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Old 14-06-2021, 09:33   #1
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Question Multiple lines on a single cleat

Now that we are in hurricane season, I am putting on extra lines.

Question, is there a solution for "over crowding" a cleat? For example, I would like to be able to run dual forward and aft springs to my mid-ship cleat. 4 in total...there is not enough room.

I was thinking about using a soft shackle, and running two lines to each...or maybe a soft shackle for each line.

I will be gone for a month and want to make sure I am setup as best I can be before leaving St. Pete FL.

Any input?

Thanks, Mark
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Old 14-06-2021, 09:50   #2
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Re: Multiple lines on a single cleat

You can fit multiple loops on a cleat. Cleat hitch will usually only fit 2 lines.
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Old 14-06-2021, 10:52   #3
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Re: Multiple lines on a single cleat

Depends on the cleat size and line diameter. If you can't fit two lines cleat-hitched to the same cleat then dead-end one around the cleat and another on the dock. So the cleat on your boat will have one line tied to the cleat (or looped over it) and another hitched onto the same cleat.

You didn't ask, but I wouldn't actually recommend doubling up of lines. Ships do it because the lines are a weak point in the system, but for a yacht you're better off having a single, large, chafe-protected line than multiple lines which can chafe against one another. Chafe is the enemy, not overall strength.
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Old 14-06-2021, 15:15   #4
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Re: Multiple lines on a single cleat

A common solution is a strong loop cow-hitched to the cleat and attach your lines to the loop.
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Old 14-06-2021, 16:10   #5
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Re: Multiple lines on a single cleat

I completely agree with post #3, too many boats have too many lines. Another consideration.....if you think the wind will cause 2000 kg force (yes I know should use newton), and your rope will break at 2500 kg when new, then adding another rope of 2500 kg breaking strength is not going to work, unless both ropes tension more or less equally. If if not tensioned equally, the first one will break, then the second one shortly after that.

However having said that, I have seen systems where 2 ropes can work well: one thinner one ie 10 or 12 mm nylon that gets tight before the big rope does (ie 20 or 24 mm PE). It also reduces the jerking. But this is very hard to setup correctly for all ropes.

Second disclaimer and no experience with that: i guess when a hurricane is coming towards the boat, every bit of rope needs to be used? Then cleats and tie point may become the weak points. If the cleat is strong enough StuM's solution works well.
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Old 14-06-2021, 16:28   #6
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Re: Multiple lines on a single cleat

My solution is to cleat hitch the middle of the line to the boat and then run either end to different dock cleats. Note that you must be standing on the dock to hitch and unhitch this way.
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Old 14-06-2021, 17:02   #7
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Re: Multiple lines on a single cleat

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
A common solution is a strong loop cow-hitched to the cleat and attach your lines to the loop.

This. Drop a Dyneema loop over the cleat (cover with tubular webbing to spread the load on nylon lines) and then add as many lines as you need.


In fact, I use this trick as my regular tie-up since one cleat takes 3 lines (weird angle). Now I just drop on the one loop.
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Old 15-06-2021, 09:20   #8
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Re: Multiple lines on a single cleat

I bought 2 additional movable cleats that slide on a runner on each of the boat that gave me 2 midship cleats on each side of the boat.
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Old 15-06-2021, 10:48   #9
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Re: Multiple lines on a single cleat

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Originally Posted by CFS Klopas View Post
My solution is to cleat hitch the middle of the line to the boat and then run either end to different dock cleats. Note that you must be standing on the dock to hitch and unhitch this way.
Not complicated enough.
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Old 15-06-2021, 11:13   #10
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Re: Multiple lines on a single cleat

A lot of good common sense tips here, including re chafe & 2 weak lines not being as good as 1 strong one. Were I in your situation, I would be using these: https://www.boatfittings.co.uk/p/boa...BoCnsoQAvD_BwE.
I used these in Mallorca when being stern to the dock meant short warps so no give in the rope. They worked well for me. You can buy different sizes - mine were well oversized so I didnt have to wonder about strength - & I shackled safety chains on to each shock absorber spring anyway (chain that allowed full stretch in the spring & would only come taut if the spring broke) but thats just me.
If berthed alongside, consider also using the fore & aft cleats on your off side as well, why not?
Also consider using your sheet winches to back up your midship cleat. Only use nylon warp - polyester doesnt stretch.
We have had some stronger winds than usual here in recent times - 90 mph which is pretty rare (or used to be) in UK. My boat is 70 miles from home so I always leave her secured so I don't have to lie awake at 4 am wondering what is happening.
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Old 15-06-2021, 14:23   #11
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Re: Multiple lines on a single cleat

Put the loop end of the spring line to the mid-ship cleat and tie the hitch to the dock hard points. I would refrain from doubling up your spring lines, just use one sturdy line with chafe protection on any rub points.

You can always add more spring lines and longer spring lines by spring to the bow and aft hard points and these will not rub against a parallel set of lines as is the case when doubling spring lines as you were contemplating in your original post. You don't want lines to contact each other ever.

And always be sure to dip the eye of each line on all shared cleats or posts to ease removal of your line [and to be courteous to others]. Reference video below.




Best regards.
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Old 15-06-2021, 14:38   #12
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Re: Multiple lines on a single cleat

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Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
Not complicated enough.
Indeed keep your hitches quick and simple.



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Old 01-07-2021, 07:31   #13
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Re: Multiple lines on a single cleat

If Mark is in the same St Pete marina that I am, they require in the contract that you double up on lines during hurricane season, so no choice there. I ran into the same problem. Spliced loops definitely take up less space, but there's a limit. Definitely alternate them if you go that route so if the top one gets loose you still have the backup:


I like the idea of splicing everything to a Dyneema loop - I might have to try that out. Chafing is a concern (unless your cleats are stainless), but it wouldn't be hard to just replace the loop every so often.
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