I use a small plastic cleat with stainless screws, drill pilot holes and put a drop of 5200 on the threads. I unexpectedly tested it in 36 knot winds and it held fine.
To tie in a vang, use the extra halyard from the deck cleat, back through the deck fairlead, up over the gooseneck and back...
Don't sell yourself short.
Someone much smarter then I suggested that learning with substandard equipment results in substandard training.
If you know your equipment is at it's best, you can focus on refining you, which I think is your goal.