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Re: Catalina 27 - bow cleats strong enough for mooring?
I had a mid-1980's Catalina 27. The cleats had small bolts and no backing plates. Not even washers.
Over the course of the few years I owned the boat the wakes in my marina started to deform the fiberglass around the bolts. I just added washers to the back of the cleats and the seemed to fix the problem. A better solution (if you had the room for it) would be to replace the cleats with larger cleats with larger bolts and backing plates. Just make sure if you go through the plywood you seal it properly.
At a minimum, add fender washers to the back of the bolts if they are not already there.
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