Deck cleats vs. bow eye for mooring

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Deck cleats vs. bow eye for mooring

Postby Tipster1 » Sat May 22, 2021 12:22 pm

I've recently replaced OEM 1975 bronze bow eye that was showing wear from SS #3 snap. New bow eye is SS u-bolt.

I've seen opinions that using bow eye for mooring is a mistake. Is this true?

If so what kind of line would you use to connect to mooring cleats in open harbor? Current pendant was inherited and is 3/4" - with large snap shackled on. It was set up for bigger boat. It looks huge. If I am to tie off to deck cleats, is 1/2" nylon enough? Both cleats? Or 5/8? Boat store guy was non committal - "What ever let's you sleep."
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Re: Deck cleats vs. bow eye for mooring

Postby jalmeida51 » Sat May 22, 2021 3:55 pm

I would not use a bow eye to moor a boat. I would use a deck cleat, that being said I would prefer to use a stainless or bronze cleat over a nylon cleat. Not sure if nylon cleats would lose their strength over the years sitting in the sun. My boat had the original nylon cleats that were over 40 years old. I changed all of them. Make sure your deck cleats have back up plates under the deck. Make sure the cleat horns are mounted fore and aft. If you change your cleats buy ones made in this country not China.

The last boat I moored was a Rhoes19 c/b about 1,200 lbs. It was moored in a rather exposed mooring field. I used a Yale Cordage premade pendant, 1/2 inch, breaking strength about 10,000 pounds. It came with a stainless steel thimble with a moveable chafe sleeve to prevent chafing in the choke position. ( where the line rides in the chocks ) I wouldn't worry about the pendent breaking but I worried about chafe that is why I always used a chafe sleeve.

One other thing if your mooring is in a town or city that has a harbormaster you should check with them to see if they have requirements on moorings.

John
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Re: Deck cleats vs. bow eye for mooring

Postby GreenLake » Sat May 22, 2021 6:36 pm

As John writes, bow eyes aren't recommended. This is mainly because they are not strong on side loads, and the single bolt ones in particular have a way of parting suddenly after years of service. For the same reason, they are really not ideal for docking either - except for very temporary tie up in an area free of wakes.

My DS has a central cleat on the foredeck and a fairlead in front next to the forestay. Both are bronze. (Which models used Nylon?) The foredeck cleat attaches to a part of the foredeck that is reinforced. If I were to contemplate mooring, I would review the state of that, although it seems fine when used for periodic docking.

A DS isn't all that heavy, about 1/2 the displacement of the Rhodes 19 that John describes. So 1/2" would be oversized, but therefore have a bit more reserve in case of chafe. If you go up too far in size, the line doesn't stretch as much for the same load, so, with the DS lighter, any forces would be transmitted more abruptly - but that only starts to apply when the loads are large enough so that the entire system, even the mooring cable, is stretched taught. So, that may be more of a theoretical concern.
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Re: Deck cleats vs. bow eye for mooring

Postby jalmeida51 » Sun May 23, 2021 7:59 pm

I totally agree with Green Lake that 1/2 inch pendent is over kill for a boat under 20 feet. That is what the harbormaster wanted where I moored up on Cape Cod. My Daysailer 1 built by Rebel had nylon cleats when I bought it about 3 years ago. Just guessing they looked like original cleats. Replaced all of them with the next size up. I dock my boat at a really protected boat yard. If I ever moor my boat, I will upgrade to a stainless or bronze cleat on the foredeck.

John
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Re: Deck cleats vs. bow eye for mooring

Postby GreenLake » Mon May 24, 2021 12:20 am

You never know what you can use things for My DS came with 7/16" (!!) docking line --- rigged as the main sheet! Or was it 9/16". Too long ago. Anyway, it was massive.

When docking, I find myself tying the stern off on the far cleat a lot. Not a fan of really short runs of docking line.
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