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Old 11-05-2017, 11:01 AM   #1
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A use for old life lines.

After making new life lines for my trawler, I found a use for the old life line cables...a cradle for my dinghy. We won't be using it again until March of next year, when we have our first raft-up and then it goes back on the Weaver mounts.
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:47 AM   #2
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Our lifelines are 43 years old.
They are fine and never even thought of replacing them.
I read an anchor rode cable should be replace at times due to seawater corrosion but life lines are vinyl covered.
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:57 AM   #3
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Our lifelines are 43 years old.

They are fine and never even thought of replacing them.

I read an anchor rode cable should be replace at times due to seawater corrosion but life lines are vinyl covered.


I apologize for the little thread drift bu oNe question for my own education. What is the benefit of having a piece of cable between the anchor and the chain?
I ask because my anchor is directly connected with the chain (from previous owner).

L
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:36 PM   #4
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Our lifelines are 43 years old.
They are fine and never even thought of replacing them.
I read an anchor rode cable should be replace at times due to seawater corrosion but life lines are vinyl covered.
Vinyl coated life lines can be more at risk than uncoated. Water/moisture can wick up the cable which can rust/corrode plus the vinyl hides any broken or rusted strands.

I know of more than I instance where vinyl coated life lines had failed and they weren’t 43 years old although yours get regular fresh water rinses in the PNW.

If your racing (sailboats) under ORC/ISAF rules, the life lines have to be uncoated. The rules were changed 10 years ago after failures and the inability to inspect.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:40 PM   #5
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One post to that end Lou.

Many on this forum think catenary in the anchor rode is very important. Having an anchor shank high does awful things to the angle of the anchor fluke. If one has cable for a few feet the shank and a bit of cable slices into the seafloor fairly well. Notice the my thimble on the anchor end of the cable is vertical where it presents the least resistance to descending into the sea floor. But more importantly when the anchor shank tries to plunge into the bottom the cable presents far less drag than chain. Even small chain. So the shank goes deeper into the bottom.
Looking at Steve's Anchor Setting Vids one can see how the rode end of the anchor shank drops down to (and into the sea floor) if it can. This is advantageous.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:43 PM   #6
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Larry,
Thanks.
The vinyl coating is cracked in 2 or 3 places and a bit of rust shows. I'll check on the Willard Boat Owners site and see if there's informative history.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:44 PM   #7
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Our lifelines are 43 years old.
They are fine and never even thought of replacing them.
I read an anchor rode cable should be replace at times due to seawater corrosion but life lines are vinyl covered.
Eric, the white vinyl can hide rust damage in the cable. Back in my ill spent youth I flew wire braced hang gliders and landed them in salt water. Some of the cables were covered in clear vinyl and we often saw rust stains under the vinyl. Some cables were covered in white vinyl. When we stripped the vinyl we found broken wire strands. If we hadn't seen the rust through the clear vinyl, we would never have checked the white vinyl.

The fix was to go the next larger wire size without the vinyl covering. If I remember we went from 3/32" vinyl coated wire to 1/8" uncoated wire.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:47 PM   #8
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One post to that end Lou.

Many on this forum think catenary in the anchor rode is very important. Having an anchor shank high does awful things to the angle of the anchor fluke. If one has cable for a few feet the shank and a bit of cable slices into the seafloor fairly well. Notice the my thimble on the anchor end of the cable is vertical where it presents the least resistance to descending into the sea floor. But more importantly when the anchor shank tries to plunge into the bottom the cable presents far less drag than chain. Even small chain. So the shank goes deeper into the bottom.
Looking at Steve's Anchor Setting Vids one can see how the rode end of the anchor shank drops down to (and into the sea floor) if it can. This is advantageous.


Thank you for these infos

L
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:51 PM   #9
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One post to that end Lou.

Many on this forum think catenary in the anchor rode is very important. Having an anchor shank high does awful things to the angle of the anchor fluke. If one has cable for a few feet the shank and a bit of cable slices into the seafloor fairly well. Notice the my thimble on the anchor end of the cable is vertical where it presents the least resistance to descending into the sea floor. But more importantly when the anchor shank tries to plunge into the bottom the cable presents far less drag than chain. Even small chain. So the shank goes deeper into the bottom.
Looking at Steve's Anchor Setting Vids one can see how the rode end of the anchor shank drops down to (and into the sea floor) if it can. This is advantageous.
Danforth even sold short lengths of cable for this use for a while. Almost no one does it but I think it's a good idea.
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:02 PM   #10
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Our lifelines are 43 years old.
They are fine and never even thought of replacing them.
I read an anchor rode cable should be replace at times due to seawater corrosion but life lines are vinyl covered.
Eric,

Lifelines and Rigging has an excellent Inspection Checklist that provides inspection schedules and average lifespans of lifelines and rigging. Your vinyl-covered swaged lifelines are exactly what they address.

I've taken the liberty of including some photos from their site to illustrate this.







I have personally seen a 200 pound man working the foredeck of a sailboat go right through a lifeline as if it weren't even there. It was only 10 years old and was inspected before every race. We later found a hairline crack in a swaged terminal had let go. And, that is not the only time I have seen lifelines fail.

So, in addition to any rusted wire, clean and carefully inspect all of the swaged lifeline terminals and fittings.

Please take a look at the checklist and recommendations for guidance from rigging professionals. IMO, there is no room for guesswork or compromise when it comes to safety equipment, and you operate in cold water where this is doubly important.

