us7070

Deck Cleats and mooring lines

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I want two 8" deck cleats for the bow of a boat that will live on a mooring.

the mooring has a dynema bridle with eye splices on each end to go on the cleats

on a dock, I like to slip the eye through the posts of the cleat and loop it back over the cleat. 

but is this okay to do on  mooring? I have done it, in the past,  but it seems like the load  direction isn't optimal for doing this..., like maybe the splice gets loaded asymmetrically...

what do you think - is it okay?

one reason i am asking is that i can't find an aluminum deck cleat where it looks like this will be possible.

on the schaefer 4-hole aluminum deck cleat, it looks like  the posts are too close together

Suncor makes a steel deck cleat - the Trimline - where it is definitely possible to put the eye splice between the posts - but being stainless, it is heavy

so, if it is okay to put the splice between the posts and loop it over the horns, i will probably just get the stainless cleats.., but if it isn't okay, then i will get the lighter aluminum cleats.

stainless:    https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|2259971|2259987&id=3420692

aluminum:   https://hardware.schaefermarine.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=106_108_164&products_id=3467&zenid=jk7nst8tue78nm1hn2j1jfum17

 

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What kind of boat? Offhand, there should be no problem securing an eye splice on a cleat as you propose. I would be more concerned about a fair lead and chafe through a chock. If your concern is even loading on the splice, dont thread it through the feet of the cleat. Secure the bight with a lanyard figure eighted over it.

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I got rid of my deck cleats years ago. Only pain while sailing and no great benefit any other time. Ten years moored or anchored, even in tropical storm conditions, with just hitches at a pad-eye several feet aft. The issue is never at the termination. The issues are at the stem or chocks where the line rubs. Spend all your money on anti-chafe gear.

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20 minutes ago, El Boracho said:

Ten years moored or anchored, even in tropical storm conditions, with just hitches at a pad-eye several feet aft.

how do you attach your pendant line to the padeye?

i don't think i want a padeye (or a cleat) in the middle of the foredeck so i prefer to use a bridle with two pendant lines... , i guess i could use two padeyes, but cleats seem much more useful generally

also, i don't think padeyes are meant to be loaded laterally.., they are designed to be loaded more vertically. i appreciate that it has worked for you.., but they don't have much of a base for spreading the load. i guess a folding padeye might be okay loaded laterally... is that what  you are using?

mostly the problem with cleats up forward is that lines catch on them but this can be solved with chocks that go over the horns.., or really expensive cleats that fold

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49 minutes ago, tomtriad said:

If your concern is even loading on the splice, dont thread it through the feet of the cleat.

that is my concern...

what i am trying to find out.., is whether it _should_ be my concern...

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1 minute ago, us7070 said:

how do you attach your line to the padeye?

Thru the padeye, two half hitches, stopper knot at the bitter end. Never any issues. When things get rough the line goes twice around the mast instead of the padeye. Again with hitches.

Making up a splice would seem to imply the line will not be adjusted regularly. That sounds like planning on trouble as the wear will be all at one place. Saves money, and boats, to move the abrasion around.

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14 minutes ago, us7070 said:

how do you attach your pendant line to the padeye?

i don't think i want a padeye (or a cleat) in the middle of the foredeck so i prefer to use a bridle with two pendant lines... , i guess i could use two padeyes, but cleats seem much more useful generally

also, i don't think padeyes are meant to be loaded laterally.., they are designed to be loaded more vertically. i appreciate that it has worked for you.., but they don't have much of a base for spreading the load. i guess a folding padeye might be okay loaded laterally... is that what  you are using?

mostly the problem with cleats up forward is that lines catch on them but this can be solved with chocks that go over the horns.., or really expensive cleats that fold

Good to evaluate the pad-eye strength. This one is a heavy Harken thing. Welded loop of at least 10mm stainless. Four bolts and a backing plate that are at least as stout as the equivalent deck cleat. Meant for the spinnaker fore-guy, storm jib and and sometimes an inner forestay to stabilize the mast when motoring in seas. Cleats are the devil's work. You could use whatever, where-ever. If I use two lines for a bridle the second goes to a car on the foredeck track. That can take some lateral load on its dozen or more thru bolts. But tying to the mast is for heavy weather, towing, and such. Cannot think of a use for splices in mooring work.

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I use splices all the time mooring, at the dock they are pre set so they just drop on cleats and its the right length , no fuss. On a mooring can I have a long and short pennant , depending on whos mooring I'm picking up, with a big eye splice that drops on a big horn cleat at the bow. If it was crazy wind and waves I'll run a second line for safety but it never moved in 30k plus. 

I dont like dyneema bridles , there is no stretch . I dont like sharp bends like you describe going through the cleat and back over the horns, but I have no science to support it, but I dont think dyneema likes that. I like mooring lines to have lots of stretch so the boat doesn't shock load every time the line comes tight.

