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Author Topic: lifelines  (Read 2915 times)

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lazybone

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lifelines
« on: May 25, 2016, 08:13:32 AM »

My vinyl coated lifelines look like merda.  Cracked, sun burnt brown, there's no salvaging them.  Is there any reason to not just strip the vinyl off and use them as bare stainless?
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S/V LAZYBONES  #677

Jim Hardesty

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2016, 05:25:50 PM »

They would be just as strong as they are now.  Might look a little odd with a small diameter.  You may have rust and corrosion under the vinyl.  I put my full weight on the top life line each spring to test.  Sounds like a lot of work taking the vinyl off.  I replaced them on my previous boat, a 30 footer, I don't remember them being too expensive. 
And.....It's a safety thing.  I don't like to go cheep there.  That's just me.
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA

mark_53

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2016, 08:53:29 PM »

My vinyl coated lifelines look like merda.  Cracked, sun burnt brown, there's no salvaging them.  Is there any reason to not just strip the vinyl off and use them as bare stainless?

When you fall from the foredeck and your ribs hit the lifelines, would you rather hit vinyl or raw rusted steel?
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1989 C34 Mk1 M25XP

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Ekutney

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2016, 09:11:28 PM »

I replaced my old weathered vinyl coated lifelines with bare stainless.  When I removed the old lifelines and spooled them the corrosion to the inside of the vinyl cable was considerable.  I considered trying to strip off the vinyl covering but it was very difficult and when I saw the amount of corrosion the idea of saving them disapated.
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Ed Kutney
1986 C34
S/V Grace #42 shoal keel
Universal M-25
Magothy River
Severna Park, MD

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Edmund Burke

capndon

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2016, 10:56:55 AM »

Replaced my nasty looking vinyl coated lifelines last fall. Rust was showing through in several places. Started to remove the vinyl covering, not an easy task. Ended up working with 'Rigging Only' to replace. They are top notch and easy to work with. Very good prices! You can measure or simple send them your current lines and they will make up a new set, which is what I did. Incredibly fast turn around. I went with uncoated, they look beautiful!
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Gary Brockman

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2016, 04:59:55 PM »

We were required to take the plastic coating off of the lifelines on the boat I went Transpac on last summer (race rules). All of the wire was is good shape and no replacement was necessary.
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Squall
1986 Hull #231
Tall Rig/Fin Keel - Elliptical Rudder
Marina del Rey, California

lazybone

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2016, 06:57:12 PM »

Removed the vinyl coating today and reinstalled.  They were in good shape with no signs of damage.
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Jim Hardesty

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2016, 04:27:29 AM »

How bad was removing the cover?  How long did it take?  Please let us know how you like it removed after using it for a while.
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
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lazybone

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2016, 05:13:55 AM »

How bad was removing the cover?  How long did it take?  Please let us know how you like it removed after using it for a while.
Jim

Strung the cables between two eyehooks in the garage that kept them fairly taught and about waist high.  Used one of those retractable razor blade holders and pulled it along the top to peel a continuous strip exposing the stainless.  Once that's done fairly easy to pull back and peel off the vinyl.

I used a heat gun to soften the plastic which made carving much easier
My lifelines were not the originals, I had replaced them about 12yrs ago.

It was a two beer job.
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S/V LAZYBONES  #677

Stu Jackson

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2016, 08:29:37 AM »

Please let us know how you like it removed after using it for a while.


Jim, I got new lifelines without covers two years ago.  They're just fine.  I anchor out a lot, and when weighing anchor without a windlass, I'm back and forth a lot.  After 16 years with coated lifelines, it took me a bit to get used to the fact that they are a tad thinner, but once I "got that" it's just fine.  I use them as a "guide" with my left hand when going forward on the port side, just keep my fingers lightly on the bottom of the top lifeline.

I think they look better, too.  :D
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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bayates

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2016, 05:49:52 AM »

We are in process of replacing our plastic coated ones. With all the other projects this year (some unplanned) the budget is shot so only have done gates so far. This is one of most important safety items so it is good idea to get it done.
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Brian & Pat Yates
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Ed Shankle

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2016, 06:28:31 AM »

From what I've read, the recommendation is to replace with non-coated lifelines, as the vinyl coated can hide breakdowns in the strands. I planned to do that in the future. I hadn't considered stripping them, but that sounds like a low cost way to confirm their current state now.

Ed
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Ed Shankle
Tail Wind #866 1989
Salem, MA

Ken Juul

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2016, 06:42:29 AM »

There was a DIY article in Sail I think that describes doing just this.  If there are any rust spots, treat with Ospo and lightly sand to remove and treat the rust.
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Ken & Vicki Juul
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Indian Falls

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2016, 09:26:12 AM »

I just ordered 220 feet of continuous polyolefin shrink tube 2:1 shrink ratio, 3/8 diameter in white. for 80$
I plan to put 2 layers of the shrink on the stripped cables.  The plastic is hard and heat gun helps alot.

I'll let you know how it goes.
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Dan & Dar
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Indian Falls

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Re: lifelines
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2016, 06:33:54 PM »

Follow up to my previous reply:
I used a heat gun and a semi dull boyscout knife to "fillet" the lifeline cover. Then pull off the remaining.
I had rust residue on a few areas.  I did not have rust and corrosion.  An orangey dusty discoloration is not corrosion. There was no apparent rusting under the old cover. I soaked my lifelines in a product from Home Depot for cleaning and prepping concrete for paint or more masonry that is really nothing but phosphoric acid. I have been using this for killing rust stains on everything with incredible success.  Plastic, wood, metal, painted surfaces and my neighbors teeth.... ok that last part was just wishful thinking.  The lifelines were rinsed, bathed in baking soda and water, dried and then generously doused in Baby powder.  (what?! you say?)  Yes, I needed to get these to slide easy through 30 feet of soft stretchy polyolefin shrink tube and this was the key.  It took a bit to learn the trick to getting the tube over the line with the first layer on but it was not a big deal if you are patient.  220 feet is needed for 2 layers, it comes in 200' rolls and the supplier followed my instruction not to send any length less than 30 feet.  They look great. Shrink tube, even though it is abrasion resistant is quite tender compared to nylon... but for 80 bucks and a few hours of stretch and pull followed by a heat gun I couldn't be happier.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 07:59:14 AM by Indian Falls »
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Dan & Dar
s/v Resolution, 1990 C34 997
We have enough youth: how about a fountain of "smart"?
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