boatcat65

Pros And Cons- Wire Lifelines Vrs. Welded Tube?

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I've noticed some cruisers- say Amel- have stainless steel tube railings all around verses the standard stanchions and strung wire.  Aside from a small weight difference and the esthetic question is there anything else to be aware of?  Seems to me the solid railing would  be so much stronger and more predictable when leaning against it.  Why don't we see more of them- what am I missing?

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37 minutes ago, boatcat65 said:

I've noticed some cruisers- say Amel- have stainless steel tube railings all around verses the standard stanchions and strung wire.  Aside from a small weight difference and the esthetic question is there anything else to be aware of?  Seems to me the solid railing would  be so much stronger and more predictable when leaning against it.  Why don't we see more of them- what am I missing?

$$

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Cost is much higher, and repair when tubes get bent is a lot higher. And they WILL get bent. Unless of course you're B S.

 

(brent swain)

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There's a lot more drag and weight from a tube than from a wire.  If you don't care about windward performance then the tube is nice.

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No comparison on a cruising boat, but put them in the same category as bulwarks, but they add weight, windage and have no place on a performance yacht.

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The Amel cruisers swear by them. Compared to 300' of anchor rode it's not a tremendous weight penalty, especially as safety equipment.

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With a bit of design effort they can look good on boats >~40' and are much stronger/safer than wire.

Gripping one while going fwd in a blow/lumpy seas vs hanging on to a wire lifeline - no comparison.

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On a small masthead 4ktsb they can provide a real advantage when singlehanding, particularly in tight tacking situations. The big Genoa is much easier to crank in over a SS tube lifeline than over a 3mm wire and stanchion top. If done well with a good eye for the line they don't look too bad.

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Unless it's destroyer spec tubing it's almost impossible to keep looking nice. Bends and kinks everywhere after a few years.

We are exploring a different option and going synthetic.

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9 hours ago, Hadlock said:

The Amel cruisers swear by them. Compared to 300' of anchor rode it's not a tremendous weight penalty, especially as safety equipment.

 

9 hours ago, Fleetwood said:

With a bit of design effort they can look good on boats >~40' and are much stronger/safer than wire.

Gripping one while going fwd in a blow/lumpy seas vs hanging on to a wire lifeline - no comparison.

 

8 hours ago, Ukuri said:

On a small masthead 4ktsb they can provide a real advantage when singlehanding, particularly in tight tacking situations. The big Genoa is much easier to crank in over a SS tube lifeline than over a 3mm wire and stanchion top. If done well with a good eye for the line they don't look too bad.

 

Uh huh, Uh huh, Uh huh.

 

They're ugly.

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Since stantions leak into cored decks more than other hardware I suspect a solid system of tubes would move less and therefore leak less. It would hurt more falling on it, but be less likely to break if you did. I might rather have a broken rib than end up overboard.

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You've never fallen on a stanchion I take it?

For falling on, I'd take a railing any day.

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I’ve got SS tubing around my cockpit and wire forward of that. It seems a good compromise as the tubing feels more secure, is comfortable and yes, easy to mount stuff on ( although I try to practice restraint). Up forward I find the wire does it’s job and I would be more concerned about damage.

 I agree that tubing all around can be unattractive but I think it looks good on my boat from the companionway back.

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Lots of extra wind drag. Somewhere I did a calculation for BS on the difference between 1/4" wire and 1" tubing and it was not insignificant.

Sailing upwind is all about lift/drag ratio. Do as much as you can to lower the bottom number!

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Also, the weight might be categorized(calculated) as weight aloft, which makes the difference way more significant.

Second ditto to what Shoal said...solid rails for just the cockpit and wire going forward seems like a decent safety/performance compromise.

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I think stanchions/lifelines look much nicer. The railings cost much more. I think most people would agree that a railing offers more security. For a racer, obviously windage is important. For a cruiser that typically has a cockpit enclosure, solar panels/wind generator, mast steps, dinghy on davits, and other assorted COTB, the increased windage of a railing is probably negligible in comparison. Probably the only one of BS's 'notions' that has some validity in certain applications. 

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And anyone who doesn't think so is a yachty idiot.