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44 minutes ago, El Boracho said:

Thru the padeye, two half hitches, stopper knot at the bitter end. Never any issues. When things get rough the line goes twice around the mast instead of the padeye. Again with hitches.

again - i appreciate that it works for you.., but i think splices are better than knots...

i haven't had issues with chafing - i have chafe gear..,and i replace the line every few years anyway

my previous setup - a different boat - had only one cleat.., and so the  pendant eye splice just went over the cleat, and i tied a line over it to make sure it stayed on the cleat.

that boat just wasn't setup to have two cleats - it had a chock right at the bow

 

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9 minutes ago, crankcall said:

 

I dont like dyneema bridles , there is no stretch . I dont like sharp bends like you describe going through the cleat and back over the horns, but I have no science to support it, but I dont think dyneema likes that. I like mooring lines to have lots of stretch so the boat doesn't shock load every time the line comes tight.

i agree about the stretch being good.., but i am restricted to such a short pendant that there would be very little stretch anyway.

the "give" in the system comes from the other parts - the line to the ball is a bit stretchy, and there is a bit of chain between that and the mushroom.

nevertheless, there r is not as much give as i would like - it's a tight mooring field

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Nylon is extremely strong and stretchy if your ratio of length to diameter ratio is large enough. You might look at using a relatively thin nylon three strand for your short pendant to give you sufficient stretch while staying safely in the working load range. A backup line to cover a chafe-through scenario is the belt to the braces.  

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agree about the mooring ball

one thing i don't get is;  everyone sells deck cleats.., but often they don't sell the backing plates...

what does everyone do for backing plates?

at Defender, the backing plates are "special order"...

i know you can use G10, and I have some that might be thick enough.., but i kind of doubt that the typical Defender cleat buyer is messing around making G10 backing plates...

do most people just use washers?

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Just now, us7070 said:

agree about the mooring ball

one thing i don't get is;  everyone sells deck cleats.., but often they don't sell the backing plates...

what does everyone do for backing plates?

at Defender, the backing plates are "special order"...

i know you can use G10, and I have some that might be thick enough.., but i kind of doubt that the typical Defender cleat buyer is messing around making G10 backing plates...

do most people just use washers?

Unfortunately, probably, yes.

I think the geometry of the underside is highly variable so it's tough to make a universal backing plate. I also suspect that liability issues are one of if not the primary reasons. 

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Get one of these, drop the eye over it, rotate it down and walk away: 

 

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6 hours ago, us7070 said:

i know you can use G10, and I have some that might be thick enough.., but i kind of doubt that the typical Defender cleat buyer is messing around making G10 backing plates...

do most people just use washers?

After you drill through a not perfectly flat deck that's 1" thick, the holes on the opposite side don't always line up exactly with the front side.  It can work better to epoxy on the G10 plate with no holes, or just one hole and use a bolt in that hole to hold the plate in place, then drill it in situ.

 

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If you're going to replace the cleats at all, I've had good luck with pop-up cleats.  I like the toe safety and catch lines inadvertently with less frequency.  I have used both Accon https://shop.acconmarine.com/products/123-470-style-pull-up-cleat.aspx and Gemlux without issue.  Nice backing plates with the Accon product, at a price.  I only moor or anchor my boats for hurricanes and haven't had any issues with strength.  If you go Gemlux, if you register for an account, log in, and use the coupon code THT20 at checkout, you'll get a discount of 20%.  https://www.gemlux.com/shop/deckhardware/deckhw-cleats/deckhardware-cleats-cuttingedge

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On 5/28/2019 at 4:17 PM, El Boracho said:

Thru the padeye, two half hitches, stopper knot at the bitter end. Never any issues. When things get rough the line goes twice around the mast instead of the padeye. Again with hitches.

Making up a splice would seem to imply the line will not be adjusted regularly. That sounds like planning on trouble as the wear will be all at one place. Saves money, and boats, to move the abrasion around.

Not pertinent to the OP, but anyone going through locks, e.g. Panama Canal, H.M. Chittenden large lock, etc., will need cleats. We had 8" Schaeffers on the bows, and they weren't really large enough for the lines in Panama. Replaced with 10"ers.

Cheers,

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I don't go through the posts but just loop over the horn.  The chocks are completely closed so not any chance of the loop coming off the cleat.  The load on the splice is what you'd want.

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On 5/29/2019 at 5:18 AM, us7070 said:

agree about the mooring ball

one thing i don't get is;  everyone sells deck cleats.., but often they don't sell the backing plates...

what does everyone do for backing plates?

at Defender, the backing plates are "special order"...

i know you can use G10, and I have some that might be thick enough.., but i kind of doubt that the typical Defender cleat buyer is messing around making G10 backing plates...

do most people just use washers?

For heavily loaded pieces like that - cleats, lifeline stanchions and so forth I make my own out of 1/4" aluminium plate.  Very quick & easy - cut with woodworking blades, file & sand the edges, round off all the sharp corners and drill holes to match the hardware.

Much less unpleasant than making them from glass like G10. I have a bench buffer so I polish them to add a little bling inside.

