Sunday, December 02 2012
It’s amazing to me when I walk down a dock how many times I see a beautiful boat tied the dock and the lines are wrapped around the dock cleat in such a way that I wonder if that person ever stopped to think how that looks to the experienced eye?
Yes, those 8 or 10 wraps around the cleat mean that boat is not going to get away, but, a properly tied cleat hitch is a simple, efficient, and safer way to restrain your boat. Being able to release a line quickly is also an important safety factor to always consider.
A proper cleat hitch starts with the line coming around the base of the cleat passing under each horn once and then crosses over the middle to make a figure eight, again, going under each horn ONCE.
As you do the second crossing wrap, the line is twisted under to form a half hitch locking the line to the cleat. No other wraps are needed or make the line any more secure!
CAUTION! When twisting the line under to form the half hitch, be sure to twist so that the line comes out laying next to the first wrap, across the middle of the cleat, forming a figure eight! Twisting the wrong direction makes the last wrap go along the side of the cleat, not across the middle. This results in a knot that can be pulled tight into the base of the cleat and be very hard to untie!
The free line that is left over can be coiled on the dock in Flemish Coil which, with a little practice, is very easy to do, takes little time, and looks very neat and yachty.
Now you have one more detail of your boat that is properly done for all to see!