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Old 02-11-2009, 19:50   #1
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Lifeline Fittings on the Cheap?

Hi all,

I'm redoing the lifelines on my catalina 27, and I got sticker shock for the cost of the Suncor kit, and for the swaged and swageless fittings. I came across some fittings that look to be exactly like the suncor ones, but at a fraction of the price. Looks like the same product, asian style.

They are billed as 316 stainless, 1750lb load rating, 2680lb breaking capacity, 4mm wire. Guy on ebay is selling them, but they're also available at Harbor Freight. IF they are 316 stainless, and they're rated at 1750lb, any reason why not to use them on lifelines? Prices are about $8 a fitting for 4mm. So lifelines, top and bottom can be done for about $150 including wire and turnbuckles.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=120436964398
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Old 02-11-2009, 19:58   #2
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Forget the wire. Get 1/4" Spectra or Amsteel or Dynex. If you shop around you can get it for 1$ a foot. Learn to do the Brummel splice, and do them yourself. Stronger by a lot, no worries about cheap (China) wire corroding etc.....4 life lines at 30' each is $120...:-)

WIRE IS DEAD
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Old 02-11-2009, 20:00   #3
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I dont think I would be comfortable that. Sharp things go through thin line pretty easy. Lifelines break from, corrosion, impact, abrasion and cutting....not just impact.
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Old 02-11-2009, 20:09   #4
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I dont think I would be comfortable that. Sharp things go through thin line pretty easy. Lifelines break from, corrosion, impact, abrasion and cutting....not just impact.
Dyneema (base material for all the SK-75 ropes, Spectra, Amsteel, Dynex)

Dyneema is used for butchers gloves. It is HIGHLY cut resistant. Sharp things do not go through this line easily. Steel knives dull very fast. We have found only a ceramic blade will hold up.

Last Fact: Brion Toss (Briontoss.com) will no longer install wire life lines. He is of the opinon they are dangerous compared to a synthetic life line.
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Old 02-11-2009, 20:09   #5
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I dont think I would be comfortable that. Sharp things go through thin line pretty easy. Lifelines break from, corrosion, impact, abrasion and cutting....not just impact.
Spectra is not very easy to cut. It isn't going to all of sudden get cut and not be noticed. It is also abrasion resistant. If you are looking to save money on lifelines, then it is a fine way to go. It is also a good way to go even if you aren't looking to save money - with some trade-offs.

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Old 02-11-2009, 23:05   #6
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Thanks for the quick replies. While synthetics sound interesting, I'm still very close to pulling the trigger on the swageless fittings. I ran down to the local harbor freight and found a 30 pack of spade terminals(red, yellow, blue), for 6.99, with heat shrink, tinned. The individual packs were 10 for 2.99, compared to $5.99 for 3 at westmarine. These were a dead knockoff of the packaging of anchor. So I snooped around a bit and came across the swageless fittings, came home and googled them. Maybe I'm missing something, but it looks like the same stuff for about 15% of the price? Is it worth it to rig one up and put a static load on it (i've got a bunch of heavy equipment) and see if it will hold the 2700 lbs? The packaging says they're made in Taiwan. I know suncor gets them from blue wave, which is out of denmark, but I'm not sure if blue wave contracts to have them mfg in the far east...decisions, decisions.
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:42   #7
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FWIW: Iím not certain that the words 'lifeline' and 'cheap' belong in the same sentence.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:54   #8
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FWIW: Iím not certain that the words 'lifeline' and 'cheap' belong in the same sentence.
I fully agree with Gord on this one. Do you hold your life cheap?
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:00   #9
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FWIW: I’m not certain that the words 'lifeline' and 'cheap' belong in the same sentence.
Yes thousands of marketing professionals use fear of safety to rip us off.

much safety kit on a boat is a rip off.
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:56   #10
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:34   #11
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I fully agree with Gord on this one. Do you hold your life cheap?

Just because something comes with a high $ markup doesn't ipso facto make that item safe for life and limb. By the same token, just because something is inexpensive doesn't render that item unsafe. $1 bolts all day long keep us safe and happy.

The swageless fittings at Harbor Freight intrigued me so I thought I would find out if anyone had any experience with them. Seems that some are beholden to the notion that if it isn't sold out of a marine catalogue that it's an inferior product. That's their opinion. However, I'm really more interested in an answer to my basic question.

These fittings are sold as 316 stainless with a breaking load seemingly appropriate for lifelines.

Has anyone used/know of/seen these Harbor Freight fittings and can offer an OPINION as to their suitability to be used as lifelines. All opinions welcomed even snarky ones
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:25   #12
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Cheap or expensive I don't know I would want to trust my life to anything bought at Harbor Freight. I believe their thinking is cheap limited use tools. Cheap doesn't always mean inexpensive.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:37   #13
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Just because something comes with a high $ markup doesn't ipso facto make that item safe for life and limb. By the same token, just because something is inexpensive doesn't render that item unsafe. $1 bolts all day long keep us safe and happy...
True enough, as far as it goes.

Marketing can certainly allow an inferior product to sell for an unjustified high price.
On the other hand, it’s very difficult to manufacture a superior product using inferior materials & methods.

There are certainly many instances where “good enough” is good enough (I wear $10 wrist watches).

There are just as certainly where cost should only be a secondary factor (heart pacemaker).

For the record, for most common sizes aboard, I wouldn’t consider a $1 bolt to be “cheap”.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:43   #14
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How much do you think your life is worth? Buying cheap safety items, like lifelines, flares, rafts, makes no sense to me.
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Old 03-11-2009, 13:07   #15
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price out riggingonly.com before you decide. They are pretty reasonable and the swages are machine formed. Bob
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