Date: Fri Aug 24, 2001 8:44 pm

My Seawind has cleats on the inside surface of the port and starboard toe rails. What were they put there for, and if they are on other boats, what is the intended function.

Date: Fri Aug 24, 2001 9:07 pm

Midship cleats are most often used to secure spring lines.

The uses for spring lines are many and varied. Mooring alongside a dock or even another boat using spring lines prevents fore and aft movement by securing one or more lines from those cleats to positions further forward or aft. Spring lines are invaluable tools to check down the forward motion of the boat when slowly approaching a dock. Often they are used to allow a vessel to maneuver away from a dock when another vessel is blocking your direct passage.

Date: Fri Aug 24, 2001 11:41 pm

I've got midship cleats on the genoa track, port and starboard on City Bird (k113). I dont think they were standard equip. Yours must have been an add-on by previous owner(s).

Date: Sat Aug 25, 2001 7:59 am

I have cleats on my jib sheet track also. The cleats I was asking about are near the bow and mounted on the inside of the toe rail so that the top of the cleat faces the other cleat, one cleat on port and one on starboard side of the boat and mounted onto the inside of the toe-rail.

Date: Sat Aug 25, 2001 8:04 am

The cleats I was asking about are nowhere near midship. They are at the bow slightly forward of the main bow cleat. They are mounted on the inside of the toe-rail. One cleat on starboard, the other on the port toe-rail, mounted so the top of one cleat faces the top of the other.

Date: Sat Aug 25, 2001 8:30 am

That certainly creates another mystery.

The best guess is they were custom installed in anticipation of a special use.

My boat has two bow cleats mounted through the sprit and deck. They certainly have been more than enough. However, the previous owner (had installed ?) two midship cleats each side, mounted as you describe, on the inside of the toe rail. Even as I find them useful and out of the way they were my very first major leak. They had been secured by bolts with washers up inside the void in the bulwark. That void being very narrow to access I was to soon find that of the 8 total bolts installed only six had nuts on them and the leak I had thought was from the hull-deck joint had actually been through the un-sealed and carelessly and improperly secured cleats. I have since through bolted them in the same position. Even this is not totally to my liking as the pressure of the lines when in use, flexes the cleat base and still causes a minor leak.

Possibly, with this information, you may wish to investigate the leak potential of the cleats on your boat.

Date: Sat Aug 25, 2001 8:56 am

Adding holes in the deck is always a last ditch solution. I agree with the extreme usefulness of midship cleats, and have installed one on each side, but slipped them on the forward end of each genoa tracks, so that no new deck penetration is required.

Date: Sat Aug 25, 2001 11:01 am

From your description of the actual location of the mystery cleats- perhaps they were installed to tie off jacklines for use offshore. I'm assuming you also have two stout cleats on the foredeck for

anchoring (which is what I would use for jacklines.....). If a previous owner opted to use say 3/8" line for jacklines they would follow the gunwales aft somewhat and be out from underfoot. Webbing would probably be better for jacks as they remain flat on deck...

Date: Sat Aug 25, 2001 7:45 pm

Possibly your cleats were used in this manner.

Assume your vessel is tied in a slip. The bow line that leads out to port passes through a fairlead and then leads to the starboard cleat. The bow line that leads out to starboard passes through a fairlead and then leads to the port cleat. In this manner the line that passes through the fairlead has a fair (no tight turns) lead to the cleat. The lines go across the deck to the opposite side for attaching to the cleats.

Another possibility is that they were used for lifeharness webbing attachment. I use flat webbing and run it from the forward cleats aft to the stanchion post near the jib winch. In this fashion I can leave the cockpit at night attached and work the foredeck if necessary, although I try to avoid it during very rough conditions.

Date: Sat Aug 25, 2001 6:49 pm

I remember now that my lifelines had a netting strung through them. These cleats were used to fasten the netting.


Date: Sun Aug 26, 2001 9:51 am

The forward end of my Genoa track is almost at the fwd entry stanchion, allowing the cleat to stand slightly aft the middle, so that turning the sheet around it prevents the sheet from standing across the entryway, one fewer foot snagger...

That fwd position is just far enough for the snap shackle to accomodate the yankee's sheets when that jib is hanked on the flying inner forestay. It is not perfect for the 80 sqft 10oz storm jib despite a 3 ft cable at the dek end, which I may have to lengthen a bit. I do not have an additional jib sheet track inside the Genoa track, hence the snap shackles.

Offshore, I have both set of sheets in place, as the yankee is stored in its bag, but fully hooked on the flying forestay, which itself is hooked at the aft chainplate, with a plastic gard strung along the forward edge of each spreader.

Date: Sun Aug 26, 2001 4:37 pm

Needless to say I have often looked to put a staysail up there but suspect it has fallen to a far lower priority lately. Is my jealousy showing?

In any case put in another long day at the boatyard to with several things seem to actually work after my ministrations. Electrical circuits to the mast were ripped out and redone. Portside cabin light circuits and serviced the seacocks. I think I have forgotten how to say "Stop!" in this project. Monday afternoon the new "A" list will be written. Just exactly what has to be done for launching and not much more. The brightwork can wait for next spring as well as a few more hoses and fittings. I am now chewing on the bit and need to go sailing. I suspect she does also.