Installing cleat on mast

Thread starter #1
I have noticed some racers install a cleat on the mast to avoid loading up the mast step when you tension the halyard. The rules say it can be installed no higher than 40" from the deck. Any ideas on the best way to install and the best height? New masts have sleeve insert to stiffen mast, which I understand is 17" or 18" long. Would it be advisable to install cleat low enough to have the fasteners for the cleat catch the sleeve for better backing or do you think it would interfere with gooseneck operation at that level?
I believe the correct height is no more than 48" from the base of the mast. This picture is helpful:

Wavedancer gave me some pretty good tips in this older post, about reasons to use the horn cleat (instead of a cam/clam cleat). I just ordered a horn cleat, and will probably install it towards the max end (higher off the deck), but still within the 48" limit set by the Class. I will probably install it with self-tapping screws or pop-rivets.

Thread starter #3
I intended to use a horn cleat as well. What size cleat did you order and out of what material is it? I called APS for info about the deck cleat and it is 3 5/8" long and made of fiberglass reinforced synthetic of some kind. I noticed at the local West Marine that they have a 3" brass horn cleat that was about $6.
Definitely avoid the brass horn cleat as brass is not compatible to aluminum. Just look at a gooseneck area on an old Sunfish and the corrosion that occurs. Use aluminum or plastic.

I just installed the horn cleats on both my Sunfish mast and my Super Porpoise mast. I pre-drilled the mast, smeared a little bit of 3M 4200 sealant on the back of the horn cleat, and then screwed them in with #10 stainless steel metal screws. I put some blue masking tape right at the 48" max distance from the base, and then installed the cleat just below the marked line.



through bolting is way overkill , hard to have completely centered unless using a drill press , and two more holes in the mast you do not need. Many are comfortable with aluminum rivets , personally just used SS self tappers , alittle dab o 4200 , and a west marine nylon horn cleat , quick , easy , adequate , DONE ! (it ain't BMW Oracle)

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Any reason not to just thru-bolt it with 3.5" machine screws?
It is more like "is there any reason TO thru-bolt it?" and the answer is no. It is only suseptible to shear forces, so rivets or self-tapping screws is all you need.

The previous post has lots of good reasons not to thru bolt it, and another is that you will have the heads of the screws, or the nuts, scraping against the sail on port. Or you can tape over those, but then you'll get goo from the tape on the sail. There is just no reason to thru bolt it.