OK, I'm climbing down from my soapbox now
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:07 PM   #11
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You can cover the wire ones or even dirty vinyl ones with sailboat shroud covers. They are easily removed for inspection.
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:18 PM   #12
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LarryM, good examples.


Typical swaged lifelines are a disaster waiting to happen in many cases.


Most of the ones I had on my sailboat I would have never trusted past about 15 years and that depended on the swage connection.
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:18 PM   #13
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swaged fittings are a well known failure point in the sailing community. The wire itself less so unless it passes over sheaves.
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:41 PM   #14
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Eric, the white vinyl can hide rust damage in the cable. Back in my ill spent youth I flew wire braced hang gliders and landed them in salt water. Some of the cables were covered in clear vinyl and we often saw rust stains under the vinyl. Some cables were covered in white vinyl. When we stripped the vinyl we found broken wire strands. If we hadn't seen the rust through the clear vinyl, we would never have checked the white vinyl.

The fix was to go the next larger wire size without the vinyl covering. If I remember we went from 3/32" vinyl coated wire to 1/8" uncoated wire.
Very interesting HC. I suspect you were into hang gliding very early on .. say mid 70’s .. as was I. I flew an old 18’ Chandelle standard that probably had coated wires. We needed the coating for all the crashing on the sand dunes. I flew that thing from 3000’ mountians before we found our they were divergent. Did lots of whip stalls but never got really straight down. I’ve come closer to death in Dixion Entrance near Ketchikan.

Parks I think I may have dreamt that up on my own but I’m very flattered to know Danforth had the same idea. To be of benefit the bottom needs to be soft enough to allow the shank to penetrate the bottom. But goodie for us most bottoms in northern lats are mud and in southern climes sand so w any significant penetration there should be benefit.
I just thought I could even improve on it by putting the thimble through the anchor shank hole and swage it on the cable. But the cable may twist or bind or both.
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:45 PM   #15
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Eric,

Lifelines and Rigging has an excellent Inspection Checklist that provides inspection schedules and average lifespans of lifelines and rigging. Your vinyl-covered swaged lifelines are exactly what they address.

I've taken the liberty of including some photos from their site to illustrate this.







I have personally seen a 200 pound man working the foredeck of a sailboat go right through a lifeline as if it weren't even there. It was only 10 years old and was inspected before every race. We later found a hairline crack in a swaged terminal had let go. And, that is not the only time I have seen lifelines fail.

So, in addition to any rusted wire, clean and carefully inspect all of the swaged lifeline terminals and fittings.

Please take a look at the checklist and recommendations for guidance from rigging professionals. IMO, there is no room for guesswork or compromise when it comes to safety equipment, and you operate in cold water where this is doubly important.

OK, I'm climbing down from my soapbox now

Hi Larry,
Donít have ANYTHING on our boat that looks even remotely like those pics. I do put some force on my life lines when doing things like turning off and on the propane thatís on the cabin top.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:16 PM   #16
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Hi Larry,
Donít have ANYTHING on our boat that looks even remotely like those pics. I do put some force on my life lines when doing things like turning off and on the propane thatís on the cabin top.
Eric,

I admit those were obvious and extreme examples. I was more worried about these kinds of swage failures, that are just not always that easy to see. They are the ones I worried about the most. Lifelines and of course, standing rigging.





I'm sure you are on top if it though.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:35 PM   #17
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Interesting thread.

I always crewed other peoples sailboats. Never owned a big one myself.

I wonder if anyone does liquid penetrant inspection (LPI) on the swedges. I know, not a sailing forum, but would be a cheap and easy way to detect cracks and SCC.
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Old 11-05-2017, 04:13 PM   #18
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Interesting thread.

I always crewed other peoples sailboats. Never owned a big one myself.

I wonder if anyone does liquid penetrant inspection (LPI) on the swedges. I know, not a sailing forum, but would be a cheap and easy way to detect cracks and SCC.
We did on our sailboat (dye test) on the standing rigging and have seen it done during rigging surveys. It’s not expensive in the big picture. Most sailers we hung around with though, would usually replace the rigging based on age/use and where was the boat headed next.

I watched a guy go over the side when a life line failed. From my experience, if the life lines are original (10 plus years) and/or the vinyl covering is cracked or rust stained, replace.

We’re seeing more and more boats that have/are replacing the life lines with Dyneema. No meat hooks, easy to splice, fairly inexpensive and has good uv resistance.
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Old 11-05-2017, 04:21 PM   #19
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Yep, dye penetrant pretty common back when I owned sailboats (70s through 90s).

Then again the guys in the helicopter maintenance shops kept me under their wings too.

So not only the sailors were using it, the mechs kept me at the forefront of crack propogation....the bane of aluminum spar rotor systems back then.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:06 PM   #20
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Ditto re: comments about old lifelines and the vinyl sheath.

I renewed mine on the '72 Morgan and re-purposed them to suspend bird feeders with the idea of squirrel-proofing. I removed the vinyl - for safety, you know - but squirrels can walk on the bare SS wire.

I did not renew them on the '70 LeComte since they were larger, bare, and not rusty. Lot's of problems waiting for you at the fittings: loose cotters.

I about went for a swim in the East River, next to the United Nations Building, when a pin dropped out on a friend's boat (my wife caught my feet...).

We're quite happy with the side decks and adequately high bulwarks and railings on the FuHwa. Too many stories about wire lifelines that'll break your leg if they don't break.
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