Nylon or aluminum cleats on mast? - SailNet Community

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Old 04-12-2014
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Nylon or aluminum cleats on mast?

Hi All,

The mast is unstepped, and the refurbishment is coming along nicely. I had a couple of aluminum cleats that got sacrificed during removal from the mast and one from the boom. I used to have nylon cleats on my skiffs and when I went to the marine store, all they had was "Sea Dog" nylon cleats. My question is: do sailboats need aluminum cleats, or will nylon work?
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Re: Nylon or aluminum cleats on mast?

For a 30' I would go with cam cleats. I have more than one scar from jamming my hand thru horn cleats on masts and booms. They are also faster and easier.
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Old 04-12-2014
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Re: Nylon or aluminum cleats on mast?

I too would try to avoid cleats on the mast, when possible. Especially any redundant cleats that wouldn't be wrapped underway. Somehow, jib sheets, spin guys, etc, all find them.

I know that some cleats are sold with load ratings, but probably not nylon. I'm not certain of this, but I suspect that the strength of nylon is affected by freezing or hot sun.
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Re: Nylon or aluminum cleats on mast?

We sail a 25 foot trailerable with a 27 foot mast that we step every weekend. I built a gin pole that has all the block and tackle and guys attached so I never have to hunt for the right lines; if I have the pole, I have the rest already attached. I used nylon cleats screwed to the pole. They don't stand up to abuse at all, at least the ones that I used. IMHO, use the aluminum.

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If his lines aren't lead back then cleats on the mast are a must.

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Old 04-12-2014
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Re: Nylon or aluminum cleats on mast?

What are the cleats used for, the loads that they are being subjected to will have a major bearing on what material?
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Re: Nylon or aluminum cleats on mast?

What are these cleats being used for? For halyards the horn cleat works nicely because it also gives you something to hang the tail of the halyard from. My jib and spin halyards terminate at the mast (instead of the cockpit). I used clutches (a lot nicer than cam cleats) to handle the load, but they don't make it easy to organize loose tails of line.

In general I avoid stuff made by Sea-Dog line unless there is nothing else available. They always seem to be the lowest quality and budget items available.
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Re: Nylon or aluminum cleats on mast?

Seadog is kind of "bottom of the line" gear. Fine for small skiffs and such that don't see any really ugly loads.

Your boat is 31 feet. Instead of cleats, you might investigate line clutches.

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Re: Nylon or aluminum cleats on mast?

the only place for nylon cleats is on the store shelf. they have no place on a boat, one horn invariable breaks at the wrong time use eithercam cleats or proper aluminum horn cleats
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Re: Nylon or aluminum cleats on mast?

Thanks for the feedback everyone. The cleats on the mast and boom are of "old style" horned and jam cleat (open bottom) type and I do use the horns for line organization. I had no intention of going to a different method of cleating, but when I could not not readily find replacement aluminum (black) cleats I asked the question. Guess I'll have to go on line. Boy are these hummers pricey!

Dave
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Re: Nylon or aluminum cleats on mast?

You could buy ordinary aluminum cleats, and have them powder coated black.
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