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Old 08-24-2015, 07:15 PM   #1
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Popped 2 Cleats This Summer

Since I purchased my 34 Californian, I've wondered if the cleats were properly secured with backing plates since the area under the stern and spring cleats is so difficult to access. Well, I found out this summer that they are not even through bolted when I popped 2 cleats during separate raft ups with fellow TFers.

First time in May with Dswizzler in his 58 Vantare. The height disparity in our boats resulted in a vertical load on the aft cleat when our rocking boats got out of sync. Out came the cleat, but it remained attached to the line.

The second one came last week when rafted with Giggitoni in his 42 GB. In the past our boats always seemed to move in unison with very little problem. At one anchorage, our boats rocked out of sync and my spring cleat popped off into Davey Jones' locker.

Now I'm shopping for replacement spring cleats and looking for advice on how to access the areas to allow proper back-plating and bolting. Have any fellow 34 Californian members faced this issue? Any solutions?

My current (and only remaining) spring cleat is only a 6 inch cleat and will be replaced with matching larger cleat. I'm thinking of an 8 inch cleat like this one from H-C. It should be able to handle up to a 5/8 line.

8" Stainless Open Base Cleat

I'm trying to avoid an even larger cleat since all dock access to the boat is over the side rails which are lowest just aft of the cleats. I recommend the 'sit-and-spin' method for passengers who are less agile or short-legged. A taller cleat could interfere with this method if they swing their legs fwd as many seem to do. Thoughts and advice?
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:30 PM   #2
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Where there's a will there's a way. Send me tracings and I'll cut custom SS backing plates.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:40 PM   #3
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I popped 2 cleats during separate raft ups with fellow TFers.
So, that explains your reluctance to raft up to me last month! My cleats are welded or bolted on, so I would have been the winner of a cleat contest.

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Old 08-24-2015, 09:19 PM   #4
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I just had a brainstorm! I wondered if my ER vents aligned with the cleats. (These are the two that popped.)

Viola!!





Why didn't I think of this before?

Each cleat can be seen sitting above each vent! That's how I'll access the backing plate area!

Thanks for the great offer, Craig! I think I can get some made locally for the cost of a box of donuts! When I retired, I was granted lifetime machine shop privileges by the Maintenance Dept! I need to stop by and BS with the gang anyway!

HC, how do those cleats look for a boat my size...properly cleated, of course!
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:22 PM   #5
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So, that explains your reluctance to raft up to me last month! My cleats are welded or bolted on, so I would have been the winner of a cleat contest.
Mark, no doubt most all of our boats would lose at that contest. Apparently mine would be out of the competition the soonest. I'll try to fix that, though.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:29 PM   #6
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Al,
Should'a bought brand X.
Perhaps Californian thought the four bolt cleat (compared to a two bolt cleat) was a substitute for backing plates. Do your two bolt cleats (if any) have backing plates?

My Willard dosn't have backing plates either. I assumed it did but when I removed all the stanchions, cleats and Samson posts it became obvious there was no backing plates. I was worried I would'nt be able to reach and attend to the nut end of the fasteners. I can't say bolts as there was no nuts.

I think all the hardware fastenings all are secured w four screws. The screws are quite long and thus is the saving grace. The screws came right out. No backing plates were seen or heard falling. It's possible Willard actually tapped threads into the holes through the considerable amount of FG ... perhaps 2" or more. That amount would be equal to at least two hull thicknesses of FG plus probably some FG matt in between. Or even wood. Saw no sign of that though.

I do consider my hardware very secure.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:30 PM   #7
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I recommend the 'sit-and-spin' method for passengers who are less agile or short-legged. A taller cleat could interfere with this method if they swing their legs fwd as many seem to do. Thoughts and advice?[/QUOTE]

Fly,

I used pop up cleats from Accon Marine AcconMarineWM Home

Looks like the prices have gone up quite a bit. Used the stud models for a cleaner look. No problem with 5/8" line.

Rob
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:20 PM   #8
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So, that explains your reluctance to raft up to me last month! My cleats are welded or bolted on, so I would have been the winner of a cleat contest.

Go ahead Mark, throw me a line. I will raft up with you.
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:40 PM   #9
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My Willard dosn't have backing plates either. I assumed it did but when I removed all the stanchions, cleats and Samson posts it became obvious there was no backing plates. I was worried I would'nt be able to reach and attend to the nut end of the fasteners. I can't say bolts as there was no nuts.

