Author Topic: Installing New Life Lines  (Read 48 times)

sassea

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Installing New Life Lines
« on: May 15, 2019, 07:24:16 PM »
What suggestions can someone provide about installing new life lines myself? I have limited manual skills, but think I can handle this project. According to West Marine's website they will cut to length the sizes I need provided I bring them the old ones. Also, what about using dyneema? Thank you.

Jules Shockley

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Re: Installing New Life Lines
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2019, 06:57:50 AM »
Sassea,
I tackled that job 3 years back. Not difficult. I purchased all the studs, toggles and fittings from Defender, Bosun Supplies, and
E-Rigging. Make sure you get the hand swedged fittings. The machine swedged are thicker and impossible to do by hand. I used a hydraulic hand swedger (cheap on Ebay). It takes two people, one to hold the fitting and cable and one to swedge. I did exact copies of the lines on my boat and it worked out well. All for around $500 for brand new lifelines. Professionally, it'll cost thousands.  A good project and it doesn't take that long.
Jules



svsurprise

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Re: Installing New Life Lines
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2019, 01:30:33 PM »
Last summer I took the easy way out and removed them and shipped them off to a rigger in Florida I found online (LifelinesandRigging.com).  I only did the top lifelines in plastic coated SS wire, identical to the originals.  The cost was around $500 including shipping but included using the old turnbuckles and gate hardware which were in good shape.  I was very pleased with his quality. Since the bottom lifelines are smaller diameter I would imagine they would be slightly less expensive.

Dyneema is another good way to go and apparently is not difficult to splice.  I have a friend who did it himself and after five years they still looked pretty good.

Soggy Geek

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Re: Installing New Life Lines
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2019, 07:08:28 PM »
Hi Marlene, you can probably do this yourself, especially with using new hi-tech line instead of the wire rope.  I googled and found a couple of good source of information.

Practical Sailor Evaluating Synthetic Lifelines

Colligo Marine on Tips for Synthetic Lifelines

The Rigging Doctor on Synthetic Lifelines
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Soggy Paws

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Re: Installing New Life Lines
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2019, 07:11:37 PM »
Marlene.  I did ours years ago because the white plastic coated lifeline wires had cracks in the plastic and I had read horror stories about sailors falling overboard when their lifeline hardware broke.  SS wire inside a tight plastic looks good for a couple of years but is asking for trouble later on.                                             In order of preference the options include Spectra/Dynema inside a Polyester sheath, bare but UV coated line, bare SS wire, and plastic coated wire.  My first choice and what I used is polyester sheathed Spectra/Dynema as it is as strong as the wire, does not corrode, is easy to tie knots in, resists UV degradation, is easily replaced, no fittings needed, can be made very tight without turnbuckles, and is inexpensive compared to the other options.  Ours was 10 years old and still looked good when we sold the boat.  Email me if you decide to do this.  Dave
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