Hull 503 deck cleats


New Member
Last year I purchased hull 503 locally - in excellent condition. I want to replace the original sheet block & swiveling cam cleat (is very crude really, a plastic pulley wheel with no bearings and a simple cam cleat that swivels with it), preferably with deck mounted cam cleats each side in the typical configuration. I am guessing, though, that there are no backing blocks in the locations where cam cleats are now mounted. I can't find any info on this, thought I might ask here if anyone knows whether backing blocks are there, or the advisability of mounting cam cleats in their absence (since the cam cleats would present shearing forces only and not upwards forces).
First, there will be several of us (not me though :rolleyes: ) that advise you against having any cleats whatsoever. You can hold the sheet in your tiller hand while doing adjustments with your sheet hand, and leaving the cleats out is a growing trend, almost standard at the top level.

But if you, like me, prefer cleating, there should be backing plates installed by the builder at the location shown on the measurement diagram:

These have been in that place from at least 1975. So... as your boat is a ’71, this may not be the case. I wouldn’t be too worried, though, as the deck is pretty thick there (the cored part should extend to the edge of the non-skid area).