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Old 18-02-2010, 11:31   #1
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Replacind the Lifeline Wire with Rigid Aluminum or SS

Hi All,

I want to replace the wire with stainless steel tubing, or aluminum. What size tubing would be appropriate on a 35 ft. catamaran, OD and ID?

Thanks....Jeff
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Old 22-02-2010, 21:35   #2
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Can you elaborate why?
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Old 22-02-2010, 23:30   #3
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IMHO neither would be appropriate for a 35 foot yacht.

Unless it is wider stainless it will bend and buckle if ever subject to sheets getting caught up - and the breaking stain in a narrow aluminium tube I doubt would safely hold anyone on board if tossed against it with momentum.

Why not replace the wire?

JOHN
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Old 23-02-2010, 02:02   #4
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You could go the other route - get Dyneema and make strong and light (and relatively inexpensive) lifelines. The solid stainless lifelines on the Amel Maramu series of boats are 1" diameter and are the minimum size one should have, otherwise they might bend with the stresses of a fender getting stuck between boat and dock while a wake hits.
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Old 23-02-2010, 04:49   #5
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Awhile back a guy here replaced his life lines with a rope, I question him on it and he told me his insurance aproved it.
I had never seen this before. another thing I found strange was the ends had a wire to tie it off and not a bread.

Has anyone ever seen this rope lifeline?

Dutch
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Old 23-02-2010, 05:06   #6
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johnar - I looked at a Catana 582 (DIADEM) recently which had not only the lifelines but all of the standing rigging replaced with Dyneema and Dynex Dux from Colligo Marine. That gave me the idea of replacing my lifelines (which are covered 7x19 wire) with Dyneema and I've got the rope all spliced and ready to go but am a couple of thousand miles away from my boat at the moment so haven't installed it yet. The rope lifeline has 2 eye splices, one is wrapped through an end, the other is tightened by a classic lashing (see http://www.colligomarine.com/docs/mi...ie_ver_1_1.pdf )
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Old 23-02-2010, 08:37   #7
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We switched to rope lifelines in 2003 already. We used what is often called "cruising Spectra" which is a blend of Spectra and polyester. When I need to replace it (it's almost like new 7 years later) I would use Dynex Dux instead.
You MUST use lashings on both ends to handle chafing or find a way to get a thimble through the eye on the pulpit. One end always needs to be a lashing which replaces the turnbuckle to tighten it.
One of the reasons for going Dynex Dux is that it is so easy to splice (compared to the double braid construction we have now); you can even take a splice out easily when you want to remove it temporary for whatever reason.
We use 10mm (3/8") for the top line and 8mm (5/16") for the lower one.

ciao!
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Old 23-02-2010, 08:47   #8
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The single braid 12 strand is a piece of cake to splice using the modified Brummel splice, after taking about an hour to do the first one according the instructions from Colligo Marine (http://www.colligomarine.com/docs/mi...eb_rev_1_2.pdf) (they also have a video of how to do on their site) I did the others much quicker (10 minutes or so for the last one after I was in practice) and they are easy to take apart and redo, as s/v Jedi has stated.

Nick - I thought one only needs to lash one side, since the lines are under constant tension and there would be no chafe. The Dynex Dux is a bit of an overkill for lifelines, since the creep on normal Dyneema SK75 lines would be negligible with the tension levels on lifelines. The skipper of the Diadem told me that the Dynex Dux is very very stiff and they only used it for the standing rigging and not the lifelines.
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Old 23-02-2010, 09:38   #9
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I have seen both Spectra (Spectra core / poly outside) and SS tubes on boats (and wood planks too).

Would use Spectra but one has to be 100% sure the stanchions will not chafe. I would not use SS pipes because once bent they are hard to get true again.

On my own boat 5mm SS 1/19 (no plastic coat). Cheap, easy to replace, hard to chafe thru. Back ends secured with multiple loops of very fine Spectra/poly (just in case I want to cut them and get the lifelines slack).

b.
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Old 23-02-2010, 10:05   #10
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We replaced the top lifeline wire with 1"OD SS tubing and it has worked very well for 15+ years. Good solid grip to hold onto and looks good too (pilot house sail).
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Old 23-02-2010, 10:28   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
Nick - I thought one only needs to lash one side, since the lines are under constant tension and there would be no chafe. The Dynex Dux is a bit of an overkill for lifelines, since the creep on normal Dyneema SK75 lines would be negligible with the tension levels on lifelines. The skipper of the Diadem told me that the Dynex Dux is very very stiff and they only used it for the standing rigging and not the lifelines.
Well, we use the lifelines like holding them in rough seas when going forward, to dry the laundry, tie fenders to etc. and that all cause tension and chafing. With lashings on both sides you only have to replace the lashing, which we did once in these 7 years. There was evidence of chafing on both sides.
We use 3mm spectra for the lashings.

The top lifeline is the one that gets most handling and our stanchions have a nice and smooth hole through solid material for it so there's no chafing at all. The lower lifeline just goes through a hole through the hollow part but I basically see no chafing or very minimal after 7 years. Not worth changing something for.

We have some spots where the rigging touches the lifelines. There, I wrapped some 3mm polyester double braid around the lifelines for protection.

The stiffness of Dynex Dux is a pro for lifelines IMO. And the price difference isn't too big anyway. I think Samsom Amsteel blue is a good alternative too because we are impressed with it for our running backstays after 5 years in the tropical sun.

We don't like wire because it's tough on the hands and puts stains in the laundry. Also, I would never trust that PVC coated type because stainless should be in full contact with the air.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 23-02-2010, 10:37   #12
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We replaced the top lifeline wire with 1"OD SS tubing and it has worked very well for 15+ years. Good solid grip to hold onto and looks good too (pilot house sail).
The stability and grip is great on stainless tube railing. We have it for the aft part of the boat. I think having it for the aft part is a good compromise between function and looks. But I wouldn't want it all the way forward because even with the slightest little accidents you end up with a problem. I also want to be able to completely remove the lifelines.

cheers,
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Old 18-08-2010, 07:13   #13
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Lashings...

I've just spent the past hour looking for step-by-step instructions on the lashing part of this exercise..

Sure I can make eye splices no problems, but how does one make the lashings so that they're tight and neat looking? ... and stay that way?

Does anybody know of a step-by-step source with pics?
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