How to Measure Sailboat Lifelines

How to Measure Sailboat Lifelines

What you will need

  1. A fiberglass or steel measuring tape
  2. A fixed anchor point (or a small screwdriver)
  3. A downloaded and printed Lifeline Measurement Worksheet (Chart Below)
  4. Ensure that you are measuring from the bearing surface of the fittings

Preparing Lifelines for Measuring
Lifelines are measured off of the boat, but they must first be properly prepared on the boat, and then removed. You will do so for both sides, port and starboard, as lifelines are not usually symmetrical.

  1. Assure that your pulpits and stanchions are not bent. If they are, replace or have them fixed. You will need to make sure you are measuring the lifeline lengths, so that you have properly configured the supports and anchor points.

  2. Tense your lifelines over the entire system length on both the port and starboard sides. Generally speaking, take the longest unsupported length of the system and apply 10 pounds of force at the midpoint (The wire should deflect no more than 2 inches) The closer they are the better they are, as long as you are not straining your stanchion inboard or making the gate eyes too difficult to operate.

  3. Mark the threaded stud against the fitting housing with tape. Mark or measure the exposed threaded length with calipers. Once you reassemble your lifelines, it will allow you to set the lifelines back to their proper length.

  4. Remove the lifelines one piece at a time by removing the adjusters and pushing the wire out of the stanchions. Upon removal, Tag each piece of the lifeline. Do not use masking tape, they rip off when rolling and unrolling the wires.

  5. Put the adjusters back on each piece of the system right after removing them from the stanchions.

  6. Roll each section and remove them from the boat for measuring.


Measuring Instructions

  1. Print out the Measuring Sheet that we have provided below.

  2. Set adjusters to their marked or measured length and lock them in place with the set nut or pins.

  3. Register the wire diameter for the upper and lower section separately on the sheet.

  4. Measure and record your lifeline lengths from bearing surface to bearing surface on the printed measurement worksheet.

  5. For each section of the lifelines, indicate the part number for the end fittings. For this, on the measuring sheet, write the number next to the fitting in the illustration you wish to use.

  6. If you need any assistance contact us via chat and will gladly help!


Download Sailboat Lifelines Worksheet
Measuring Sheet



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