Features May 2010 Issue

Eight Sailboat Cam Cleats Tested on Doomsday Device

Cam cleats tests mimic real-world use of cleats from Harken, Garhauer, Seldén, Spinlock, Ronstan, and Schaefer.

Practical Sailor frequently tests sailboat cam cleats and their applications and even developed a machine for testing cleats: Doomsday. For this test we requested production cam cleats designed to handle 3/8-inch line and received products from Harken, Seldén, Ronstan, Garhauer, Schaefer, and Spinlock. The Doomsday machine runs the cleat through a series of tests to evaluate fuzz, neck, and abrasion, with results showing what we can expect from a cleat after a season of use. The models tested are just a sampling of the range of cam cleats offered in various sizes and materials. A racing sailor, who probably uses cam cleats more frequently than a cruiser and who is keen to keep weight down should consider a composite model. At the other end of the spectrum, a cruiser who is more concerned about durability should consider one of the heavy-duty cam cleats in the test.

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