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Old 07-05-2017, 22:00   #16
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Re: Cape Town dismasting story

How many people have cut wire rope before?
How many people have cut wire rope under tension before?
.
Just curious.
I've dealt with wire rope in various fields years ago... generally tied with oil production.
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So far I've seen folks talk about using a hacksaw, bolt cutters and grinders... in an emergency even!
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I personally prefer wire cutters. Capacity rated for the largest size wire rope on my boat, long enough handles to provide leverage for even the weakest adult onboard, and proper handles/grips.
I never liked cutting wire rope with bolt cutters... different cutting mechanics and not what they were designed for.. to my understanding anyway.
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Old 07-05-2017, 22:12   #17
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Re: Cape Town dismasting story

To expand on my post above... my feelings/opinion/experience anyway....
.
Bolt cutters are like chisels... look at the blade angle. Bolt cutters squeeze/deform the metal until that last bit is weak enough to break.
The edges of the jaws only meet and depending on how strong the person is... they might not be able to squeeze that last little bit to make the break.
Plus... with the multiple layers and strands of the standing rigging... the individual wires will slip around some as you squeeze them with the bolt cutters.

The wire cutters are a scissor-type action with very sharp opposing blades that pass each other completely. They were designed to cut through wire rope specifically. The jaws trap the wire rope/cable and hold it in place while the jaws/blades cut through the wires.

Hacksaws are flexible tools. The blade flexes... the frame flexes... those little teeth can break off the blade, blades bend and catch in the kerf. Then there's the possibility of the saw slipping and cutting the operator... especially under the circumstances this thread relates to.
Just getting the cut started can be a task under favorable conditions.

Grinders take more time than cutters depending on the strength of the person operating the cutters, of course! Like the hacksaw.. or perhaps more so... grinders can slip. Not necessarily slipping and injuring the operator... but slipping around until the disk bites, or out of the original kerf, wasting time starting the cut in a new place...

Be to be sure... no matter what you cut wire rope with... if it's under tension... it's possible to be hurt quite seriously from the loose end and the initial separation or later from whipping around in the air (as was mentioned before).

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Old 11-06-2017, 15:30   #18
er9
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Re: Cape Town dismasting story

anyone following her voyage...her tracker shows she finally left south africa. looks like shes headed back to her location of her dismasting. good news...
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Old 11-06-2017, 15:39   #19
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Re: Cape Town dismasting story

Go, Lisa, Gooooooooo!!!!!!

Lisa is a superb sailor and I am her big fan here. Indeed there is a tracker update showing she is on her way out of CT.

Cheers,
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Old 11-06-2017, 20:53   #20
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Re: Cape Town dismasting story

One small suggestion for you guys who think you'll be able to use the cutting wheel to cut the rigging away. It would be fine in daylight, flat water, no rain, no seas running, but might not lose your mast in those conditions.

The time we were dismasted, pulling the pins was the way to go, not sitting with one's bottom in the salt water, using electric tools. [Way scary thought for this sailor!] There are a number of purely mechanical ways to deal with the rigging wire.
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