I know there are previous discussions about life lines, I read many of them and I was involved with a number of them ... but like the attorney using an old dispelled defense ... the court generally allows the argument, or at the least, allows the jurist to make his case to the judge(in chambers), to see if the new twist is a viable argument ... so here goes.
I have just read two articles that cause me concern, about life lines and concern about "what", the particular articles are saying.
US Sailing, issued a report about using Dynemma/Spectra Life Lines, and that report states that Dyneema/Spectra is "15 times stronger than steel
fiber of the same weight".
A Practical Sailor article is quoted ..."one of the key attractions ...", "... ropes to be made as strong as stainless-steel wire of equal diameter, yet weigh a fraction of the wire that they replace."
I don't understand how these two statements can be reconciled.
I have handled Dyneema
... and I have handled steel
cable ... the weight difference is well like the difference between very lightweight synthetic line and comparatively heavy(much more than 15 times), steel ... no comparison ... no way.
So, which statement is true ... or are both statements incorrect?
Practical Sailor continues, in conclusion, to note that the use of dyneema/Spectra on actively maintained racing
boats(probably meaning the "big-money", boats), may not be the same as the less actively maintained every-day boats most of us operate.
Now, part of my research(?), is my willingness to do away with a 24" high tripwire, in favor for a line running inside at the edge of the cabintop, with the idea that I'd rather be grabbing something toward the interior
of the boat
, that to grab something toward the exterior of the boat
. I figure that my handhold makes a better turning point inside, rather than outside ... think of May Lou Retton, on the parallel bars.
The Practical Sailor article also states the ONLY viable reason for Life Lines"(as we know them), in this lead-in statement ... "Lifelines are called “guardrails” by British sailors, but regardless of their designation, they represent a handhold of last resort."
"Last Resort" ... not first resort, not best resort, not best alternative ... the article doesn't even state an adequate resort ... just, simply put ... "Last Resort" ... the as the last chance. This leads me to believe that the statement is almost saying to have other ways to keep one on the boat and that the lifelines
are NOT there to aid going forward ... they are only there as a "Last Resort" ... maybe like having a "donut" spare tire, instead of a full-sized spare tire ... adequate as needs be to get you to the next service
So, now after reading these articles, I think the Stanchions, that I've taken off(for re-fiberglassing & re-seating), are now going back on ... a little more firm & stronger than before, but not for the "everyday", use of going forward. Interior
lines will handle that duty, and I'll feel more confident that a big jolt, that might make me go airborne will also send me(maybe flying), toward the interior of the boat, where, maybe, the lifelines
on the opposite side of the boat might catch me ... I now have a renewed viewpoint.
Jayne Mansfield, star/sex goddess, of the 60's, was killed in a car accident
. She was "decapitated", by the sun-visor. If one tries to "break", relatively weak sewing thread by wrapping it in the hand and pulling hard and fast, that person often ends up with an intact thread and a hurting hand.
Even as a line of last resort, shouldn't we sailors be looking at enlarging the size of lifelines? Is there anyone here that thinks he/she, can actually hold onto a lifeline(the way they are now), without losing grip or damaging their hands? After all, many of us wear gloves to aid in gripping and to reduce burning.
I think I want larger lifelines ... 3/8", or even 1/2" ... much easier on the hands in a violent toss ... actually, just barely large enough to get a "real grip", on this Life Line of "last resort".
My dream ... Interior lifelines of 1/2" ... maybe even 5/8" or 3/4" or so on the cabintop, then maybe another 6" in height on my lifelines, but with 3/8" or 1/2" line ... better grip when I'm trying to grab that last resort line.
Just some random thoughts ... but, the lifelines are going back on ...