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 Cleats
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Captmorgan
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USA
220 Posts

Initially Posted - 09/01/2013 :  17:24:39  Show Profile
I have had my boat tied up at the marina for about 4 mos now. I notices my cleats are becoming loose. Is this typical. Are all cleats mounted the same do people modifiy how they are mounted?

If they are loosening could I be tieing too to tight. I have been using 8 lines 4 at the bow and four at the stern. The stern lines are on separate cleats. those are the ones loosening.

John

"The Gal-Way" 1985 SR/SK Barnegat Bay, NJ

Enjoy Sailing =) Be Safe

Happy Sailing - John




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John Russell
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3444 Posts

Response Posted - 09/01/2013 :  17:32:43  Show Profile
I don't know if they're too tight but, I have only a single line on each cleat. I have 2 lines at the bow, one portside one starboard. I have a cleat aft on the starboard side and a mid-ship cleat that holds my spring line. I suspect that you're forcing too much line around the horns of the cleats.

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GaryB
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4232 Posts

Response Posted - 09/01/2013 :  17:35:16  Show Profile
Possibly.

I usually try to leave a about 1-1/2 turns around the dock cleat of slack so the boat is not constantly pulling against the cleats every few seconds. In other words if I were to pull the boat snug it would take an additional 1-1/2 wraps around the dock cleat.

I usually stand and watch the boat adjust itself on the dock lines in the slip for about 5 minutes to make sure the slack is appropriate. Not too much or too little.

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Captmorgan
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220 Posts

Response Posted - 09/01/2013 :  17:54:16  Show Profile
This is possible. I have been cutting down. I was nervous at first.

The lines I have for tyingit if are also heavy. 5/8 is that normal.

John

Are they usually bolted or screwed in. I tried to tigten and they did not so Im hope its a bolt on the underside of the locker.

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by John Russell</i>
<br />I don't know if they're too tight but, I have only a single line on each cleat. I have 2 lines at the bow, one portside one starboard. I have a cleat aft on the starboard side and a mid-ship cleat that holds my spring line. I suspect that you're forcing too much line around the horns of the cleats.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

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GaryB
Master Marine Consultant

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4232 Posts

Response Posted - 09/01/2013 :  18:16:18  Show Profile
Possibly.

I usually try to leave a about 1-1/2 turns around the dock cleat of slack so the boat is not constantly pulling against the cleats every few seconds. In other words if I were to pull the boat snug it would take an additional 1-1/2 wraps around the dock cleat.

I usually stand and watch the boat adjust itself on the dock lines in the slip for about 5 minutes to make sure the slack is appropriate. Not too much or too little.

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awetmore
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1144 Posts

Response Posted - 09/01/2013 :  18:34:00  Show Profile
The cleats on the boat are loose, or the cleats on the dock are loose?

If the cleats on the boat are loose then you want to fix that immediately. They are bolted through a plywood core, and it will rot out if it becomes damp.

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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
5083 Posts

Response Posted - 09/01/2013 :  18:40:25  Show Profile
On the boat end of my line, I use the spliced eye end of the line. I slip the loop through the cleat body and loop the loop around the horns of the cleat. One line per cleat.
I use the single center cleat for my 2 spring lines to the fore and aft dock cleats.

When I come back to the boat, she's always right where I left her. If memory serves, I might be using 1/2" line. So far so good this season, but I'm in a protected harbor with little current. In my old slip on the river where I saw 4kt currents and river chop, I used thicker lines.

If they predict a big blow, then I break out the 5/8" stuff. Harder to work with and I usually double the 1/2" lines with the 5/8" stuff. I leave the 1/2" lines reasonably taut (maybe 1-2" slack), and leave the 5/8" line more slack, so if the thin line chafes through, the 5/8 will not have seen any strain until that time.

If my cleat got loose, I'd be concerned about:
1. Bent bolts
2. Chewing out the backing materials for the cleat hardware
3. Wearing through of the mounting bolt holes in the hull deck joint.
I'd remove the cleats completely and double check the whole thing. If the holes were widening out, I'd fill the holes with epoxy and drill out the mounting holes anew.

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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8905 Posts

Response Posted - 09/01/2013 :  20:22:35  Show Profile
For this size boat, I'd recommend nothing larger than 1/2" dock lines. I use twisted nylon rather than braid, for shock absorbance. On my 27' powerboat, I use 3/8" lines. The boat generally has a foot or more to move in any direction, depending on the tide. (Two lines are from a fixed piling--all others from floating docks.)

Do you have spring-lines in your setup? If not, the forces on your "breast lines" from fore-and-aft movement might be too great. Check your <i>Chapman's Piloting</i> about spring-lines. They are required components of a permanent docking set-up that allows the boat to move a little on the lines. (And <i>Chapman's</i> is a required reference for owners of boats like ours.) The "center cleats" Voyager refers to are cleats I bought and mounted to the genoa tracks on that boat (which I used to own). But spring-lines can go all the way forward or aft from dock cleats to the standard cleats on your boat.

Loose deck cleats should be removed, and the deck core checked for moisture or rot. (Water has been finding its way in there.) If the core is solid, the cleats should be re-bedded with polysulfide caulk, hand-tighten, left to set for several days, and then tightened from below while somebody holds the bolts from moving above.

If there's water damage in the core (mush below the fiberglass on the deck), check back with us--that's a whole nuther issue, but not one that can't be fixed.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 09/01/2013 20:27:40
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redeye
Master Marine Consultant

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3467 Posts

Response Posted - 09/02/2013 :  04:33:25  Show Profile
Loose cleats are a reality for most of us after a bad storm.. seems to happen to me about every 7 years. I've left one cleat loose and the screws bent and were then difficult to remove.

