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Old 06-08-2022, 23:21   #1
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Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

Someone has to ask stupid questions to keep the forum churning along, right? I am reworking my bow area a bit. I removed the troublesome electric windlass and I’m putting in a manual one. This gives me a chance to redesign the whole configuration. I dug through my cleat collection.

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My current idea is to cover the old hawseholes and somewhat mangled deck area where the old windlass mounted, with a piece of marine ply as a new windlass mount base- somewhat as per the cardboard template in the second pic. Not sure how long that would hold up, but I’m guessing- long enough to be worthwhile.

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I’m mainly wondering about an ideal layout for cleats and attachment points . Probably I’m just overthinking it. The two little 7 inch cleats on the sides in pic 2 could be slid forward or back/wherever. (Hmmm…)

There may be room to put a larger cleat just forward of the windlass as well.


It would be very nice to have something like a Samson post just aft of the defunct pressure switch. Something with vertical clearance above the windlass to tie larger lines to. Though structurally that opens up another can of worms.

We used to have a metal post just forward of the pressure switch, where a staysail was attached in years gone by. It worked well to tie stuff to. There’s a lot more backing structure where it was though, than there is aft of there. Anyway… I’ve had to remove it to make room for this windlass. You can see the large bow line that was tied to it, looped ingloriously around the pulpit structure for now.


The more stuff to tie to, the merrier?

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Old 07-08-2022, 00:28   #2
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

The existing 7” cleats look like they’re pretty marginal for the job (assuming you’re talking about the 39’er in your profile).

It’s also difficult to see whether the lines leading to those cleats go under or over the rail. Hopefully under!

I’d consider upgrading the 7”ers to something a little more substantial and making sure there’s a straight run from the cleat to the dock.
Their position looks pretty good.
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Old 07-08-2022, 01:05   #3
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

Thanks Chris. To clarify, those cleats are not currently attached to anything. I just placed them there for the photo, as one possible location idea.

There are other cleats along the sides further back, just aft of the photo area, with proper hawse holes.

I should have been more clear. Funny how you can think you've explained something so well, only to realize that it’s potentially just gibberish…

The cleats in the bow would mainly relate to mooring and snubbing the anchor . Though we do sometimes pass bow docklines through the area at the base of the bowsprit, which is a little bit awkward as there isn’t really a good path for that. Though that could/should be improved.

Just in general though -it seems important that there be a nice strong attachment point or two up there, and currently there’s really nothing.
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Old 07-08-2022, 06:52   #4
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

I'd want to see 10" cleats on a boat that size personally. Ideally, I'd want a cleat, bitt, samson post, or something near the windlass to cleat off an anchor rode. And then a pair of cleats mounted outboard on the caprail (assuming there's adequate strength in the bulwark to do that) for docking.



I much prefer cleats placed where a line can lead off them cleanly. A setup that requires use of a chock or hawse hole is sub-optimal and should be avoided whenever possible, as that introduces more chafe points.
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Old 07-08-2022, 08:13   #5
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

Go big. The cost when redoing is pretty minimal to the overall project.

Makes it so much nicer when you need to cleat off 2 or even 3 lines to a single cleat. Use hefty backing plates. A Sampson post is also great (for similar reasons).

Make sure you have nice fairleads to minimize chafe.
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Old 07-08-2022, 08:34   #6
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

The old "rule of thumb" was 1" of cleat for each 1/16th" of line diameter.
1/2" line = 8" cleat.
5/8ths line = 10" cleat.
3/4" line = 12" cleat.
Samson posts are great.
Small cleats are the devil's brew.
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Old 07-08-2022, 10:43   #7
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

Thanks all, very helpful. I’m glad to hear support for the Samson post idea, because that’s what my intuition has been telling me. None of the usual local hoarders here have anything like that at the moment, so I may just improvise and make one. It occurs to me that I can modify the post from the old staysail attachment to make a bitt.

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Alas I don’t know the proper name for this piece of hardware, but it looks like I can use the lower part (which is 12” long), make a larger base for it easily enough, and weld or bolt a crossbar on. Various options really. The real work will be the structural backing.

I stumbled across several more cleats in my travels this morning. I guess there’s a reason I have so many cleats that are too small… I did find a couple 10” ones though. So things are looking up.
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Old 08-08-2022, 13:55   #8
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oeanda View Post
Alas I don’t know the proper name for this piece of hardware, but it looks like I can use the lower part (which is 12” long), make a larger base for it easily enough, and weld or bolt a crossbar on.
The upper bronze part is a pedestal mount for a staysail boom.
It's been attached to that stainless riser to get it higher off the deck, (to clear the forestay turnbuckle,) to get the staysail boom lined up with the foot of the sail.
Your idea for a samson post should work well, here is a link to a product sold at West Marine, but surely other suppliers would have it also:
https://www.westmarine.com/west-mari...st-212381.html
I too use a samson post, and find it a great piece of gear that offers advantages over a cleat(s).
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Old 08-08-2022, 18:34   #9
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

There does remain the problem to be solved of keeping the lines clear of the vulnerable toe rail.

