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post #10 of Old 12-06-2006
sailingdog
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Generally, cleats should be 16x the diameter of the rope you're putting on them. So, 8" cleats are generally good for 1/2" line, and 12" cleats for 3/4" line. While this may sound excessive, this guideline generally leaves the cleats large enough to put two lines of that diameter on them without trouble... and the cleats can generally handle the load from the lines without breaking, provided they're mounted and backed properly.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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