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Old 21-04-2012, 12:28   #1
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Reinforcing Deck Cleats

I am interested in reinforcing my deck cleats to be able to use either a drogue aft or a para anchor foreward. My deck cleats appear to just have a couple of washers and bolts at this point.

I have two ideas:

1. Use a stainless steel backing plate of a proper load bearing size and call it good.

or

2. Reinforce with a core block like marine grade plywood, glass it over with maybe kevlar (or conventional glass mats) and then use a stanless backing plate.

Any better ideas? Is this the right direction?

Thanks.
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Old 21-04-2012, 12:34   #2
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Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

I had 4 custom cleats made and had a SS backing plate 5x10 inches on each one - I think the backing plates are more than enough-
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Old 21-04-2012, 12:48   #3
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Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

Try using fiberglass plate from Bedford Plastics or Extren. Make it as large as seems practical. 1/4" should do it. 1/2" if your boat is real heavy. glue it in place with thickened epoxy, and bolt right through it with fender washers.
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Old 21-04-2012, 12:55   #4
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Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

On our boat the cleats are backed by plywood pads sitting on sika. The washers under the nuts are probably custom made - they have bolt size holes and about 2 inches external dia.

(These washers are there because each 'leg' of our cleats is an independent piece).

Easy to set up. 100% bulletproof. (Panama canal tested ;-)

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Old 21-04-2012, 15:28   #5
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Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

I drove for a Boat Tow Company for a while... I can't tell you how many boat cleats were ripped from the deck during tow operations, even after the owners would reassure the Tow Boat Operator the cleats were backed... Of course then the owners would say, "well I thought they had backing plates".

Either of those materials will work great, but if I had a choice, stainless would be my choice.
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Old 21-04-2012, 15:41   #6
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Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

You are talkng huge loads with a para anchor. I would get any core out from under where the backing plate goes, fill with solid material as mentioned and use a large thick backing plate....
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Old 21-04-2012, 16:05   #7
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Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

SS backing plates.

Make sure your cleats are rated for the heavier load as well.
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Old 21-04-2012, 17:51   #8
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Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

As solid and as large a backing plate as you can fit with the largest cleat that will fit with the largest bolts that will fit !! and all stainless if possible!! make sure ALL Cleats are backed the same way bow stern and amidships Ya just never know what ya are gonna use em for !! Big and strong is ALLWAYS Better !! The same with anchors LOL !! (lets talk about that next LOL)
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Old 21-04-2012, 18:57   #9
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Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

I made and installed s/s stantion bases for the hand rail on the cabin top. I made s/s backing plates and spot welded the nuts on the back side. Then I glassed them over on the inside of the boat so they wouldn't leak. I heavily coated the threads with marine grade antisieze before I glassed them in. You can see them on my blog.
The Rebuilding of Chasing Summer
I plan to do the same with the deck stantion bases, the cleats, and the jib track. In other words, every bolt that goes through the hull gets a back plate and glassed over.
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Old 22-04-2012, 07:04   #10
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Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

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Originally Posted by Chasing Summer View Post
I made and installed s/s stantion bases for the hand rail on the cabin top. I made s/s backing plates and spot welded the nuts on the back side. Then I glassed them over on the inside of the boat so they wouldn't leak. I heavily coated the threads with marine grade antisieze before I glassed them in. You can see them on my blog.
The Rebuilding of Chasing Summer
I plan to do the same with the deck stantion bases, the cleats, and the jib track. In other words, every bolt that goes through the hull gets a back plate and glassed over.

The glassing over sure sounds like a lot of unnecesary work ... later on when they need to be re-bedded. I haven't read your blog but obviously you don't have a cored deck.
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Old 22-04-2012, 07:39   #11
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Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

I've had good luck with High density PVC like that used in large pressure pipes. I use 1/2" to 3/4" sheets cut to fit. and extending ouward as far as I could get away with (8-10 inches around bolt holes), epoxied in place then drilled, and stainless fender washers. I use the same for swim ladder, and outboard bracket. Never need rebedded, and could hold entire weight of boat.

