Originally Posted by Boasun
Lets see: To cleat a line as approved by the USN and Merchant Mariners;
1. A round turn on the cleat base.
2. Followed by three to five figure eights on the horns. Natural fiber line three figure eights. Synthetic fiber lines you may need five figure eights.
And no, I don't like to finish off with a half hitch or two... They jamb and you end up cutting your mooring line.
But you can use the long bitter end of the line to take several round turns afterwards if you are really worried about slippage. Or just flemish coil the rest of the line down.
A slightly different point of view:
A mooring line that is too long is much better than one that is too short.
Excess line (that you might need on another day at another site) can be effectively handled by multiple figure eights on the cleat. They don't hurt anything and may actually help with line slippage, but may not be so pretty.
And if you can't take up the line on the cleat this way, round turns on the cleat are effective to take up the excess line, but don't look pretty.
If you are tied to a cleat that is subject to be under water
, be aware that churning water and wave action on a cleated line going alternately slack and tight can untie that line. And in this case, finishing off the bitter end with half hitches can save the day precisely because they do jam. Since you have applied multiple figure eights and round turns to handle excess line, only the very bitter end is subject to be cut if you can't take a few minutes to work the half hitches loose. In this case, the half hitches are not about the line slipping under load, but rather the ease with which the proper cleat hitch can be undone by the water action. Someone said you should be able to easily tie/untie with one hand, and so can the churning of the water. Visually, this line mess now rates a photo posting on this thread.....ugly but effective.
A "proper" cleat hitch with excess line in a Flemish coil is pretty if that is one's biggest concern so long as you are sure the line cannot slip and the cleat will not be underwater.