I remove the nuts on the bolts on the cleats, often using release spray on the screws and channel locks on the nuts as I unscrew the screws.

Drill out the holes a little and tape up the bottom. I fill with Gflex or a fiberglass resin. Drill out one of the holes, and add your cleat and drop in the screw and then use the other hole in the cleat as a guide for the second drilling.

Then remove everything and bed with polysulfide as indicated previously.

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Davy J
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1511 Posts

Response Posted - 09/02/2013 :  04:53:02  Show Profile
One of the best upgrades I have done to the boat is replace the stock cleats. IMO, they are too small for this size boat.

Took out these:




And replaced them with these:



Each has four bolts instead of two, and wrapping more than one line is now possible. Was a fairly easy modification.

Edited by - Davy J on 09/02/2013 04:55:15
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8905 Posts

Response Posted - 09/02/2013 :  07:27:19  Show Profile
I also have those cleats--far superior. The 4-bolt base is undoubtedly more resistant to sideways shocks, as you often get from dock lines. For multiple lines (like spring and breast), I drop the loop from the first one onto the cleat, and then feed the second loop through the throat, up, and around the horns to lock both lines.

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redeye
Master Marine Consultant

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3467 Posts

Response Posted - 09/03/2013 :  04:19:34  Show Profile
&lt;&lt; far superior &gt;&gt; ( 4 hole mounting cleats )

The OEM cleats are designed to be less apt to get lines hung on them, and easier to pull out in a storm with less damage to the deck. Kinda like the issue with adding backing blocks.. they work better but if they do pull out you have a real mess on the deck.. more structural damage.

Not that they are not an improvement .. just be aware of the options.


I went with two more cleats of the same design on both sides of the boat, and added more lines ( and snubbers ) ... more expense. Those snubbers will cost ya, but they really help with stress on the cleats.

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Captmorgan
Navigator

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USA
220 Posts

Response Posted - 09/04/2013 :  17:43:10  Show Profile
These are all excellent suggestions I didn't get an email letting me know these responses were here. I just searched on cleats and found them. I think I will

1) reduce line size to 1/2 inch

2) Upgrade cleat size . I like those shown by Davy J.

3) change the set up to have the proper spacing on spring lines.

Question do you put some type of sealer under them to prevent drip and rot;


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Captmorgan
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USA
220 Posts

Response Posted - 09/04/2013 :  17:46:05  Show Profile
These are all excellent suggestions I didn't get an email letting me know these responses were here. I just searched on cleats and found them. I think I will

1) reduce line size to 1/2 inch

2) Upgrade cleat size . I like those shown by Davy J.

3) change the set up to have the proper spacing on spring lines.

Question do you put some type of sealer under them to prevent drip and rot;

I saw the suggestion on polysulphide sealer will silicone work. why polysulphide.

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Captmorgan
Navigator

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USA
220 Posts

Response Posted - 09/04/2013 :  18:12:22  Show Profile
http://www.boatus.com/magazine/2013/April/how-to-pick-the-right-sealant.asp

Found this which also suggest polysulphide. Thanks

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Stu Jackson C34
Admiral

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844 Posts

Response Posted - 09/06/2013 :  10:54:50  Show Profile
Over sizing dock lines is not necessarily a good thing, because larger lines tend to stretch less, and stretch is what is required, to some degree. The West Marine Advisors have a good discussion about sizing dock lines and why.

If you're gonna spend the time to rebed/replace your cleats, don't use polysulfide, use butyl tape, you'll never have to worry about leaks ever again. http://forums.catalina.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=117172

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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5748 Posts

Response Posted - 09/06/2013 :  17:30:08  Show Profile
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Stu Jackson C34</i>
<br />Over sizing dock lines is not necessarily a good thing, because larger lines tend to stretch less, and stretch is what is required, to some degree. The West Marine Advisors have a good discussion about sizing dock lines and why.

If you're gonna spend the time to rebed/replace your cleats, don't use polysulfide, use butyl tape, you'll never have to worry about leaks ever again. http://forums.catalina.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=117172
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">Good advice from Stu! 3/8" dock lines are a good size for a C25, and I double my docklines for a major storm, such as a hurricane; i.e. put a second 3/8" line on each cleat, and adjust them so that one is slightly more taut, and it takes all the load until it breaks, and then the other one takes the load. A properly sized dock line is unlikley to break due to an excessive load. It's more likely to break due to chafe. In a major storm, dock lines will sometimes chafe where they never chafed before. I had a nearly new dock line chafe in a hurricane by rubbing against the head of a small screw. In the 23 years I owned my C25, I never had a 3/8" dock line break.

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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8905 Posts

Response Posted - 09/06/2013 :  19:14:36  Show Profile
I agree--3/8" is about right, especially with larger open-throat cleats, bow and stern. Without those cleats, 5/16" might be better for allowing two lines on an original cleat (one locking the other). I don't get what lines would be "hung" on these cleats mounted at the bow and stern. Maybe a lower-profile cleat makes sense as a midship cleat on the genoa track, but those aren't generally that much less lower-profile.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 09/06/2013 19:15:18
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Captmorgan
Navigator

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USA
220 Posts

Response Posted - 09/08/2013 :  19:21:24  Show Profile
Well the cleat is fixed . I used the Polyether rather than the poly sulfide because the small Boatlife caulk didnt say polysulfphide I think it was but it also took longer to cure. Only the really big Boat life caulk tube said polysulfide and I didnt need that much. It was easy and there was no rot under the cleat. Thanks for the tip. I took it out cleaned up and down surfaces and the cleat then used the 3 M polyether Marine 4000 adhesive and sealant. Heres a link

http://www.zorotools.com/g/00052245/k-G0397677?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=PLA

It was easy to work with and its both an adhesive and a sealant.

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