Halyard cleat

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by minifish, May 9, 2009.

  1. minifish

    minifish New Member

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    Thirty minutes into christening the newly restored boat, the halyard main cleat stripped from the deck. :rolleyes:
    It is the only thing I haven't repaired on this boat, lol. And imagine my surprise when the sail came down on me and I realized the cleat was gone.
    But my knot held and never released the cleat so I still have it. :D (good sailor 101 gold star)

    So I have a plan and wanted opinions which may range from "Great idea" to "Just put your sailing gloves on the table and leave".

    The minifish is slightly different than the sunfish. The cleat is right next to the mast and there's no bull's eye fairlead, or what have you, that the halyard runs through to go back to the mainsheet cleat. So the halyard pulls up on the cleat without any other items to help with the load.

    I've yet to inspect the wood underneath, but I suspect that I should be able to drill out the hole and hopefully small amount of softened wood, stuff some marine tex in there, and reattach.

    Would it be better to run screws into the wet marine tex or let it cure in the holes, redrill holes and screw it in?

    If the wood is soft, I'ma be pissed. I've already got two inspection ports and would need a third in order to get to it. :mad:
     
  2. Webfoot

    Webfoot New Member

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    Put a cleat on the mast to tie off the halyard. Run the mast cleat bolts through to the other side of the mast and use locknuts, you'll never ever have to worry about it again. Get some of those machine screw anchors that have the burrs on them at the hardware store. Drill and sink them into the cleat holes on the deck using epoxy. Reinstall the deck cleat and use it to tie off the loose end of the halyard to keep from loosing the mast when you tip over.
     
  3. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    As Webfoot wrote. You want to take the (halyard) 'load' off the deck.
     
  4. minifish

    minifish New Member

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    Yes, I see.

    As per the attached pic, where would you suggest putting the cleat on the mast so it and the loose end of the halyard are not in the way? I'd like to have the option of a low rigged sail.
     

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  5. 58984 EW

    58984 EW Member

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    About 3 feet above the deck.
     
  6. minifish

    minifish New Member

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    So I drilled holes for the cleat on the mast using a handy dandy drill press. To my surprise, the cleat was not drilled square from the manufacture so aligning things was the pits.:mad: So, it's slightly crooked but will work.
    I just hope my OCD doesn't find out.
     
  7. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    It's too late now for minifish, but for the others who will be doing this job:

    • Drill the first hole in the mast at the appropriate height (hand drill should work fine)
    • Loosely attach the cleat to the mast with screw
    • Drill the second hole, through the opening in the cleat
    • Seal and set the screws
     
  8. minifish

    minifish New Member

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    My problem came from the cleat. I should have drilled through the cleat first so that I have a straight hole. This cleat came with one that is cock-eyed. :mad:
     
  9. Webfoot

    Webfoot New Member

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    So the holes in the mast are correct but the problem is the cleat? Sounds like it's just a matter of finding a cleat of the same type that is drilled correctly and replacing the current cleat. Maybe eaiser said than done. Thanks for the heads up, I'll take a trip to WC Marine and see if them high priced official Natuical Cleats are any better.

    A drill press would be my first choice to try and get the holes lined up on both sides of the mast.
     
  10. NightSailor

    NightSailor Captain

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    This is exactly how I do it. Except I don't use screws. I use a racing clam cleat and (2) 3/16 rivets at the height of 35 inches. Screws will work fine. I prefer rivets because they are easy to drill out and replace if they start to corrode.

    As someone already mentioned, if you drill one hole, you can insert a pop rivet without setting it and then center punch the other hole or use the cleat for a guide to start drilling the second hole. (2) rivets will hold and that eliminates any funky looking thru-bolt sticking out at an odd angle. Dab a little silicone on the opening when done.

    Here is what I use for a cleat. I have not yet dabbed on a silicone--I'm changing my coaming from screws to rivets and plan to do the silicone last.

    [​IMG]

     
  11. davavd

    davavd OldNSlow

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    Has anybody tried threading the boltholes for the cleat, so you don't have anything sticking out the other side? I know the aluminum isn't that thick, but there are two (or maybe even 4) and it isn't that much load. If it didn't hold, then you could either rivet or drill through both sides and through-bolt.
     
  12. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Through-bolting isn't necessary, IMHO.

    I have sailed with a halyard cleat mounted on the mast with two screws for about five years now and haven't noticed a problem. I don't sail that often, but the rig has seen stronger breezes (up to about 25 mph).

    Has anybody had a halyard cleat torn out off the mast?
     
  13. davavd

    davavd OldNSlow

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    Wavedancer, did you use machine screws & threaded holes or thread-cutting sheet metal screws?
     
  14. Webfoot

    Webfoot New Member

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    3/16 aluminum pop rivets with aluminum mandrel have a shear strength of 700 lbs. 3/16 Rope is around 5000 lbs pull strength. I'm not sure what would break first but I have a feeling the gaff would bend into a v-shape long before anything else broke.

    If you're going to use machine screws, it sure sounds like a good application for Rivet Nuts.
     
  15. baldessariclan

    baldessariclan New Member

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    So where do you get and how do you install rivet nuts (rivnuts?)? Do they make them where you can install with a standard pop rivet gun? How do you keep rivet nuts from loosening and spinning in the holes when you're trying to put in / take out stubborn screws?
     
  16. 67stang

    67stang Member

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    www.fastenal.com
     
  17. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    It's been a long time and my memory isn't getter better :(
    No threaded holes though; I just drilled the holes and bought (stainless steel) screws that fit the cleat.

     
  18. P323

    P323 New Member

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    Doesn't the cleat on deck also serve to keep the rig attached to the boat when capsized?
     
  19. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Yes; after tying the halyard to the mast cleat, the end is passed through the bulls eye fairlead on the deck and then tied around the deck cleat. Racers also tie a vang with the halyard. Such a vang will also prevent the rig from liberating itself.
     
  20. johnnywo

    johnnywo New Member

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    I have installed more than a dozen mast Halyard cleats. DON'T drill all the way thru the mast, BAD idea. The nuts on the other side will rub the sail when on port tack and I have seen masts break and drilling through both sides only weakens it unnecessarily. .#8 by 1-1/2 inch long stainess screws OR stainless rivets work fine (not aluminum), The small 3 inch fiber reinforced plastic horn cleats (2 bucks) work great. I race these and they will hold the halyard with a truckers hitch giving 3 to 1 purchase (really tight). Put them in line with the halyard about 2 or three feet up the mast. You definitely want to get that kind of load off the deck!! Then run the halyard tail through the deck eye and lightly tie off on the deck horn to keep the mast from falling out if you flip, OR better yet always tie a Vang, even in light air a small amount of vang helps so why not use it? And in strong wing it is essential to flatten (depower) the sail by really honking on it so that the lower spar is bent.
     

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