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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > How do you tie a cleat hitch?
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Thread: How do you tie a cleat hitch? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-23-2013 12:39 AM
ShoalFinder
Re: How do you tie a cleat hitch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by captflood View Post
GREETINGS EARTHLINGS :- I have never used this knot as it is known as a locking turn on the cleat. This can be dangerous when sailing big boats and you have to release the cleat in a hurry (for what ever reason). We just put more turns on the cealt. AS ALWAYS GO SAFE.

In my younger years working tug boats, your way is exactly the way we worked. A locking hitch would be a disaster waiting to happen. A few reasons come to mind:

1. With a locking hitch, there would be no way to get the line free of the cleat fast enough in an emergency cast-off situation

2. To remove the locking hitch would require someone to put their hands all over a line with an indeterminate amount of tonnage just waiting to snatch the line tight with your hands in there. (You ALWAYS slack a working line from several feet away by surging it. You could not surge off a locking hitch)

3. A locking hitch will not take any more working load than another wrap or two would accomplish


BUT, here's the difference:

A cleat hitch on a pleasure craft is usually to secure the vessel while you are gone and nobody is standing there minding the lines. I can't imagine walking away from my boat with no locking hitches on the cleats.

My boat uses 1/2" line, not 4-inch line. A locking hitch is no biggie to get out. If I can't use one hand to pull slack from the dock end toward the cleat, then the line is too tight to take loose. (imagine a case where the tide went out a lot more than you expect) I'll get a fid or a spike to take loose the hitch just in case the line decides to run as I pry the hitch loose.


Old habits do die hard. I still take a full turn around the base before I begin my figure-eight because the base should hold the load and the horns are just to give the line a way to bind on itself. I do a figure-eight, then one more half turn, then my locking hitch (half hitch.) All of which I know full well is silly and overkill. I can't help it. What was beaten into my skull so long ago just won't leave me.
03-22-2013 05:52 PM
Barquito
Re: How do you tie a cleat hitch?

Quote:
I've had the breast and spring lines jam up tight at the hitch unless I put three full figure 8s on over a 3/4 turn around the base. This only happens if we have a big blow but it's just become habit now. I also like chafe guard that covers the first two turns around the base because that's where the line always starts to show wear from the constant working.
That is what I was thinking about the additional figure 8's. The locking hitch would tend not to jam if it is more turns away from the load. Still, might not be necessary to lock.
03-22-2013 03:38 PM
jrd22
Re: How do you tie a cleat hitch?

I've had the breast and spring lines jam up tight at the hitch unless I put three full figure 8s on over a 3/4 turn around the base. This only happens if we have a big blow but it's just become habit now. I also like chafe guard that covers the first two turns around the base because that's where the line always starts to show wear from the constant working.
03-22-2013 03:31 PM
pcarlson
Re: How do you tie a cleat hitch?

Great conversation. I know the U.S.C.G. does not use locking hitches on dock lines, sometimes called a weather hitch. The consideration with a round turn at the base of the cleat is jamming at high load. Depending on the size of the cleat, line and load. Big boat - big lines - big loads.
03-22-2013 03:19 PM
IslanderGuy
Re: How do you tie a cleat hitch?

For the sheets and halyards while sailing, (No self tailing, regular horn cleats only) I never put on a locking hitch, I just take three wraps around the base of the cleat, nothing over the top. I have never had that come loose while sailing, even when the sail is flogging hard. Easy to undo in a hurry, never jams up. My boat is only 32 feet, so that might not work so well on a larger boat, I don't know...
03-22-2013 02:23 PM
Sabreman
Re: How do you tie a cleat hitch?

Quote:
AS ALWAYS GO SAFE.
Another consideration - if I'm going aloft, I want the line cleated or I'm going to start screaming.
03-22-2013 12:53 AM
chef2sail
Re: How do you tie a cleat hitch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
I'm sorry, I don't follow.
I think what hes saying he would use your example on his boat where his jib sheets need to be tied off as his winches are not self tailing winches.

Dave
03-22-2013 12:05 AM
Sabreman
Re: How do you tie a cleat hitch?

Quote:
I have never used this knot as it is known as a locking turn on the cleat. This can be dangerous when sailing big boats and you have to release the cleat in a hurry (for what ever reason). We just put more turns on the cealt. AS ALWAYS GO SAFE.
I sailed on the schooner Heritage in Maine. They did not use locking hitches for the same reason - that they take to long to remove. I disagree, removing a bunch of wraps can kink the line and takes more time than removing a single hitch. If the line is led around the cleat's base, there won't be much if any strain on the hitch and it's easy to remove.
03-21-2013 10:40 PM
benesailor
Re: How do you tie a cleat hitch?

Your girlfriend is right, i know.... that hurts. Just say......
Quote:
I am a man.
I can change.
If I have to.
I guess.
03-21-2013 10:02 PM
arknoah
Re: How do you tie a cleat hitch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest View Post
Yeah. Like that....
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