If deck is cored, you don't want coring under a cleat. Remove it and add solid glass, overlap surrounding material so you don't have a weak spot. That will also eliminate any possibility of water intrusion under the deck, and into coring material when, (not if), the bolts leak.
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Old 22-04-2012, 07:43   #12
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Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

P.S. In the new boat I have there were a couple of places I couldn't get enough plastic to make me happy, (less than 4 inches wide space), so I used a hardwood 2 * 4 * 1.5ft board dipped in resin, and catylised, and then glassed in place. I don't plan on replacing that one any time soon either.

I have seen this done on a boat built in 1964 still good last year.
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Old 22-04-2012, 17:08   #13
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pirate Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

Quote:
Originally Posted by capn_billl;936507[B
]I've had good luck with High density PVC like that used in large pressure pipes. I use 1/2" to 3/4" sheets [/B]cut to fit. and extending ouward as far as I could get away with (8-10 inches around bolt holes), epoxied in place then drilled, and stainless fender washers. I use the same for swim ladder, and outboard bracket. Never need rebedded, and could hold entire weight of boat.

If deck is cored, you don't want coring under a cleat. Remove it and add solid glass, overlap surrounding material so you don't have a weak spot. That will also eliminate any possibility of water intrusion under the deck, and into coring material when, (not if), the bolts leak.

Hey Capn Bill, I don't know if Chasing Summer has cored decks, I'd just never heard of glassing over the backing plates and bolts, etc. for any reason and certainly not to stop leaks. I'm prepping for this job now, I stripped the boat, and getting all deckfittings ready to go back.

I'm using Maine Sail"s method and his goo too.

The pvc you mentioned: is it really pvc or some sort of H something or other? Where are you getting it? I have 1/4" alum plate I'm using as backing plates. Won't be doing this again in my lifetime.
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Old 22-04-2012, 17:45   #14
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Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
Hey Capn Bill, I don't know if Chasing Summer has cored decks, I'd just never heard of glassing over the backing plates and bolts, etc. for any reason and certainly not to stop leaks. I'm prepping for this job now, I stripped the boat, and getting all deckfittings ready to go back.

I'm using Maine Sail"s method and his goo too.

The pvc you mentioned: is it really pvc or some sort of H something or other? Where are you getting it? I have 1/4" alum plate I'm using as backing plates. Won't be doing this again in my lifetime.
I don't think I explained that very well.

No you wouldn't want to glass over the backing plates and bolts. What I was referring to was replacing the coring at the point the bolts go through the deck with solid glass.

1. By drilling an oversized hole, then filling with resin, curing then drill the actual hole for the bolts to go through. So the area around the hole is solid fiberglass.
2. Or cut out the core material under the cleat area, add layers of glass to rebuild to original thickness, then re-epoxy deck surface, and add cleat as normal.

The PVC I use is a black dense PVC, more flexible than the white PVC used in water pipes. And comes in sheets of varying thickness from 1/4 to 1.5 inch. I have also used GREY PVC also very dense. I buy it from industrial plastic suppliers.

Adding a layer of epoxy, (make sure it it compatible with both PVC, and the fiberglass resin, (polyester?), it is to fill the voids and prevent the backing plate from shifting, adding strength.

The more conventional method is to use a good quality wood make sure the grain is parallel to the cut, and saturate with resin, (to make it more rigid, and water resistant), and glass in place. Make sure the wood is thick enough and large enough to evenly spread the expected load. If you don't seal the holes you drill, eventually you will get water intrusion, and rot, but with resin soaked wood it will take a long time to rot.

You would never want to glass over the backing plate after the bolts are installed, or over any material other than fiberglass or wood, as you will trap any moisture inside where it will cause corrosion.
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Old 22-04-2012, 17:46   #15
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Re: Reinforcing Deck Cleats

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
The glassing over sure sounds like a lot of unnecesary work ... later on when they need to be re-bedded. I haven't read your blog but obviously you don't have a cored deck.
Since the nut is spot welded to the backing plate, re-bedding means simply backing off the mounting bolts. It makes it simpler since you don't need access underneath and you don't need a partner (or really long arms). Another option would be to drill and tap the backing plate itself.
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