Dyneema rope lifelines to replace the old wire Lifelines. For ever we have been using wire for lifelines. Often we find corrosion, kinks and wire strands breaking at stanchions and to replace lifelines you need special equipment which often means hiring a Rigger. One alternative which is becoming more popular is to make your lifelines out of high tech rope. One such product is Dyneema and finally the racing rules of sailing make it legal for racers. Cruisers have been able to this for a while, but the endorsement by the top authority in Sailing makes the choice a safer one to make. The new Racing Rules of Sailing due out in January 2013.
Should you change to Dyneema rope
One reason is you can do it yourself. The are several options on the market for the DIY boater. You can purchase the Dyneema line and use standard fittings for the ends, or you can use Dyneema lashings to tie to the pulpit and pushpit. One choice you have is to splice the line yourself or have a professional do it. If you buy the line from a rigger or chandler they can splice it to the length for you.
Dyneema is cheaper and the line is stronger than stainless steel as well. Dyneema and Spectra are the trade names for HMPE single-braid lines.
Weight – Converting to Dyneema from SS is a HUGE weight savings. Dyneema is15 times stronger than steel on a weight-for-weight basis, and 8 times lighter than the equivalent diameter in steel wire
Wear and Tear – Dynema is more forgiving that wire and easier on the body. One thing to be aware of is sun damage, to Dyneema some experts recommend replacing it every 5 years due to.
To make your lifelines first Measure the distance between the pulpit and pushpit attachment points through the stanchions. You can use a piece of line for this small enough to pass through the stanchions. Tie the line on the pushpit run it through the stanchions and tie it to the pulpit. Mark where the attachment points are on the line and then remove the line to measure between the marks in a straight line. Tell the person making up the line for you and tell him what fittings you are using so they can subtract for those.
Attachments – now you have the length and the line spliced the forward end is simply luggage tagged onto the pulpit. At the aft end you can also use a fitting like these ” X-Tra Length Splice Line Turnbuckle ” (7 inches throw) to terminate the lifeline at the aft end and to tension the lifeline
You can also make jacklines out of Dyneema.
ISAF lifeline rule’s Description
ISAF 2013-2016 Racing Rules of Sailing are out, and as promised, Dyneema lifelines are fully legal, and allowed to be hiked off of.
49.2 When lifelines are required by the class rules or the sailing instructions they shall be taut, and competitors shall not position any part of their torsos outside them, except briefly to perform a necessary task. On boats equipped with upper and lower lifelines, a competitor sitting on the deck facing outboard with his waist inside the lower lifeline may have the upper part of his body outside the upper lifeline. If the class rules do not specify the material or minimum diameter of lifelines, they shall comply with the corresponding specifications in the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations.