Question: Two bow cleats or one? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 11-30-2010
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Question: Two bow cleats or one?

My Allied Seawind has always had one beefy 12" bronze cleat behind the windlass. This one cleat has been the primary bow cleat for docklines, anchor snubber, etc.

My preference would actually be for a stout, heavy-duty sampson post going all the way to the keel, but this would take up too much room in my chain locker which is directly underneath, so lacking that option, I've been thinking about twin bow cleats for more options for tying up doubled docklines, double snubbers, etc. I've just happened upon a pair of big 12" bronze Herreshoff cleats for $25 each.

So am just wondering what people think here...twin bow cleats worth the cost and time for installation??
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Old 11-30-2010
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I would go with two cleats.
  1. It makes handling port and starboard lines easier, since they're not tied to the same cleat.
  2. It allows you to setup primary and secondary mooring pendants a lot easier.
  3. It spreads the load over more area of the deck.
  4. It gives you a backup if one of the cleats gets damaged or rips out. If you only have one cleat and it tears out...you're screwed.
  5. Finally, when securing the boat for a storm, having two cleats allows you to use more lines than a single cleat would.
BTW, my boat came with a single bow cleat, and I installed two larger cleats in its place.
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Old 11-30-2010
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If you and your friends enjoy anchored raft-ups, two bow cleats are virtually essential... You'll be needing a cleat for your rode, and each neighbour. Really hard to do with a single cleat, esp with the smaller ones typically seen on some production boats.
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Thanks a lot, Sailingdog and Faster...that's enough encouragement for me to make the right decision and install two cleats to replace the one.

Now I just have to think of what to do with the old 12" bronze cleat...the thing's a beauty! I think it's a Merriman. I'd hate to get rid of it. I think I'll keep it and use it for the front door handle in a house...'cept I have to get a house, first!
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Two cleats are better than one, but they're likely to end up near the toe rails so think through how fair the leads are from your chocks/rollers to be sure you aren't introducing a chafe point.
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Better yet mount the cleats so that you eliminate the need for chocks.
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Old 12-01-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudsonian View Post
Better yet mount the cleats so that you eliminate the need for chocks.
Not often possible. Raised toe rails, etc., often make chocks a necessity.
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Old 12-01-2010
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Cleat on top of raised toe rails--or better yet, bulwarks--usually give a great range of fair leads. Very happy with mine.
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But these can be a problem to secure well enough to handle the loads involved. If the boat was designed with them from the get go, that's one thing, but retrofitting them isn't always so easy or a good idea for that matter.
Quote:
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Cleat on top of raised toe rails--or better yet, bulwarks--usually give a great range of fair leads. Very happy with mine.
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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.

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Old 12-01-2010
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I know on my boat the raised toe rail is where the genoa tracks are mounted. There is no change in cross section of the FRP of the toe rails along the entire length of the boat. I have chocks on the toe rail already that are seeing similar loads to a cleat. I would also think that the toe rail is more suited to this kind of loading than a spot in the middle of the foredeck with two holes drilled through it into a backing plate.

I will also say from my understanding of boat construction the area around the toe rail is pretty strong. You have a bonded and mechanically fastened joint and there is usually no balsa core in the deck at that point.
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