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  #1  
Old 09-25-2012
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Help me decide - Mooring bitt or cleat?

I just got a Compac 19 sailboat. It is going to be kept on a mooring for at least the next season. I currently have a 6 inch bow cleat. If I keep the cleat, I'm going to upgrade to an 8" cleat to accommodate the mooring lines. However, I'm thinking about doing away with the cleat and going with a mooring bitt. I don't have room for a mooring bitt and the cleat so it's going to be one or the other. Seems to me a mooring bit would be really convenient for mooring but could be a PITA for docking. I'm on the fence about what to do so I need a push from you fellow sailers to get me going one way or the other. Looking forward to your input.
Thanks, Marc
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Old 09-25-2012
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Re: Help me decide - Mooring bitt or cleat?

Given the weight of your boat it doesnt matter. An 8" cleat may be at home on a 36' but is gross overkill for a 19' that doesnt weigh more than 3000 lbs loaded and wet.
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Old 09-25-2012
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Re: Help me decide - Mooring bitt or cleat?

A mooring bitt on a boat that small does not make much sense. It would need to be fairly small, as bitts go, and getting the mooring line around the tight curves could be a hassle. Getting lines off a bitt can also be a hassle, especially when an eager helper puts half hitches in every turn. An 8" cleat is a bit hefty for this size boat, but it would spread the load of dock and mooring lines over a bigger area of the deck than a bitt, which would be better for the structure of the boat. (Don't forget to put in backing blocks.) A cleat would probably be easier to tie off to and uncleat from in general, than a bitt. You may also be able to cushion the cleat with a lifejacket and spread out on the deck. A bitt would stick up that much further and be uncomfortable to lie down on. K.I.S.S.is almost always a good idea on a boat.

Last edited by paulk; 09-25-2012 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Help me decide - Mooring bitt or cleat?

Congrats on the Compac 19. My honest answer is that I don't think it really matters. If you want a bitt, go ahead, but you don't need one. There isn't enough room on your foredeck to lay out, so I can't see it being in the way. Just be sure either the cleat or bitt are properly backed and secure.

My personal preference would be to stick with a cleat. I find them more versatile. If the mooring penant has a big thick loop that you need to push through a cleat and then up and around the horns, I do understand needing a bigger cleat. Although, if that is the case, I don't understand how the bitt helps.
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Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Help me decide - Mooring bitt or cleat?

Thanks for the comments.
I'm assuming most mooring lines will be 3/4 inch diameter - am I right about that?

Delite: You're right, an 8" cleat would seem somewhat out of scale for the boat. I just want more cleat to work with.

On the other hand, here is what a small mooring bitt looks like on another Compac 19.

Don't know the diameter of the bitt post but the pulpit tubing is 7/8". I think it looks good, is plently versatile and I can get a large backing plate on the underside. Paulk - do you still have your same reservations about its usefulness?

Minewaska - I cannot push through a line on the existing cleat. On the mooring bitt I'd be able to fold over the line as shown in the photo.
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Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Help me decide - Mooring bitt or cleat?

I like the bit on a small boat as I think it's actually more versitile - but it depends on chocks and fair leads more than anything else.
The one you have pictured seems to be rubbing on the pushpit before it goes to the chock?

I just helped a friend moor his boat, built a bridle out of dock lines and used both his 6 inch cleats, slightly uneven so he has a 'back up' if it chafes. Not the best, but what we could do.

I've got about a dozen boats moored in sight of my house, not one uses an actual pre-manufactured pennant.
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Re: Help me decide - Mooring bitt or cleat?

When you have a straight end of a dock line to secure to the bow, I find a cleat easier to use than a bitt. A cleat hitch is easy and I can do it with one hand. Tying to a bitt is either done with clove hitches or figure eights around the posts on the bitt. In theory, you can put a cleat hitch around the side of a bitt, but I guess I just prefer a cleat.
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Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Help me decide - Mooring bitt or cleat?

I just put an Buck Aloquin (7"x7" bronze) on my 34 footer. It is way overkill but it is versatile- good for anchor, tie at dock and holding against large wave surge, and sea anchor if I need it. I like overkill on a sailboat.
Buck Algonquin...Quality Marine Hardware Since 1955
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Re: Help me decide - Mooring bitt or cleat?

Going with an 8" cleat may be overkill. However, you will not be able to get a large mooring line under a 6" cleat. What about two cleats, port and starboard? Then you would have completely redundant line and cleat.
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Re: Help me decide - Mooring bitt or cleat?

I usally find cleats are too small, and never too large. Sometimes I need to cleat off more than one line to a single cleat, so larger is better. My boat bow has two cleats on each side plus the mooring bit in the middle and slightly aft of the two cleats. I use the mooring bit when docked to hold the bow, as well as a spring line to one of the bow side cleats. It is nice to have redundancy on your cleats so if one gives way you got a back up. Also good to have back up so you can repair a broken cleat and still be tied securly. Maybe two cleats either side of the bow and a larger cleat (or mooring bit) between.
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