What everyone wants for Christmas: home handicrafts to play with. Some sailboat hardware is like playing with Legos or a picture puzzle.
Red Ranger's lifelines are (as far as we know) original equipment, dating from 1981. They're vinyl-coated wire rope, a potential corrosion nightmare. See Standing Rigging Basics, for example, which emphasizes "... stainless steel needs fresh airflow to prevent corrosion. Tight wrappings of leather or tape invite corrosion and make inspection difficult."
Also, Red Ranger has gates . These are sometimes handy: but only when we're at a fuel dock. In our normal slip (and at anchor) gates are useless.
Some folks suggest that you have just one Pelican hook, well aft, and no gates. When you open the hook, you can simply push the lifelines down to the deck anywhere that you want to step over.
Here's some notes on lifelines from a rigging company.
CA got the Suncor swageless fittings for Christmas. Here's a pretty good selection at Bo'sun Supplies.
The most difficult part of this is cutting the wire rope. Recommendations include:
Tape and hacksaw.
Push the wire through hole in a block of wood (to keep the strands together) and hacksaw.
I'm inclined to try the block of wood as a die to stabilize the wires and a Dremel tool to make a clean cut.
The other difficult part is accurate measurement of the wires. It seems easy to do it this way: (1) assemble the gate eye aft, (2) assemble a 40+ foot wire rope with the turnbuckle forward, (3) open the various adjusters so they're threaded in just ⅓ of the way, (4) pull really hard and mark the spot where the wire meets the gate eye. Given the location of the gate eye, it's easy to back off the length of the Pelican hook and make the cut. Once assembled, then the adjusters can be tightened.
Status updates will follow. Maybe even before-and-after pictures of the old, rusty lifelines and the new lifelines.