Mailport & PS Advisor

The Herreshoff-style aluminum cleat on Mark Baldwin’s Sea Sprite 34 Ella broke during a storm, but it held in place. He is replacing both his bow cleats with silicone bronze cleat (top) from Spartan Marine.

Mailport: Cleat Sense

Regarding your recent blog post on cleat strength (Inside PS blog “Striving for a Stronger Boat Cleat”), a stout-looking Herreshoff-style aluminum cleat on my 1984 Sea Sprite 34 failed while moored in a storm in Maine last fall. The wind and waves were strong enough to lay the boat on its beam ends, with bare poles. The aluminum failed near a 5/16-inch stainless bolt, but the other three bolts held, as did a similar cleat with a backup line to the mooring. Take the problem seriously: there was no obvious sign of failure before it broke, and had it been a two-bolt cleat I think the whole thing would have gone. I’m replacing both cleats with bronze cleats from Spartan Marine.

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