Are there scupper holes in the bulwark? If so, the OP can locate chafe gear he can apply to them, so they can be used for lines. Dock lines can chafe their way right through the teak.

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Old 10-08-2022, 21:40   #10
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

Thanks Bowdrie. That West Marine post looks decent- a little small. When I ran it through to checkout they didn’t charge the usual insane shipping markup to here for some reason, so this might actually be a viable source for stuff.

I like the one on your boat better! Very nice pic. (Though for some reason I’m not seeing your pic you posted, anymore.)
How high is your post, relative to the windlass?

I’ll try to DIY first but I’ll keep looking for something nice online in case the DIY thing gets too stupid.
Anyway for now the post can wait a little bit, but it seems like a fun project.

I’m working on cleaning up that manual windlass and finding a piece of plywood to use as a base and to cover all the holes up there.

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That plywood is just cut rough at this point and going to shrink

What should I best bed it to the deck with? Assuming that someday I might like to remove the plywood. (I will also bolt it through).

Conveniently on the shelf - I have epoxy and Sika 291. Getting most anything else to here is a job for the Internet.




Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
. There does remain the problem to be solved of keeping the lines clear of the vulnerable toe rail.

Are there scupper holes in the bulwark? If so, the OP can locate chafe gear he can apply to them, so they can be used for lines. Dock lines can chafe their way right through the teak.

Ann.
This is lots more food for thought, thanks. Yeah there are scupper/hawse holes just aft of the photos. Whether those will really work with the proposed Samson post or cleats- hmmm- I will get to stare at the boat more soon.

The attachment situation in the bow seems lacking. When tying to a mooring we end up running our line through the base of the pulpit structure. So- resting against the steel tubing. Yeah that’s kind of weird. More puzzles for the future. We tied the line to the now -removed staysail boom mount, or back to the mast in some conditions.

I ordered a couple 12 inch cleats last night to probably put somewhere in the general neighbourhood of the ones in my previous photo. Bolting them through the bulwarks sounds tidier than through the deck. These would mainly be for snubbing the anchor I guess but I know they will generally come in useful up there.
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Old 11-08-2022, 04:44   #11
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

I've got a post identical to the West Marine one installed as a location to cleat off the anchor rode. It's not huge, but it's plenty big enough. And it's a big, sturdy chunk of stainless held on with 4x 1/2" bolts (into a 4 sq foot backing plate under a reinforced section of deck in my case). So as long as it's mounted well, that should hold quite a lot.
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Old 11-08-2022, 06:36   #12
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

While I was re-doing the underside of my delamm'd foredeck, a fellow sailor gifted me a beautiful, used, chromed bronze Samson post. I remover the nearly useless, in-line 8" cleat, spanned the underside with several extra lamms of 1708, added a 10"x10x3/4" ply and applied 4 more lamms of glass from stem back to rib and gunn'l to gunn'l. One could prolly suspend the entire boat by it.
I added 6" cleats/one each side just under the pulpit, inline w/the gunn'l for smaller lines/downhaul with 1/8" ss backer plates.

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Old 11-08-2022, 06:43   #13
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

Go big that’s my advice. If you fit a Samson post make sure it’s very strong as people assume such posts are much stronger then cleats.
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Old 11-08-2022, 11:24   #14
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

It would be nice to have a taller Samson post (than that WM one) in order to have more vertical clearance, especially above the windlass. And yes ‘beautiful old’ sounds a lot more appealing. But I figure I can also make something nice.
More height obviously greatly increases the leverage force
on it, and therefore the leverage force upon me to reinforce it But we got away with murder in the past just attaching things to the staysail hardware. I’m sure I can make something much stronger than what we had before

The underside of the bow there, under the teak deck, is just fibreglass, along with a large backing plate under the windlass area. The core and intermost fibreglass layer there were removed by the PO. So this gives me a blank slate to build it up again. (Although fibreglassing upside down in that area, and prepping to get it to stick, doesn’t look super fun.)
There’s also a partial bulkhead directly under where the post would go. So that’s good.

For DIY, I could probably make my life a lot easier if I just went with a traditional hardwood post, through the deck down to the keel. Since I am not a welder.
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Old 11-08-2022, 13:06   #15
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Re: Ideal cleat layout in the bow?

I'll chime in on the plywood. Marine plywood is an absolutely abysmal material! It has very poor tolerance for being wet, a typical marine situation. While the glue is waterproof, just like all other plywood, the wood itself has no more resistance to rot than conventional lumber yard plywood. If you are going to use it outside, it must be thoroughly protected from the elements.

My last boat had multiple structural components in the bilge made of marine plywood. They all rotted away. Wherever possible, I prefer to use pressure treated lumber. Obviously, they don't make for an esthetically pleasing finish, but if you are painting or glassing it nobody will know.

Marine plywood is an outstanding material to work with. The high ply count and quality veneers make it machine well and look very pretty. And it may well be stronger than lumber yard plywood -- although probably no stronger than any other cabinet grade plywood. Its good points however are not related to typical marine applications.
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