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Let’s face it… although there may be a ton of junk on the the web, there is also a lot of quality information and instruction. A number of real gems can especially be found on Youtube. As an example, back in March I linked to a video produced by Colligo Marine on how to do the Brummel splice. The instruction in that video, and the two videos that follow it, was just about all the info that I needed to redo our lifelines with Amsteel® yesterday. In fact, I actually watched the video(s) once more just before beginning the project.

Not a bad way to spend the afternoon, even if the sun was replaced by rain later on.

My tools for the job. Because I was doing the same splice over and over I made a template/jig on the board with marks for the various measurements I needed on the line. This eliminated my having to screw around with a tape measure repeatedly, saving me a bunch of time. By the way, the extra money spent on the Selma fids was a good investment. They made the job much easier.

I would give credit for this tip if I could remember where I saw it but sadly, I can’t. Anyway, instead of having the lifelines attach to the little bracket that is welded onto the pulpit, I used this only to keep the lifeline at a particular height. I arranged the lashing to have the force directed onto the pulpit itself which is much stronger I believe.

Information on which knots to use for the lashing was the one thing I couldn’t find online. Because the rope is quite slippery, basic sailing knots may not hold all that well. I used a triple fisherman’s bend in the above pic and a rewoven figure eight with a ton of half hitches to terminate the lashing on the other end.

The finished product! Maybe I should study to be a rigger? 🙂


  1. Nice! I like that you lashed to the pulpit tubing instead of to the small eye they welded to it.


  2. Hi – that’s a neat lashing to the pulpit as well – might borrow that one! But having just redone ours I’m not sure it’s the top priority right now. (Actually recovering from an excellent lunch after a long hike in the Elban hills is priority at the moment …)

  3. How about a quick-release at the bow, before you put all of your tools away? Really handy for docking or getting the tender on the tramp. I suppose if you have pelican hooks at the back a carabiner would do.

    But a carabiner would have to attach to the mis-trusted loop, just like the pelican hook in the back. Realistically, there is no way you are going to get more than ~ 1,800 pounds pull on the wires before the aft stanchion bolts are going to pop or come out of the deck – based upon the leverage, engineering reality more than a guess, the upward pull will hit 5-7,000 pounds. This is why 3/16″ ss wire was enough and it’s all the off-shore rules call for. Those welded loops are good and should rate ~ 8,200 pounds, based upon size and weld type; unless someone can tell me of a documented failure of a similar weld on a railing, I believe they are fine and could be used to pull the pulpit out of the deck. The PDQ guys were smart that way.

    Sorry I’m such a kill-joy. I engineer – it’s what I do. As a climber, I spent a lot of time getting comfortable with small hardware.

    That isn’t to say that over-size Amsteel isn’t smart – it will lose strength in the sun, and this way it should last 5-10 years before it drops below ~ 4,500 pounds. More comfy too. What size did you use – 3/8″?

    Nice looking job!

    • I considered the quick release after your previous suggestions. I couldn’t find a way to reuse my hardware and I didn’t want to drop another 100 bucks on special pelican hooks. In addition to that I wasn’t quite ready to complicate the job as I wasn’t quite sure I could do it yet.

      The Amsteel is 1/4″. I think it’s plenty strong and comfortable enough.

      • No question, 1/4-inch will do.

        Bare wire is becoming popular because of the off-shore rules, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like it; poor grip and harsh on the hands. You should be pleased with your choise, I think.

  4. Looking good! You really bring the meaning to the term, “ship shape” !!

    You’re my hero.

  5. Now that you’ve had the new lifelines for over a year, are you happy with the Amsteel? Any sag or other issues? What diameter did you use. My boat is 30 years old, and I suspect the lifelines are original. They have the same grungy discoloring issue your steel ones had.

    • Hi Chris

      I am very happy with them. The Amsteel is 1/4′ I think. That diameter is WAY strong but I don’t think you would want any smaller because it just wouldn’t be comfortable to lean against. Because they are lashed on each end, any sag can be remedied by simply tightening the lashing. I think I have done this once, or maybe twice since I installed them. I ran the line through the holes in the stanchions where the metal lifelines previously went. Although I haven’t seen them, I think you can now buy bushings that fit into those holes which give the line a smoother service to go through. I haven’t really seen much in the way of chafe though, there or anywhere else, so I’m not sure it’s really necessary.

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