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Old 28-05-2020, 16:58   #1
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Coated Lifelines - How long to hang on to them?

My 12 year old boat came with coated lifelines. Except for the 4 connections at the bow and one spot amidships on starboard side top lifeline, they seem to be in good shape. The 5 bad spots are showing a tiny amount of rust. I cut back the bow ends to see what was going on. There was rust inside the plastic but the metal cleaned up easily with a little barkeeper's friend. I don't know how far back the corrosion goes.

How long can one expect coated lifelines to last?
Is it practical to strip the coating and run plain wire (assuming they inspect fine) or should I just replace with dyneema?

I have heard many speak poorly of coated lifelines and I guess it is time to consider what to do.
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Old 28-05-2020, 18:00   #2
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Re: Coated Lifelines - How long to hang on to them?

They have served their useful life. Remove and replace with 1X19 uncoated wire and choose how you want the terminal fittings attached. They can be swaged fittings or mechanical, such as Sta-Loc If you are comfortable doing it yourself.
Dyneema is an option but that is a decision you should investigate before considering.
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Old 28-05-2020, 18:12   #3
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Re: Coated Lifelines - How long to hang on to them?

I believe the issue is that they can’t be inspected. There is no way to know how long they will last.
If you go to uncoated realize that being uncoated you now have a thin wire that will really hurt if you fall into it, it will try to cut you in half.
I oversized my top wire to the same size as a coated one, of course it’s more expensive and way over strong, but maybe it won’t hurt so bad if I fall on it.
There are times that I wish that I had gone to solid tubes, that is much better in my opinion.

My lines were 27 yrs old and cracked in many places and rust coming out of the cracks, I believe they were overdue
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Old 28-05-2020, 18:16   #4
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Re: Coated Lifelines - How long to hang on to them?

Hello, EmeraldCoastSailor,

The plastic keeps the air from circulating about the wire itself. You can't see what's happening inside. What you are concerned about is oxygen deprivation corrosion. I have seen the core rot out of a wire, so that the outside looked fine, but the wire snapped, and it was just brown dust inside.

I'd change out those lifelines (if one is bad, it can break all by itself, if the boat is pounding, without someone falling against it), just as Orion Jim suggested.

Ourselves, have gone to dyneema life lines for years, now. They are lighter, by far. However, they, too need to be changed, for UV damage. Most people are saying every 4-5 yrs., whereas s/s lifelines last a long time.

Ann

A64 and I were writing at the same time. His WERE very overdue. What we did, was to use our running back stays, which are 10 mm dyneema, when we changed them out, for our upper lifeline. It is comfortable to hold onto, should you wish to. It is way oversize for the lifeline application, as for strength. The lower one is about 6 mm.
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Old 28-05-2020, 18:52   #5
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Re: Coated Lifelines - How long to hang on to them?

i would never ever use coated lifelines (they are banned on race boats). you cannot inspect the wire inside

throw them away now

uncoated or dyneema only safe options imho

cheers,
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Old 29-05-2020, 09:50   #6
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Re: Coated Lifelines - How long to hang on to them?

If you are energetic and bored begin stripping the good ones. The coating comes off with a little bit of effort and then discussion finished. If bad, replace, If good, shiny, then keep.
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Old 29-05-2020, 13:01   #7
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Re: Coated Lifelines - How long to hang on to them?

I have been told that "clear plastic" coated lifelines are good to use. They can be inspected as you can see through the clear coating, are the same or similar diameter as white vinyl coated life lines and are more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Have any of you used clear coated life lines? What say you all?
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Old 29-05-2020, 14:19   #8
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Re: Coated Lifelines - How long to hang on to them?

Iíve been told a loose hose over uncoated lines works.

When I had crew hiking with bare stainless I bought pre-made covers you could put on them.
Pipe insulation with sunbrella over works too.
My crew didnít complain about the lifelines then, they complained about the toe rails.

But Iíve gone for bare stainless. Stays stronger longer!
Iíve seen multiple coated lifeline failures on various boats over the years.
Brand new coated lifelines are too old in my book. Plus a pain to keep clean.
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Old 29-05-2020, 14:23   #9
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Re: Coated Lifelines - How long to hang on to them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
There are times that I wish that I had gone to solid tubes, that is much better in my opinion.
Definitely, I'm working towards that too. Will be done together with new toerails when we can afford it.
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Old 29-05-2020, 16:01   #10
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Re: Coated Lifelines - How long to hang on to them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Anthony View Post
I have been told that "clear plastic" coated lifelines are good to use. They can be inspected as you can see through the clear coating, are the same or similar diameter as white vinyl coated life lines and are more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Have any of you used clear coated life lines? What say you all?
certainly sounds a good idea but personally never seen such.

perhaps a business opportunity for someone ?

cheers,
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Old 29-05-2020, 21:04   #11
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Re: Coated Lifelines - How long to hang on to them?

Or you can get rid of your lifelines. It makes you take great care when you move out of the cockpit and I usually tether. My first boat, an all wood Kingscruiser, never had them and the two boats since, a Columbia 29 and an all wood H28 modified ketch, I removed them. I did watch my friend fall through his on his boat. Fortunately he landed on the dock. If you want something on there I guess I’d go with tube.
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Old 30-05-2020, 01:30   #12
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Re: Coated Lifelines - How long to hang on to them?

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Originally Posted by bailsout View Post
Or you can get rid of your lifelines. It makes you take great care when you move out of the cockpit and I usually tether. My first boat, an all wood Kingscruiser, never had them and the two boats since, a Columbia 29 and an all wood H28 modified ketch, I removed them. I did watch my friend fall through his on his boat. Fortunately he landed on the dock. If you want something on there I guess I’d go with tube.
I have seen one small traditional wooden ship without them, and they had just arrived in Canaries from europe. Though I have a family and wouldn't remove them, I must admit that they have never been useful to me at sea as I too rely on jacklines. However, the netting I made to run along them have proven their worth countless times by saving equipment, hats, sunglasses and such.

But if you are single handing - why wouldn't you want all the safety you can reasonably manage?
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Old 30-05-2020, 05:55   #13
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Re: Coated Lifelines - How long to hang on to them?

Even if you're clipped in, I'd still want the lifelines (provided they're tall enough) as another thing to grab onto for those times you need a hand for balance. That's somewhat dependent on the specific boat, however.
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