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Old 04-03-2011, 15:54   #1
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Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

The debate on whether or not to run sail control lines back back to the cockpit notwithstanding, should I decide to do so...

Would cam or clam cleats provide enough holding power for the halyards on a 20' non-racing boat in inland waters? I know many folks on larger boats run these lines thru clutches prior to the halyard winch, but are they necessary on a small boat?
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Old 04-03-2011, 16:03   #2
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

On a 20' boat jam cleats or cam cleats should suffice.
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Old 04-03-2011, 16:53   #3
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

As Delmarrey said. Cam and clams will be perfect for it. Clutches are an expensive option that you wont need to worry about on a small boat. My personal preference is cam cleats they dont let the lines slip.

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Old 04-03-2011, 16:56   #4
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

I must take this opportunity to express my prejudice against clam cleats.

Jam cleats I am totally fine with if they are reasonably smooth and of the horn variety.
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Old 04-03-2011, 17:04   #5
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

Well, I have found that jam cleats do jam, fancy that! Clam cleats are good if you get good ball bearing ones.
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Old 04-03-2011, 17:10   #6
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

I think we are using different names:

Jam cleat: Horn shape cleat with one side that jams.
Clam Cleat: Deep v-shaped serrated line grabber that won't let go under load, and chews up your line.
Cam cleat: 1 or 2 cams that pinch the cleat (common on mainsheets.)
Horn cleat: The one on the dock.
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Old 04-03-2011, 17:12   #7
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

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I must take this opportunity to express my prejudice against clam cleats.

Jam cleats I am totally fine with if they are reasonably smooth and of the horn variety.
Is the type ofjam cleat your talking about a horned cleat, like a dock cleat, only with a jam "v" at the base?

How could a horned cleat work in-line with a winch? wouldn't you have to slack off the line in order to wrap it around the horns?
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Old 04-03-2011, 17:14   #8
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

When I say jam cleat this is what I using. Half a wrap and lock it in, and another wrap if it extreme stress. Never had one lock up yet.




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Old 04-03-2011, 17:17   #9
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

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Originally Posted by GorillaToast View Post
How could a horned cleat work in-line with a winch? wouldn't you have to slack off the line in order to wrap it around the horns?
With a jam you just pull it out of the wedge, pull it tight and jam it back in.

BTW- one would install it with the wedge towards the winch.
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Old 04-03-2011, 17:28   #10
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
When I say jam cleat this is what I using. Half a wrap and lock it in, and another wrap if it extreme stress. Never had one lock up yet.




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That's what I thought you were talking about. But, doesn't the line have to take a wrap to work? When you want to snug up the luff, do you have to first slack the line a little, then ease some around the jam cleat before snugging it up with the winch?

Not having used one, I just don't know. Aside from the necessary long-term maintenence isuues, I think a cam cleat might be easier to use, as snugging up the winch would just pull the line straight thru catching with the cam continually as it moves.

Are you using the jam cleat aft of the winch? That would make sense to me then. My problem is I will be using one coachtop winch for several lines.
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Old 04-03-2011, 17:41   #11
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

Like I said the wedge towards the winch, no matter where it's placed. The sheet comes off the winch, around the round end, and then around the wedge. You can pull it tighter or loose it just by pulling it from the wedge.

If you have several lines you need to lock in but using the same winch the clutches forward of the winch would be best.


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Old 04-03-2011, 17:49   #12
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

Hopefully this image will remove any question

Now we should all be on the same page lol

Cheers
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Old 04-03-2011, 17:57   #13
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

I think I started the confusion. I said "clam" when I meant "cam"! What I meant to say is that cam cleats are the way to go on smaller boats, not jam or clam cleats. The latter two jam.
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Old 04-03-2011, 18:25   #14
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

I have had great success with clutches. My previous boat even had STRONG ones, before the winch, so I could sail a cutter with one set of winches. They would release instantly, even loaded to the capsize threshold.

BTW.. If you ever want to make a cleat that holds ONLY to a point, then spontaneously releases, you take a large plastic "CLAM" cleat, and using a drill bit about the size of the rope that goes in it, Say... 3/8", and drill a neat cylinder down the bottom of the cleat's "V". (Lengthwise, parallel to the base) You have to experiment, but you can shape it where the jaws hold the line until it is under enough load, whereupon it moves more and more into the bottom of the "V". Then it suddenly enters the drilled out cylinder at the crotch, and releases.

I used one of these on the 3/8" down line, that held my previous tri's buoyant CB down. If It hit the bottom, the line released, and the board could kick up.

It is only useful in a narrow range of applications, but...

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Old 04-03-2011, 18:30   #15
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Re: Clutches, Cams, or Clams?

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
Like I said the wedge towards the winch, no matter where it's placed. The sheet comes off the winch, around the round end, and then around the wedge. You can pull it tighter or loose it just by pulling it from the wedge.

If you have several lines you need to lock in but using the same winch the clutches forward of the winch would be best.


.
Cam cleats would be the least expensive and easiest to use, but I can see that if I'm running more than 4 lines back to the cockpit, 4 cam cleats (even if they are staggered) will take up more space than a 3 or 4 line clutch. Guess I'll dig deep into the wallet for a 4 line clutch.
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