That would be me, writing in 2014 at Cleat on MastThere are some that feel it weakens the mast. As such, I’d mount it close to the 48” limit per the Sunfish class… gets it further away from the higher bending moments down near the gooseneck.
In my experience mast-breaking is a salt-water problem. Masts on freshwater boats don't seem to break. Although I do recall L and VW's boat getting hit by a Micro Burst that folded his mast like an old toothpickWatch long enough to view his one mast (of two masts) that has fractured at the mast cleat.
I like this hack - and will undoubtedly try it - but I’m not sure that it would take as much force off the deck cleat as a mast cleat would. Unlike a mast cleat, it won’t take on 100% of the force, but rather set up for a 2:1 purchase with a slip knot higher on the halyard. It’s been a while since I have done pulley physics calculations, but it might reduce the force by 1/2…? Still a great and inexpensive alternative to the mast cleat!That would be me, writing in 2014 at Cleat on Mast
Confirmed this year by Lee Montes' YouTube at
Fast-forward to 6:30, where he describes a new "hack" which involves using only a short piece of line to reduce force on the deck cleat.
Watch long enough to view his one mast (of two masts) that has fractured at the mast cleat.