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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spotting the Lifeline Stanchions

According to the Westsail 42 construction manual, it appears late in production they went from five to six lifeline stanchions per side (for the non-sailors: the lifelines are the 'railings' along the side that keep you from falling off boat). For what reason I am not sure. My guess is that, with five stanchions, there is a sizable "hole" over the side between the forward stanchion and the bow pulpit. Maybe not big enough for a person, but big enough for a 15 lb small black dog (of which we have two) to fall through. Adding the sixth stanchion will help close this "hole" and generally make the lifelines more sturdy. We ordered the six-per-side stanchions (total twelve) from Worldcruiser, with 1 1/4" diameter tubing instead of the standard 1 inch. One thing the construction manual does NOT tell you is where to place them along the caprail. One would think it not too difficult: out of the way of the chainplates and spaced evenly, but I would like to have something to reference. Digging through the pictures of other W42s showed none with six stanchions, only five. So we are on our own. Turns out things look pretty good with each spaced about five feet apart, including an approximate 5 foot gap between the fore/aft stanchions and pulpits. Some are not completely vertical, but that can be fixed by shimming with a couple stainless washers.
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