Cleat on Mast

Thread starter #1
I'm very new to Sunfish. Why do I see some masts have cleats and some not? I personally
like the cleat to tie off halyard and then use excess halyard as a downhaul.

also, I did ask this question before but didn't get any "hits" so here goes...

can anyone please tell me the depth of the mast step on a sunfish? I have all the rigging but
not the hull.... yet. Thanks in advance!

James
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#3
AFAIK the cleat is aftermarket only, hence some masts have 'em, and some don't.
That's correct. The cleat on the mast was 'invented' by the racers, but has spread to others as well. As mentioned, the excess halyard can be used to tie a vang around the gooseneck.
Whatever, make sure the rig is tied to the hull!
 
#4
The mast cleat is good rig for racers and rec sailors. It reduces the down thrust on the base of the mast and thereby reduces the wear at the bottom of the mast hole. Also, with less friction, it makes it a little easier to tack and jybe. But Wavedancer is right on - be sure to run the slack end of the halyard thru the deck eye an back to the deck cleat so you don't lose your rig if you capsize.

Alan Glos
 
#5
The mast cleat is good rig for racers and rec sailors. It reduces the down thrust on the base of the mast and thereby reduces the wear at the bottom of the mast hole. Also, with less friction, it makes it a little easier to tack and jybe. But Wavedancer is right on - be sure to run the slack end of the halyard thru the deck eye an back to the deck cleat so you don't lose your rig if you capsize.

Alan Glos
I have an older fish also and would like to add a cleat to the mast. Can anyone tell me where I should position it? (i.ee how high above the deck once the mast is in place?

Thanks!
 
#6
The Sunfish Class rules allow it to be installed up to 48" from the base of the mast. I have mine at that location, it works fine but could be a bit lower. Just don't put it so low that it could be in the way of your gooseneck.
 
#7
I have an older fish also and would like to add a cleat to the mast. Can anyone tell me where I should position it? (i.ee how high above the deck once the mast is in place?

Thanks!
The best cleat for the job, by the way, is the 'Clamcleat C21MK1' side entry clam cleat. As well as being fast, easy, and secure, it has a curvature to the base that about matches the mast surface, so it seats properly. Use a little 3m 5500 when installing, on the seating surface and a dab in the screw holes both in the mast and cleat.
http://www.clamcleat.com/cleats/cleat_details.asp?theid2=30
 
#9
I followed Wavedancer's recommendation from a while ago and just used a horn cleat.
I still have a horn cleat on my oldest mast and it has been fine for years, but once I started using the side-entry I've never done another horn cleat installation again. The clam cleats have never even slightly damaged any line I have had at all, but then again I don't use the old recreational-grade halyard. Any halyard wear ever has been at the masthead (if that's an issue, btw, cut a bit off every few years andvre-tie) The cleat has never gotten in the way of setting up a jens (at 200 pounds +/-/++ that's admittedly infrequent) and it is a snap to adjust or release quickly, including on the water. I'd give it a try next time (and your sail bag will thank you ).
 
#10
Minifish2, thanks for that feedback. I'll keep it in mind for my next bare mast.

The option to release quickly is interesting. If you tied a boom vang with the halyard tail, can you still lower the halyard quickly?

That's been my frustration - a horn cleat on the deck, then a boom vang, and another horn cleat on the mast makes on the water changes with the halyard difficult.
 
#11
Minifish2, thanks for that feedback. I'll keep it in mind for my next bare mast.

The option to release quickly is interesting. If you tied a boom vang with the halyard tail, can you still lower the halyard quickly?

That's been my frustration - a horn cleat on the deck, then a boom vang, and another horn cleat on the mast makes on the water changes with the halyard difficult.
I guess everyone has their own vang variation, but the way I tie it, it doesn't matter what kind of mast cleat I'm using, or whether there is any at all. Whether with a cleat or not, I use two separate tie-offs on the deck horn cleat - one 'half-cleating'straight from the mast before the vang, and another tie-off to the cleat after. Adjusting between races is pretty simple, just push down on the spar at the gooseneck and take in the slack, to tighten, for example. I should take a picture. Then again others have their own preferences and I'm not suggesting mine is best for anyone else but me - whatever works.
 
#12
I guess everyone has their own vang variation, but the way I tie it, it doesn't matter what kind of mast cleat I'm using, or whether there is any at all. Whether with a cleat or not, I use two separate tie-offs on the deck horn cleat - one 'half-cleating'straight from the mast before the vang, and another tie-off to the cleat after. Adjusting between races is pretty simple, just push down on the spar at the gooseneck and take in the slack, to tighten, for example. I should take a picture. Then again others have their own preferences and I'm not suggesting mine is best for anyone else but me - whatever works.
Great advice--thanks to all...
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#14
With respect to lowering the rig fast, if the halyard is tied to the mast cleat first and then used to rig a vang (with the halyard tail end tied to the cleat on the deck), one will have to untie at two locations.
Personally, I don't think that's a problem, but others may think differently.
 
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