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Old 26-01-2009, 21:52   #1
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Cleat backing plates - sturdy enough?

Our Gulfstar 44 has spent most of her 28 years living a life of luxury at a dock. We are about to wake her up and take her CRUISING! I've been inspecting the bow cleats that will need to hold us in wavy anchorages and I'm not sure if they are up to the task.

The cleats are big and solid and there are 3"x4" steel backing plates beneath each pair of bolts (not sure how thick the plates are - about 1mm). This is all original equipment and has lasted 28 years with no signs of wear, movement, leaks or rusting... but I'm a little nervous when I think that these 4 bolts will be holding the entire boat to her anchor.

If it were you, would you rebed the cleats with bigger or different backing plates, or would you have a beer and then start on one of the other 267 items on the to do list ?

-Safari Tu
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Old 26-01-2009, 23:04   #2
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"I'm a little nervous when I think that these 4 bolts will be holding the entire boat to her anchor"

Haven't you answered your own question?

I think it would be very prudent to a) add a bigger backing plate between the deck underside and the current plates, for each cleat.. one that is about as long as the cleat itself, and b) replace the bolts.

Then think how much worry you'll be eliminating with this relatively easy job.
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Old 26-01-2009, 23:53   #3
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I have one piece 3/16" SS backing plates behind my cleats. It would have to ripe out part of the deck to brake them loose. 1 mm (.040") thick is not much better then fender washers. It wouldn't pull out EZ but would loosen up under heavy stress. Once loose it would continue to wear away at the holes.

As for anchoring, there are special anchor cleats (clamps) for that. You'll want your anchor to come off a bridle or straight out your roller unless you need to heave-to, so to say, in a strong wind at anchor for ease of motion reasons.

Cleats should be strong but not your main source for extreme weather holding.
e.g. Sea anchors need a very strong attachment(s) that will withstand hours and hours of constant abuse. For this many build in special eyelets for attachments. But if you plan anchoring in heavy weather anchorages I hope you yourself can hold up to the stress. As well, you'll most likely want to put in a spring line or add a kellet to reduce stress on the attachments.

As for what you have, I would beef it up with thicker single plates.

Here's an article that'll give you more info on anchoring....................._/)

Anchor Catenary
Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, but the Kisses of the Enemy are Deceitful! ........
The measure of a man is how he navigates to a proper shore in the mist of a storm!
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Old 26-01-2009, 23:56   #4
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I'd have a beer now and start the new backing plates and bolts in the morning.
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backing plates, cleats

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