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On 5/28/2019 at 5:12 PM, us7070 said:

i agree about the stretch being good.., but i am restricted to such a short pendant that there would be very little stretch anyway.

the "give" in the system comes from the other parts - the line to the ball is a bit stretchy, and there is a bit of chain between that and the mushroom.

nevertheless, there r is not as much give as i would like - it's a tight mooring field

What sort of "give" do you want? 

  • Pitching due to waves ? 
    •  with really short pennant, you would pick up the chain's weight as an load as boat rises and water under the ball drops away
    • with a longer pennant +/or chain you just change the catenary a bit and lift the chain off the bottom 
  • Surge loading due to gusts & current direction shifts ? 
    • Had a mooring in New Castle NH, where the ball would submerge on the peak ebb
  • is the swivel good enough that you don't end up winding up the chain (especially if you leave a dinghy or just a pickup buoy) for a few days? 

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or do it this way

p1c9n0i4inald117s1ga515p5cue6.jpg

 

I installed an attwood hidden deck cleat for my mooring setup..  the 6 1/2" has plenty of space on it..  when i'm racing , the painter comes off and i make it flush,   no more sheets hanging up on that fucking cleat..

 

31026.jpg

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SIZE  FOR STORM THEN UP SIZE FOR CHAFE

remember chock/fairleads need to be BIG also

but lines can connect to big stuff in chafe areas then 10 or 20 ft out reduce to normal size

like a 2'' line on a 25-30ft boat but you only need enough to clear the stuff that rubs  and get away from the boat

then a big swivel then 1/2 to 3/4 nylon that most boats use for normal anchors  or even several smaller lines to anchors

 

NOBODY LOST A BOAT FROM TOO BIG A LINE OR TOO MANY

I like the deck pad-eye to not hook stuff BUT WORRY ABOUT CHAFE

wonder if a boweye would be better for NOTHING TO CHAFE ON ?

as a storm anchor point it needs to be super strong and well backed but could be a bowsprit stay point also

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On my mooring harness, I have a small piece of mousing line tied to each pendant. Loop over cleat, half hitch with the mousing line to close up the splice and then a cleat hitch over the loop to lock it all in place. Cleats are on the rail to remove chafing concerns.

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I was taught to use 0800, round cleats, round the cleat once, figure of 8 over the cleat, round the cleat twice. that has never failed me. though I have been known to push an eye through the middle then pull each side over the cleat..

LIke some one else said making your  own backing plates out of aluminum is easy..

 

I would choose a cleat like this..

 

stainless_steel_folding_cleat[1].jpg

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I know this is late to the thread, but I note that no one pointed out that the downside of the various eye-type fittings recommended AND of the "slip the loop through the eye of the cleat and then around the horns" is that none of them let you deal with having to change the length of the line, especially under load.  A horned cleat lets  you ease the line (or take it in) if you have to fairly easily.  When you  need to do this seems to always be with the wind up and important consequences if the adjustment is not made.  

You can probably get away with this with dock lines, and maybe with mooring lines, but if you anchor this way, you better be a fair-weather anchorer!

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Anyone ever ditch the cleat altogether and use a dyneema soft pad eye?  Can attach a soft shackle and now have something to connect to mooring line........

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As far as actual cleats go, I have found that most styles are poor replacements for a herreshoff style cleat.  Of course an actual hollow Bronze Herreshoff cleat is a thing of beauty, but the chromed solid casting you’re likely to get new is still great due to the elegant and useful shape of the cleat.  Most newer cleats seem to have geometry that limits the size of line you can use on it, or the number of lines you can secure to it.  

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13 hours ago, A.M.S. said:

Anyone ever ditch the cleat altogether and use a dyneema soft pad eye?  Can attach a soft shackle and now have something to connect to mooring line........

i think that could work - as long as you got a really strong fiber padeye - i have seen some really nice ones on the gunboats.., and i'm sure they are on other big boats too.

the only problem i have with it is that often my wife is picking up the mooring.., and getting the eye splice over a horn cleat is pretty simple, and can be done in a second or two...

if it is windy and there is any load on the mooring line, she will not like fiddling with a soft shackle while holding the mooring line under load... yes, i have a motor.., but in this case i think easy is better

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On 6/25/2019 at 3:01 AM, The Q said:

I was taught to use 0800, round cleats, round the cleat once, figure of 8 over the cleat, round the cleat twice. that has never failed me. though I have been known to push an eye through the middle then pull each side over the cleat..

LIke some one else said making your  own backing plates out of aluminum is easy..

 

I would choose a cleat like this..

 

stainless_steel_folding_cleat[1].jpg

 I probably wouldn't use one of those as a permanent attachment for a boat that lives on a mooring - they look chafe prone.., and even might have a possibility of failing - maybe a manufacturing defect in where you can't see.

That one in particular only has two fasteners - the better deck cleats have four fasteners.

a plain old horn cleat is pretty reliable

I know that plenty of big boats use the Nomen folding cleats for moorings - but they look a lot better than that cleat. They also cost a lot...

 

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