Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cleat as fairlead

A hollow-base cleat, such as this Swedish design or the famous Herreshoff cleat (pictured below), can be used as a fairlead. In the photo, I had secured Journeyman alongside a pier. Had I secured the stern line directly to this cleat the line would have been only three feet long, a sure formula for a broken line or strained gear if a powerboat went through throwing a wake. (A line too short lacks give if strained.) By taking the line to the opposite quarter I was able to give it a length of seven feet or so. With the pierside cleat acting as a fairlead, the line would lead correctly even if the boat shifted.

The Herreshoff cleat.

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