Originally Posted by Sabreman
But keep in mind that cam cleats are mostly limited to securing sheets in smaller boats, up to about 20' or a little larger. At 26', the loads on your sheets are getting high and the small bolts used to secure cam cleats may not be up to the job. Of course, with 4 or 5 wraps on the winch, there isn't that much load on the cleat.
We have self tailing jib winches and never use the horn cleat sitting next to the drum. But on our last boat, we had standard winches and cleated them on a horn cleat.
The first statement, without reading the sentence that follows, could be misleading. The cam cleat should be holding no more than the hand tailing load; less than 50 pounds. I have used cam cleats on big boats with loads well over 2 tons without difficulty. My current jib winch loads over 1500 pounds when driving hard and a cam cleat holds with light pressure if there are 4 turns on the winch.
As for self tailers, if driving a boat hard in gusty conditions, the line should not stay in the tailer; it takes too long to release and can jam up if the tail washes overboard. At least this is true for multihulls and tender boats, and larger boats that lack the crew to keep a hand on each sheet. A cam cleat is good for this.