Advice On Mast Cleat


New Member
Thread starter #1
I've read on the Forum about placing a cleat on the mast to take the strain of the halyard. Makes sense! I plan to install on my 2 boats this spring. I've looked for a cleat with a slightly rounded bottom for better (dry) placement on the round mast, but can't locate. Is there one you fellas have found and used successfully?

Do I need to use a fixant or glue in addition to the screws? If a flat cleat, I would suspect the need for fixant, if only to look good where round surface meets the new flat surface.
O J, I did this upgrade last year. I bought my cleat from Sunfish Direct ($17), but Intensity Sails has one on sale right now for less than $3.00... it is nylon/plastic(?), where the other one is anodized metal. I used 3M 4200 sealant are the edges.

you can't see the edges, but this is what mine looks like, and it works great:

my only comment is that I placed mine at just below the 48" limit per the Sunfish Class rules, and it is very difficult to drop the sail if you are in the water. so if I've jumped/fallen off and am treading water, it's hard to reach up that high to loosen the halyard off the horn cleat.

does putting a cleat on the mast present any sort of snagging hazard for the sail?
I don't think it should. when I raise the sail, it's on the port side of the mast, and I twist the mast to make the cleat be on the starboard side, where the halyard is coming down from the mast cap. I've never had any issues with snagging.


Kevin Mc

Active Member
If you get a nylon (or other plastic) cleat, you can fit the bottom of it to the mast. Just lay a piece of sandpaper on the mast (sanded side up!) and being careful to keep the cleat aligned with the mast, run the bottom of the cleat up and down along the sandpaper until the bottom of the cleat conforms to the mast. Some silicone in the screw holes will keep water out of the mast. I found a suitable cleat at the local Lowe's.
Actually all of mine were repair kits for 16' Hobi Cats. They come with pop rivets with a cup that makes them self sealing to the mast.
If you want to mate the round surface with the flat cleat...wrap sand paper around the mast and sand the plastic cleat to this contour until it matches the curve.

Self taping screws work great. They are quick and easy. All the force is in shear so you don't really need anything else. Seal with 5200. Also take time to put the cleat in the best location. The 4' limit is awkwardly high, but too low and you get in the way of the goose neck. The best location is around 2.5' from the mast bottom.