John Rousmaniere recommends that the strain on towing lines be taken up by winches rather than cleats. I would suggest that winches have larger backing plates that cleats.
ISPA Yachtmaster Offshore Instructor Evaluator
Sail Canada Advanced Cruising Instructor
IYT Yachtmaster Coastal Instructor
ASA 201, 203, 204, 205, 206, 214
As I sail, I praise God, and care not. (Luke Foxe)