I think all the hardware fastenings all are secured w four screws. The screws are quite long and thus is the saving grace. The screws came right out. No backing plates were seen or heard falling. It's possible Willard actually tapped threads into the holes through the considerable amount of FG ... perhaps 2" or more. That amount would be equal to at least two hull thicknesses of FG plus probably some FG matt in between. Or even wood. Saw no sign of that though.

I do consider my hardware very secure.
Eric, Mine is a wood caprail over the hollow FG gunwale. There's nothing there to tap into. The cleats were held with 2 in wood screws!

Quote:
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Fly,

I used pop up cleats from Accon Marine AcconMarineWM Home

Looks like the prices have gone up quite a bit. Used the stud models for a cleaner look. No problem with 5/8" line.

Rob
Rob, I thought of that, but cutting through the teak rail and fiberglass would leave little structure to hold the cleat. My caprail is about 3 inches wide as seen here.



I've lived with the cleats long enough to know they're there. Bigger and properly secured cleats will be a huge improvement.
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:48 PM   #10
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Hi Al, here are the dimensions on those cleats. Sea-Dog : Quality Marine, Industrial and Rigging Hardware
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:40 PM   #11
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Al,

If you don't have access to the underside of the cap rail, could you possibly use SS Togglers?

When installed properly, they are quite strong.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:21 AM   #12
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You figured out the vent already. For ones that are not so strategicly located, I believe in many areas you can reach the backside or at least see it with a flashlight and some crawling. On at least one I used a long threaded rod, and a bit of epoxy putty to hold a nut and extra thick fender washer in place. The glass is so ridiculously thick that fender washers will more than do the job. You just have to figure out how to get them in place.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:49 AM   #13
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Many new boats are manufactured with substandard cleat installation. It is definitely worth ensuring backing plates are used on fiberglass boats as an incredible amount of force can be applied to these. (especially if used for towing, tying off a drogue, tying off the anchor etc.


I've added backing plates to all but one of the cleats on my boat.
The two rear ones are the most difficult to access. The one I did took me about an hour just to work out the correct yoga moves and body contortions to allow me to position myself so I could see the underside of the cleat. Although they were thru-bolted there was no backing plate. It was an all day job just installing one backing plate.
One left to do once my body recovers.
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:46 PM   #14
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Hi Al, here are the dimensions on those cleats. Sea-Dog : Quality Marine, Industrial and Rigging Hardware
Thanks for those specs, Parks! I think they'll work just fine. Order placed for 2 cleats.

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You figured out the vent already. For ones that are not so strategicly located, I believe in many areas you can reach the backside or at least see it with a flashlight and some crawling. On at least one I used a long threaded rod, and a bit of epoxy putty to hold a nut and extra thick fender washer in place. The glass is so ridiculously thick that fender washers will more than do the job. You just have to figure out how to get them in place.
Thanks for the tip, ghost! I'll keep that method in mind if I need it.

Next I'll be stripping, repairing and varnishing the split caprail on the port side. Each cleat pop caused significant damage to the affixed caprail. When I'm done, these cleats will hopefully be the last thing to ever pop off this boat!
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:51 PM   #15
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While you're at it, you might consider adding or making larger your engine room vents if that is truly all you have. They seem pretty tiny to me to be all you have.

But then again, nothing surprises me with most boat builders.

You also may have trouble going to bigger cleats unless they are custom made. Due to the fact that most larger cleat will have larger bases. Which will mean the mounting hole spacing will be to wide for your cap rail.
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:58 PM   #16
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I saw the order come in Al. Thanks!
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:12 PM   #17
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While you're at it, you might consider adding or making larger your engine room vents if that is truly all you have. They seem pretty tiny to me to be all you have. .
The times I've been on FlyWright, no air "starvation" was noted. Nevertheless, his combined vents are not larger than mine with half the engine(s).

The Coot has an engine-compartment vent on each side of the pilothouse:

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Old 08-25-2015, 09:23 PM   #18
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My boat and these engines have survived 38 years with this size ER vent. I think they're doing fine.

HC linked the cleat dimensions. They should fit fine. If they don't, I know where to return them!
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:44 PM   #19
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Rob, I thought of thatů

Fly,

It does look tight. Glad HC had the solution. Hope the repair goes well.

Rob
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:45 PM   #20
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Yeah I'm sure they have been finding plenty of other places to get their air from. Or at least they have been trying to.
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