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Old 16-07-2011, 16:13   #1
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Lifelines - Vinyl vs Uncoated

Think I need to change out lifelines. I don't know age of lifelines (looking aged & some rust areas) and a rigger recommended changing them.

I need input and recommendations on plain (naked) cable and vinyl coated cable.

Is there a benefit of "naked" lifelines versus vinyl coated lifelines?
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Old 16-07-2011, 16:18   #2
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Re: Lifelines: vinyl versus uncoated?

Skip the vinyl. No need. The steel just rusts inside. Running sheets burns it away. It mildews. Use the 1x19 wire. Big on the upper, small on the lower, maybe.
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Old 16-07-2011, 16:19   #3
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Re: Lifelines: vinyl versus uncoated?

i think the consensus is that uncoated is superior becuase you can see when it is corroding, and it is less likely to corrode since water cannot get trapped inside the coating...

that being said i also think that synthetic (amsteel, dynex) lifelines are the way to go...
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Old 16-07-2011, 16:39   #4
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Re: Lifelines: vinyl versus uncoated?

Uncoated for sure, but consider using some of the no stretch halyard cordage instead of wire!
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Old 16-07-2011, 17:19   #5
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Re: Lifelines: vinyl versus uncoated?

How well does the halyard material withstand the abrasion from the edges of the stanchion holes? is there a suggested method to avoid friction there?
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Old 16-07-2011, 17:36   #6
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Re: Lifelines: vinyl versus uncoated?

Everyone has gotten away from vinyl coated lifelines. They are considered less safe because you cannot inspect all the stainless and they can prevent the stainless from getting enough oxygen to stop stainless steel corrosion.

I think all stainless lifelines have a cleaner look to them as well.
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Old 16-07-2011, 18:04   #7
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Re: Lifelines: vinyl versus uncoated?

as noted, I think the vinyl will eventually rust at the end of the vinyl. On the other hand it takes a long time to degrade too much. Some 20 year old boats still look good. But being cruising, you wont be doing much freshwater rinses. The vinyl will protect you from meathooks though! I like the more flexible 7 x19 wire myself.
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Old 16-07-2011, 18:07   #8
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Re: Lifelines: vinyl versus uncoated?

i use spectra line. no corrosion, no coating, cute colors.
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Old 16-07-2011, 18:10   #9
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Go uncoated. I have vinyl and wished I had plain. Some races offshore won't let you race with coated these days because of the reasons above
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Old 16-07-2011, 18:27   #10
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Re: Lifelines: vinyl versus uncoated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Victory49 View Post
Go uncoated. I have vinyl and wished I had plain. Some races offshore won't let you race with coated these days because of the reasons above
BTW, ISAF now allows Amsteel and the like for lifelines, new policy for this year.

3.14.6 Lifeline Minimum Diameters, Required Materials, Specifications
a) Lifelines shall be of :
- stranded stainless steel wire or
- single-braided Dyneema® rope
b) The minimum diameter is specified in table 8 below.
c) Stainless steel lifelines shall be uncoated and used without closefitting
sleeving, however, temporary sleeving may be fitted provided
it is regularly removed for inspection.
d) When stainless wire is used, Grade 316 is recommended.
e) When Dyneema® is used, Grade SK75 or SK78 is recommended.
f) A taut lanyard of synthetic rope may be used to secure lifelines
provided the gap it closes does not exceed 100 mm (4 in). This
lanyard shall be replaced annually at a minimum.
g) All wire, fittings, anchorage points, fixtures and lanyards shall
comprise a lifeline enclosure system which has at all points at least
the breaking strength of the required lifeline wire.
TABLE 8
LOA minimum wire or rope diameter
under 8.5 m (28ft) 3 mm (1/8 in)
8.5m - 13 m 4 mm (5/32 in)
over 13 m (43 ft) 5 mm (3/16 in)
3.14.7 Pulpits, Stanchions, Lifelines - Limitations on Materials


Stainless will certainly last longer, but fiber has a much kinder hand.

Abrasion on stanchions? No problem on my boat as the holes are large, beveled and pollished, but that really depends on the boat. I would think that air line could work well.
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Old 16-07-2011, 19:01   #11
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Re: Lifelines: vinyl versus uncoated?

On the advise of the forum users here I replaced mine with non coated stainless about four years ago. I've been VERY happy with them. No regrets.
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Old 16-07-2011, 19:08   #12
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Re: Lifelines: vinyl versus uncoated?

I looked at a boat a while ago, had uncoated (obviously) SS tubing.

It was brilliant, strong, secure, felt right the whole lot, the bottom strand was uncoated wire.

But that top rail was sensational!
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Old 16-07-2011, 19:43   #13
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Re: Lifelines: Vinyl vs Uncoated

Yes, Spectra, Amsteel etc. Knots & lashings instead of doubtful clips and swages and turnbuckles.

I put Spectra lifelines on Jedi early 2003 and they are still good; never left the tropics.

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Old 16-07-2011, 20:12   #14
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Re: Lifelines: vinyl versus uncoated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnathon123 View Post
I looked at a boat a while ago, had uncoated (obviously) SS tubing.

It was brilliant, strong, secure, felt right the whole lot, the bottom strand was uncoated wire.

But that top rail was sensational!
One-plus-inch metal tubing makes one feel secure and provides infinite handholds. OMG, my gate has covered wire!

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Old 16-07-2011, 22:13   #15
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Re: Lifelines: Vinyl vs Uncoated

35 years ago, I pulled some 1x19 1/4" wire out of a dumpster and used used Norseman terminals as end fittings. They've been on the boat ever since and still doing fine. No problems with corrosion and the relatively large diameter is easy on the body and just about strong enough to lift the boat. Even in the tropics, the wire has held up and is super easy to keep an eye on for any broken strands. That seems to be a lost cause in any case as the wire looks as good now as it did when I installed it.
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