are our old 10 mm running back stays, and Jim spliced one thimble on, and the last one after the line was led through the stanchion tops. They're very strong, and the diameter is kindly on the hands. Then, we lash them with 3 mm polyester braid, easy to cut if need be. We also have gates in our life lines, so there is somewhere to board someone without cutting them, but at least the life line lashings can be cut, quickly.

Ann
Hi Ann, good to be back we needed another sailboat after Trailer sailing for a few years. Hope you and Jim are doing well might catch you in Moreton Bay one day. Just look out for the best looking Catalina 320 in the bay hahahaha
Cheers
Reiner and Sam
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