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post #1 of 27 Old 10-14-2015 Thread Starter
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Mooring - Bow Eye; No Cleats

Looking for the collective wisdom on mooring a relatively light weight (2,600 lbs) sailboat using the manufacturer provided bow eye. The boat is trailerable. There are no bow cleats nor is there room for bow cleats. The harbor is pretty well protected, particularly from the N/NE, which is where the big wind/waves come from. Assuming some of you will recommend a back-up system, I'd be interested in hearing your approaches.
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Re: Mooring - Bow Eye; No Cleats

If the eye has a good backing plate, etc., IMHO it's better than cleats and chocks on deck which most of us have on larger boats. You're much less likely to get chafe as you aren't going through a chock, you aren't getting caught on anchors and sprits, etc. The only bad part is ease of use, you need to reach down there and figure out how to attach.
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Re: Mooring - Bow Eye; No Cleats

I have a similar situation, my Catalina 22 is 2250 lbs empty so probably more like 2500 lbs with all the crap I have on it.

I have been told that the bow eye is only strong for a straight pull, it's not designed to withstand side-to-side loads like one might see while swinging about a mooring ball. I run two mooring lines, one from each bow cleat. I honestly don't know if this is a Catalina 22 thing, or if all bow eyes are like that.

There's really no room for bow cleats on your boat? Bummer. Are there any cleats? Could you run lines up from midship cleats through a fairlead or something?

I spent last Friday night on my mooring. The wind switched and picked up, so the boat swung back and forth quite a bit. There were a couple times when it snapped pretty good against the mooring lines. I'm glad I was secure.

Catalina 22
on a starboard tack
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Re: Mooring - Bow Eye; No Cleats

That bow eye would work if you thoroughly checked it, replaced the bolts, and such. Otherwise something on the deck or rail is better.

I have been moored and anchored for years without any cleats forward anywhere. This boat is 10 tons. I use two lines in case my fuddled weary brain ties a bad knot, or something. Both lead over the alloy toerail somewhat aft of the bow. One goes to an eye on a midship track, the other around the mast base. I consider cleats a bother, heavy, tangle-prone, etc. For extended stays and typhoons there is chafe gear at the toerail.

"...there are two kinds of opinions, those based upon tradition ... and those having something in their favor." B. Russell
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Re: Mooring - Bow Eye; No Cleats

There's a thread about this on the Mariner Class Association. Mariners weigh about 1430 lb. One of the members did what you are proposing. The bow eye failed, the boat drifted to shallow water, blew over, filled with water. The consensus of the association is that the bow eye is not a good fitting to attach an anchor or mooring, mainly due to the variability of the load. It was designed for a fairly light, constant load, in one direction.

I imagine the same could be said for almost all bow eyes.
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Re: Mooring - Bow Eye; No Cleats

The bow eye is probably strong enough, but as has been mentioned, not very convenient. How do you propose to attach the mooring pendant to the bow eye? I wouldn't want to rely on a snap shackle and a standard shackle is going to be fun to attach if the boat is bouncing around. How about installing cleats right in the toerail?
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Re: Mooring - Bow Eye; No Cleats

Most production stuff is minimal size, strength and cost. If your darling is hanging out there. you want to know it's the best. Easy to cut and fit an internal stem piece of gum wood or something tough and fill/glass it in Redrill for BiggeR drop forge eye bolt or big U bolt Even my 12' skiff had a 1/2" galvanized Eye bolt (for towing) .Boat hangs better when low down, easier to access from deck when up closer. Chafe is embarrassingly embarrassing
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Re: Mooring - Bow Eye; No Cleats

Great replies. No room for cleats on deck. Possibly room for low-profile fairleads and cleats further aft. Wonder how everyone feels about bow eye and a secondary line around mast base (deck stepped)?
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Re: Mooring - Bow Eye; No Cleats

Quote:
Originally Posted by wuffiesails View Post
Wonder how everyone feels about bow eye and a secondary line around mast base (deck stepped)?
I would not tie off from my deck stepped mast. Mine is strong in compression, but I don't think I'd trust it for side-to-side loads at the base of the mast, it's just a screw and a bolt that hold it in place.

Your mast may be different.

Winches are damned strong. Could you lead lines forward from your winches?

Catalina 22
on a starboard tack
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Re: Mooring - Bow Eye; No Cleats

What kind of boat do you have?
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