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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Catalina 350 has mid boom sheeting, with a single-ended mainsheet. Usually when sailing, we have the mainsheet on the starboard cabintop winch. However, there are times when we must free up the winch and need to cleat off the mainsheet. Right now, there's some sort of V-cleat on there (I'm thinking it must be a Ronstan), but it won't hold worth a darn. What should I replace it with? I could get another Garhauer rope cluth like I have for the rest of the lines. Or I could put a cam-cleat on there, or something else. Any ideas on what will work best? I guess ideally, I want something that I can screw into the holes left where the v-cleat is, so I might be somewhat driven by that.
 

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If feasible why not keep the jam cleat and add another clutch to match what you have. If not feasible remove the cleat fill the holes and add the clutch.
Clear Sailing
 

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Replace the Clam cleat with a new one of proper size to match your sheet.
 

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I would put a cam cleat on. Less expensive than a clutch and easier to release quickly.
 

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You don't want to use a clutch on your mainsheet. The cam cleat could be fine if you need quick release, include a rope guide and you can also quick set it.

The best cleat for non-racing use is the traditional horn cleat.
 

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It could just be your clam cleat is worn or is the wrong size for the sheet if it is not holding. That said, a cam cleat would be the way to go if you are determined. You could add it to the lower setup of your mainsheet so that it swivels with the blocks.
 

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Yep, Patrick's right. These phenolic clams get sunburned, wear, and lose their sharpness. You can replace it with identical, or do as I did, and go aluminum. (They are also available in anodized, painted AL). We sell them all the time, and you should be able to get one from any decent chandlery.
 

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Thumbs, I don't think that'll work in his case, as he wants to use the winch after he cleats it off. So the cleat would need to be on the highly loaded side. I've had trouble un-cleating a cam cleat before in high winds, and I'm not sure that would be the answer if there's little to no purchase on the mainsheet (assuming there's not since its lead to a winch).
 

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Thumbs, I don't think that'll work in his case, as he wants to use the winch after he cleats it off. So the cleat would need to be on the highly loaded side. I've had trouble un-cleating a cam cleat before in high winds, and I'm not sure that would be the answer if there's little to no purchase on the mainsheet (assuming there's not since its lead to a winch)
the mainsheet deserves its own winch...if the OP can't find an alternative to making a second use of the winch serving the mainsheet, then he should just release the mainsheet and luff the main until the sheet can be put back on the winch. Better to have it luffing occasionally over the years, then to not have it release instantly just once. Been there, done that...
 

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As stated, you won't get it out of the cleat in high winds.

Thumbs, I don't think that'll work in his case, as he wants to use the winch after he cleats it off. So the cleat would need to be on the highly loaded side. I've had trouble un-cleating a cam cleat before in high winds, and I'm not sure that would be the answer if there's little to no purchase on the mainsheet (assuming there's not since its lead to a winch).
Each sail in-use needs its own tackle or winch. Jammers are for lines that are adjusted less often (halyard) or to hold lines that are temporarily out of use (spin sheet when jib is up).

Stay safe. 3 winches are sort of the minimum. Jammers work on the load side, with cams on the tail side. Cams are for thing you can hand hold.
 

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Keeee...rist..

What's so damned difficult? Put a traditional horn cleat there, and tie off the main sheet to it when needed, with or without the winch.

Jeez....

Think this may have been "over-thunK"????

Bill
 

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My C34 is probably close enough to your 350 for me to weigh in on the subject. The mainsheet clam cleat is made of metal and is the largest of its kind made (I have the specs back home). Unfortunately, the 9/16 mainsheet is on the upper end of the line spec for the cleat, and if it is not properly set, it will release. The cleat is lower than the fairlead from the deck organizer to the winch so you have to remove the line from the winch to get a good bite with the cleat. I do this by pressing down on the sheet as I’m releasing it from the winch. I will often give it a tug after this to make sure the line is set in the cleat.

You do not have many alternatives. Catalina embeds a bronze plate in the coach roof and the cleat is drilled and tapped into it. There are no clutches made that fit the hole pattern (I’ve checked). Even so, a clutch is inadvisable. I know, Beneteau does it. But if you ever had a mainsheet hockle in a clutch, you will regret ever mounting the clutch (I’ve broached a Beneteau First 38 with just this same occurrence, not fun. And if you ever do it, don’t have your wife on board!). Cam cleats are also not advisable as you need to pull on the line in order to release it. So again, with the forces on the mainsheet when you are most likely to blow the sheet, you again will be stuck. The best alternative is to get rid of the NER yacht braid mainsheet and replace it with something made of endura, dyneema, technora or the like. This will give you a smaller diameter line for the same strength and stretch properties and it will fit better in the existing cleat. The added bonus is it will also fit better on the ST30 winch.<O:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the advice all. George is rather right about most points. It is indeed an aluminum clam cleat (Ronson I think), and the mainsheet line does not like to stay put in it. The mainsheet itself certainly has enough purchase in it...the main reason we keep the sheet on the winch is because it stays put much better on the self-tailer than it does in the lousy clam cleat! To say that I ALWAYS need a dedicated winch for the mainsheet is certainly going overboard. I need to be able to occasionaly free the cabintop winches for traveler adjustments and furling the mainsail. I'm really leaning towards the camcleat, but I really don't want to have to drill and tap that mounting plate to install it. Grrr....

Trying a different size line for the mainsheet may be an option, though I think my winches are bigger than 30's. 32's I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I want to add the appreciate btrayfors comment; I simple cleat would probably work fine.
 

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Our 350 came with an aluminum racing clam cleat that works very well to temporarily cleat the main while using the winch for other things. You can see it behind the winch in this picture MobileMe Gallery. Not sure what brand it is, but I'll be on the boat tomorrow and let you know.
 

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Perhps you could take a second look at the traveller, because it should be ....

Thanks for the advice all. George is rather right about most points. It is indeed an aluminum clam cleat (Ronson I think), and the mainsheet line does not like to stay put in it. The mainsheet itself certainly has enough purchase in it...the main reason we keep the sheet on the winch is because it stays put much better on the self-tailer than it does in the lousy clam cleat! To say that I ALWAYS need a dedicated winch for the mainsheet is certainly going overboard. I need to be able to occasionaly free the cabintop winches for traveler adjustments and furling the mainsail. I'm really leaning towards the camcleat, but I really don't want to have to drill and tap that mounting plate to install it. Grrr....

Trying a different size line for the mainsheet may be an option, though I think my winches are bigger than 30's. 32's I think.
instantly adjustable too. I play the traveler more than the mainsheet to honest. It is much easier to grind in than the main when dumped in a gust, or should be. With the right purchase, you should not need a winch.
 
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