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Old 28-10-2010, 09:47   #1
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Re-Dipping Lifelines / Safety Lines - Is it Possible ?

I recently bought a boat but the life lines are pretty haggerd. The plastic coating is cracking apart so I either need to buy new ones or figure out a method to re-dip/pastic coat them.

Any suggestions? I'm kind of a DIY'er so I'm looking for suggestions along that line.


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Old 28-10-2010, 09:56   #2
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It's not a good don't know what the state of deterioration inside the wire is, add to that if you re-dip them, they will have whatever contaminates present trapped in the wire...not good...stainless is tough, but not impervious..

me, i'm going with rope lifelines..easy to spot deterioration, easy to replace, and if you fall 'gainst them it tends to hurt less...and they can be cut away quickly if needed...

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Old 28-10-2010, 14:07   #3
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The racing rules required that I replace my coated lifelines with bare stainless. While removing the old lifelines I peeled off some of the plastic. The underlying wires were badly rusted, with meathooks here and there. They did not fill me with confidence!

I replaced them with 1x19 stainless, and these have remained bright and looking good for many years and many thousands of ocean miles.

Hi-tech rope is also a reasonable choice. Watch for chafing and ultraviolet deterioration, but many people use these with good results.
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Old 29-10-2010, 01:01   #4
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When I replaced my plastic coated life lines I also went with uncoated,
As Paul said...the old wire under the plastic was in bad shape.
In all fairness the old wire was original from 1978 and had never failed.
So I think my answer is that you may be able to find a way to re coat it, but can you insure the quality\strength will be there when you need it?
S/V Arctic Lady
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Old 29-10-2010, 01:15   #5
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I would suggest you remove the unsightly cracked plastic and examine the wire for rust and broken strands (meathooks). If the wire isn't in good shape replace it with uncoated wire.

Uncoated wire enables you to monitor condition; it's a requirement of the offshore racing authorities which is usually a good indication of best-practice.
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Old 29-10-2010, 02:00   #6
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Plastic coating on stainless wire is a dinosour from the 70s and 80s. Stainless wire is relatively cheap. Just replace them for your own safeties sake.
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Old 02-11-2010, 13:02   #7
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Appreciate all the advice. I peeled back more of the plastic and there were quite a few "meat hangers".

Going with the stainless steel.

Thanks again!
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Old 25-01-2011, 13:49   #8
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Just wanted to weigh in here; have been seeing some cracks in the insulation/covering of my coated ss lifelines, and was pretty sure I'd soon be pulling them apart to replace. But yesterday I took an exacto blade to one of them and carefully cut and removed the insulation. Surprise, the SS underneath was good, apart from some surface rust, so I continued around the boat and removed all of the insulation. I then took down the lines and soaked them in a big bucket of vinegar, scrubbed with a brass bristle brush, and rehung them. For the cost of the vinegar I have shiny bright, easy to examine lifelines. Trick is not to wait too long, as the surface rust wasn't bad and came off. (If you do this, take a very sharp knife blade like an Exacto, and peel in one direction a slice of the life line, like you would peel the skin of an apple, then get it started, removing the insulation by pulling it away from the SS cable -- don't cut down with the blade pointed in. Peel first, then pull the plastic free.) It was kind of a fun job. The smell of vinegar should be out of my fingers in a week or so.

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