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Proper way to tie up to this cleat?

Posted by Doug Lane 
Proper way to tie up to this cleat?
31 October, 2017 12:51
So, there I was having just successfully docked my (new to me) boat after a successful first weekend of cruising, and I see the attached cleat staring at me as I tried to put a spring line on. Can anyone shed some light on how to properly tie up to such a cleat? There are plenty of videos out there for a standard cleat, but none for this one, or any definitive name for it either! Is it a mooring cleat...bit...bollard...who knows!

This is the sort of thing I frankly didn't worry a lot about when I was hiring, but now that I'm leaving a boat I've bought with my hard-earned cash to the elements for weeks at a time, I'm more motivated! :-)


Re: Proper way to tie up to this cleat?
31 October, 2017 14:28
Have seen those on cruisers a lot, usual arrangement seems to be to put spliced eye around it and then tie off on shore cleat, carry line back and finish with figure of 8 lashing.
The only design advantage seems to be that a rising line to shore will not slip off the cleat.

Re: Proper way to tie up to this cleat?
31 October, 2017 16:29
I believe it is called a horn bollard. But what's in a name?
Re: Proper way to tie up to this cleat?
31 October, 2017 16:36
The spliced eye is as you described from the stern cleat, and that part makes sense to me. I then carried that stern line back from the shore cleat to the mid-ship cleat to create a spring line, and that was the one that I was unsure how to tie off. I did the figure of 8 lashing, but wasn't sure how to "lock" it in the way you can with a standard cleat hitch.

In this particular case, it's only important in as much as I wanted to keep the bow off the jetty. I am not ready to tackle stern mooring just yet, and certainly not with an audience or as in this case, an expensive boat in the berth beside mine! In any case, it would be the same problem in reverse.

Re: Proper way to tie up to this cleat?
31 October, 2017 17:51
Hi Doug, I would take the line around the cleat (take the line to the furthest arm on the cleat first, that creates the maximum friction) with one full turn, then a couple of criss-cross figure of eights and finish by turning the last figure of 8 upside down so the free part goes under the last loop in the middle of the cleat with the fee end clamped under the loop.

A lot depends on the size of the rope relative to the cleat. Sometimes it's better to just take a turn or two round the cleats and then finish off by taking a round turn and two half hitches round the shore line itself.

Interestingly when we sailed on Asgard years ago, they would never let us secure the lines onto the cleats with a hitch. You just did three figure of 8s and left the free end tidy. The argument was that friction alone was enough to hold the line secure and there was never an issue about not being able to loosen it.

I take the view however that with private boats the cleats are not always properly sized for the rope being used so a hitch is always to be preferred. And on Chang Sha the mooring lines are always hitched.

GMY Chang Sha
Re: Proper way to tie up to this cleat?
31 October, 2017 21:01
Hi Doug
Good question to ask, and some great previously offered advice.
We have these horned cleats on our 1977 Broom, they were a little hard to get used too at first as our previous boat had standard cleats. (much easier to tie from)
We use a mixture of Bowline and Spliced eye and figure of Eight with locking turns, which all worked well even in the recent storms in a relatively exposed mooring.
There are lots of ways to tie up a boat, but the best way is a way that is obviously secure and easy to undo in a hurry.
Bow and Stern Lines stop movement out or away from a jetty or pontoon etc.
Spring lines to Fore and aft stop forward and reverse movement.
One thing I always look out for when mooring up is to make sure that all of the lines take an equal load, ie forward spring line and Bow lines, should all roughly have the same tension when force is applied on them, and the reverse in the other direction.
On explanation
A spring becomes a spring line when it passes a 45 Degree angle past its cleating point.
The first thing I always do when I come in to any mooring is
1. Tie up Fore and Aft first, let the boat settle
2. Allow a little slack, never have the Fenders tight to a wall or jetty, for 2 reasons one on floating jetties when people move up and down on them, the jetties sink and this can put a lot of load on your lines and cleats, the other reason would if you sleep on board with tight lines you will be awake all night with Fenders rubbing and squeaking
3. Too Tie the spring Fore and aft you can do this in either of 2 ways. A. from a midship cleat down to a jetty cleat front and back.
OR B. from your stern and Fore cleats onboard to a point on the Jetty or Pontoon roughly mid way on your boat.
4. You can also spring forward from your boat or away from the rear, if there was no available point to tie too
5. You can also have permanent dock lines left at you home port, this will save time tieing up after you return to your home port ( I do this as my kids go mad when I am messing with the lines, they say it takes longer to tie up than to get Home!!!!!)
Hope I made some sense of this for you
Regards Robbie
Re: Proper way to tie up to this cleat?
31 October, 2017 22:54
Thanks everyone for the tips! Much appreciated!

Robbie, I actually used your approach of tying stern and bow lines first and letting the boat settle. Unfortunately, due to the relatively short jetty finger, the bow decided to settle straight into the forward jetty, aided by the wind. All in a day's learning...
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