I like the look of long bow & stern pulpits and that's also where the rails are better than wire.

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4 hours ago, RKoch said:

I think stanchions/lifelines look much nicer. The railings cost much more. I think most people would agree that a railing offers more security. For a racer, obviously windage is important. For a cruiser that typically has a cockpit enclosure, solar panels/wind generator, mast steps, dinghy on davits, and other assorted COTB, the increased windage of a railing is probably negligible in comparison. Probably the only one of BS's 'notions' that has some validity in certain applications. 

It wasn't one of his notions, it predated him by decades.

We've had this discussion on other threads and in other forums. IMO it comes down to where you place the weight on the form - function equation.

FKT

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I like the idea of a lengthened bow pulpit- might be the perfect compromise.  Thanks.  Gives you a bit more support where you're most likely to need it without the weight/cost consideration and could look fine esthetically.  Just extend it aft 4-6' and call it good.

 

 

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On 5/22/2018 at 4:41 AM, Keysrock35 said:

And you can mount more stuff on the rails too, like solar panels. 

And a BBQ.

 

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Tubing sure feels much safer to me.

I'm using dyneema life lines, but the attraction of tubing is strong ...

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As long as the perceived safe height of a lifeline is barely above knee height, it shouldn't be confused with a hard railing that would be spec'd for a couple of feet higher. The problem is when an unsuspecting passenger/crew moving forward mistakes a faux Amel hard lifeline masquerading as a railing for a hand hold...they might not have developed the instinct to look for an inboard hand hold or at least a shroud and not a daisy cutter that they could easily trip over and be hurled with the least bit of motion. On cat or mono 30-60 you shouldn't be depending on lifelines/faux railings for security. Rather they're kind of your last resort(w/ no harness).

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The size of the boat matters a lot in terms of appearance. Tubing on a 60 footer looks a lot less obtrusive than on a 30 footer for example.

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If I go over the side and grab a wire lifeline on the way there is little chance I get back aboard. But I can still do 7 chin-ups on 1” tubing. Zero probably on a 1/8” wire.

And I don’t think connecting the tubing of the bow and stern pulpits with a little more tube on my 37’ boat would look ugly at all. In fact I think it would look pretty slick.

I think wire lifelines are an artifact of early “yachting style” where there were no life lines at all. Pretty dumb idea for a cruising yacht, I think.

 

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1 hour ago, ChuteFirst said:

 I don’t think connecting the tubing of the bow and stern pulpits with a little more tube on my 37’ boat would look ugly at all. In fact I think it would look pretty slick.

Sorry but you would be wrong.

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Lifelines are seldom 1/8" unless it is a very small boat that isn't following any racing rule. 1/4" on larger boats and 3/16" on smaller ones.

But they are more designed to catch your body as a last resort than as a handhold...

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On 5/21/2018 at 9:39 AM, SloopJonB said:

They're ugly.

That is probably true for most sailboats.

However, my uniquely styled boat seemed to look better when I added the pipe rails.  They somehow made the cabin trunk and pilothouse appear not as towering.

Steve

Netting as since been removed.  Looks better.

gUCZMsd.jpg

 

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It definitely fits with your boat's "graceful workboat" aesthetic. Practical too, given how she heels. 

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I agree - there are certain sailboats of the "motorsailer style" - tall pilothouse etc. that look very good with solid rails. Many North Sea style boats look good with them.

My comments strictly apply to "conventional" sailboats. Can you imagine a C&C with solid rails?

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12 minutes ago, IStream said:

It definitely fits with your boat's "graceful workboat" aesthetic. Practical too, given how she heels. 

Also, going overboard in cold waters a bigger issue than in warm waters. Of course, you don't want to accidentally go overboard in any conditions.

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The added utility of solid lifelines is huge.  Numerous activities are made possible or easier because you have something to LEAN AGAINST.  Fishing, handling anchors, taking a piss, or just a group standing on the foredeck for a bullshit session. 

Steve

ewxM0Er.jpg

vfA3UpG.jpg

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1 hour ago, sshow bob said:

Seriously - super cool.  Is there a thread or a site with more information?

yeah, that boat is rad. i want to know more. 

how long is she and what does she weigh?

interior photos?

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