Where to Mount Boat Cleats
Otherwise referred to as mooring clears, boat cleats are fixtures that are used to secure vessels to docks. Ideally, cleats should be sturdy, resistant to corrosion, and securely positioned on areas of the boat that offer optimal functionality. Faulty cleats can result in damage to the boat, any surrounding vessels, and the dock itself. Plus, they can be a potential safety hazard if your boat somehow gets loose.
In addition to being manufactured from strong, durable materials, cleats need to be properly placed on the boat. There also needs to be enough of them to make tying up easy and quick. As a general rule of thumb, the more cleats you're able to install, the better.
Below, we’re discussing everything you need to know about mounting a boat cleat.
Common Materials Used to Make Cleats
Boat cleats are commonly made from wood, nylon, galvanized steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Wooden cleats add a decorative accent but are particularly vulnerable to corrosion, and aluminum options may be too lightweight for larger or heavier vessels. Stainless steel offers superior corrosion resistance, durability, longevity, and provides a pleasant aesthetic if you keep them polished. Meanwhile, nylon legs eliminate issues caused by friction, such as rattling, when the boat is in motion. The most important thing, however, is to choose cleats that are strong enough to do the job, and stainless steel certainly doesn't disappoint in that department.
Types of Boat Cleats
Various types of cleats exist, and which kind to use is largely a matter of customer preference as well as the specific environment on the vessel. For example, pop-up cleats, sometimes called safety cleats, are quite popular among those who prefer to minimize potential onboard safety risks, such as parents with young children who intend on making family boating trips a regular part of their recreational activity. However, some experts believe that safety cleats are a good idea no matter what the passenger demographic is.
At GemLux, we carry the following four types of cleats to satisfy a variety of customer needs:
Cutting Edge Pull-Up Cleats
An improvement on traditional pop-up cleats, our cutting edge pull-up offers enhanced functionality that completely eliminates rattling, ensures the best possible corrosion-resistance, and is designed to provide a flush fit even if placed on uneven surfaces. These come in three different sizes to suit your personal needs and preferences and can be conveniently pushed down for safety and aesthetic purposes when not in use.
Our standard cleats provide a classic alternative that offers the same superior durability and resistance to corrosion as our pull-up cleats. This option is suitable for all situations and comes in three sizes.
Flat cleats are designed to provide a more even distribution of stress when boats are tied up and are ideal for keeping large, heavy vessels safely anchored. Ours come in 13 sizes.
Hollow Base Cleats
Our hollow base cleats are lightweight, durable, and come in seven different sizes.
Where to Install Cleats on Your Boat
In general, the size of the cleat you choose should correspond to the type of line you use to tie your boat up. Meanwhile, the ideal line depends on the size of your boat. The standard rule of thumb is that the length of the cleat should be one inch for every sixteenth of an inch of line.
In addition to choosing the right size cleat, you should also carefully consider where you place each one. Cleats should be installed at regular intervals on the sides of the boat—conventional wisdom says the more you can fit, the better. At the very minimum, you should have three cleats on both the port and starboard sides of your vessel. Remember, every dock is different, and you rely on cleats to keep your boat as safe and secure as possible when it's tied up.