Deck & Cockpit - Lifelines & Stanchions

Replacing your lifelines

For safety as well as cosmetic reasons life lines need to be replaced periodically depending upon use, UV exposure and other environmental factors. Lifelines form a safety perimeter around your boat and should be inspected on an annual basis. Preventive maintenance is not just a prudent boating practice, in the case of lifeline systems, it could be a lifesaver.

Here are a few tips for your annual lifeline checkup:

  • Check all opening fittings (pelican hooks) to for damage to the locking mechanism and make sure they cannot open accidentally.
  • Make sure that adjustable fittings are secured by their lock nuts. If secured with split rings, make sure the rings are intact and taped off with rigging tape.
  • Inspect all swages to make sure there is no fatigue, cracking or corrosion damage at the wire.
  • Check stanchion bases for cracks, damage and movement.
  • Ensure that there is good alignment between the wire and the load, and use a toggle jaw or other universal fitting to correct misalignment.
  • Lifelines are only as strong as their weakest link, which could be the stanchions, the stanchion bases, loose or damaged lifeline terminals or undersized or corroded stainless wire.

Proper maintenance and strong stanchions are necessary precautions to make sure the system withstands the impact of a falling crewmember in a worst-case scenario. If you determine that your lifelines need replacement and you want to use either the traditional vinyl coated wire or uncoated 1x19 wire, the easiest option is to ship your lifelines to AhoyCaptain and have our  professional riggers duplicate your lifelines.