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Guest 5th August 2007 02:17 AM

Help Harness lines
It seems that I am breaking alot of Harness lines. Dakine,Chinook all the same about 10 sessions and the line breaks. The tubing is in perfect condition. Any ideas on better line to use?

The webbing is fine it can be reused time after time... Any help would be appreciated...Thanks, Michael McEleroy...

steveC 5th August 2007 04:02 AM

RE: Help Harness lines
Hi Michael,

What kind of harness spreader/hook are you using? Also, what's your weight?

I'm surprised that you're getting such poor serviceablity and longevity out of your lines. While I haven't been tracking how long my lines last, reflecting back over the years, I get quite a bit of use before failure. The result is the same though, as the line breaks before the plastic tubing or the attachment webbing fails. However, to clarify a bit, the break in the line always occurs in the area where the harness hook comes in contact with the line. Although I'm not really a heavy sailor (about 70kgs), I have a rich history of breaking boom front ends, so I must be putting a lot of pressure on the harness lines while sailing.

Roger 5th August 2007 07:22 AM

RE: Help Harness lines
Hi Michael,
Have you considered a Reactor Bar roller hook vs whatever hook you are using?
Then your lines will last forever (or until the webbing or the velcro tabs wear out or fall off).
I would also check your harness hook for a sharp edge that may not cut the tubing, but it's cutting the line.
Back when I used alminum harness hooks I had several that wore in the hook area to a sharp radius that didn't cut the tubing, but cut the line. They also "jammed" so the line did not slide easily as the radius was the same diameter as the line.
Now I use Dakine roller hooks (can't get the original Reactor Bars any more) and my harness lines last several seasons of fairly hard demo use.
Check out the inside radius of your harness hook and any adjacent areas that come in contact with your harness lines. There's a sharp edge on something that's wearing/damaging/cutting you harness lines.
Do you leave your rigs in the wash at the edge of the water alot?
Sand that gets washed into the lines can cause premature wear.
Where are your lines breaking?
Right in the middle where they contact the hook or somewhere else?
Hope this helps,

Guest 5th August 2007 09:42 PM

RE: Thanks for the info
The lines are wearing right in the middle of the line from wear, The stainless hook seems fine,no burrs. I will try the reactor bar....I only weigh 165LBs....

steveC 5th August 2007 11:53 PM

RE: Help Harness lines
Hi Michael,

Very curious indeed. Based on your original post, you indicated that the webbing was fine and could be reused. Are the style of lines you are using the kind where you have to tie on the line to the webbing? If so, have you tried the basic fixed lines where either end of the line is actually sown right to the webbing? The basic sown fixed lines are less apt to allow in sand, and there's less chance of movement between the line and the plastic tubing.

Roger's suggestion of switching to a reactor bar type design just might be your salvation here. I actually prefer the SS hook design, because the roller assembly would evidently wear out, but you might just find the roller hook really works best for you.

If all else fails, you might want to consider investigating using SS cable inside the plastic tubing. It's usually available at most marine chandlerys, like West Marine or Boater's World. While I've never seen anyone use SS cable for harness lines, I think a lightweight small diameter cable should have enough flexibility and strength to be workable, and there are plenty of different types of marine SS components to successfully terminate either end.

Roger 6th August 2007 02:28 AM

RE: Help Harness lines
Hi Steve,
We had 1/8" SS cable lines (inside a farily hard plastic tube way back in the day. Made by "Whitecaps" (Peter Jones) is I remember correctly.
They worked, but as I remember the crimped loops on the ends eventually failed.
Ever tried a roller hook? Corrosion (on the original Reactor Bars that were painted, not powder coated 6000 series aluminum) was the only thing that caused a problem. I have my original, and the aluminum is very corroded, but the roller assembly still works fine. Lots of bearing area inside the roller and the roller lasts forever.
I did a search and found that Reactor Bars are still made, I'm just not sure where to buy the originals. I think they've licensed the original patent to DaKine.
Here's a link to the original Reactor Bar....

steveC 7th August 2007 12:31 AM

RE: Help Harness lines
Hi Roger,

I bought one Reactor Bar, and in fact, I still have it stored away with a number of old odds and ends I never use any more, like an ancient aluminum mast tip extender for a gray Ampro mast. My Reactor Bar was one of the painted ones, so it ultimately corroded terribly after the paint started flaking off. As I alluded to earlier, the roller assembly eventually wore to a point where the plastic roller started getting a bit wobbly on its shaft, and that's when I retired it. Also, I found that the punched-out slots at either end readily ate through the main webbing strap of my harness. All these issues just soured me on the whole Reactor Bar concept, and I happily went back to the SS spreaders with the hook.

That's interesting that SS cable lines were once commercially available. When suggesting the concept to Michael, I was trying to think of something that could easily be constructed from common components and seemingly would be bulletproof. Yet, even SS in some applications can ultimately fatigue to the point of failure. I guess nothing lasts forever.

Roger 7th August 2007 12:54 AM

RE: Help Harness lines
Hi Steve,
Way back when, when I still lived out in Calif. I wrote to the Reactor bar guys about the sharp edges where the strap gets cut/chafed, and recommended that they run aradius cutter around the slots on both sides, plus I recommended a conversion coating under the paint to slow down the corrosion. This was about the time they converted to powder coating, and my subsequent DaKine Reactor bars seem to last a whole lot longer. I did once replace the roller with the new "kit" that Reactor put out with a new screw, a new axle, and 3 different roller shapes.

Guest 13th August 2007 02:44 AM

RE: Roller Hook pops out
Do you guys/gals have the problem of the roller hook popping out in choppy conditions?:(

Roger 13th August 2007 03:58 AM

RE: Help Harness lines
Hi Guest,
If your line comes out of the hook, you don't have your lines short enough, or you are not really committing all you weight to the harness.
Raise your boom, shorten your lines, take more weight off your board.
I use Reactors with both waist and seat harnesses and I have never had this problem unless I had my lines set too long.
Since I use the Sailworks "Quick Tune" adj. harness lines, I can fix this problem "on the fly".
Hope this helps,

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