Best Way to Repair Torn Off Cleat & Beef Up Back Side

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by HighFly_27, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. HighFly_27
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Bonifay, FL 32425

    HighFly_27 HighFly_27

    The 1970 Islander 37 went through a storm and broke free from it's morring. The stern (strbrd.) cleat was torn off and a bow line was snapped too.

    I have asked around... was told that -- I should add a backing plate & goop up the area & add oversize washers too. I have included pictures, should I do all the cleats (beef them up), the fiberglass is only (est.) 1/16" thick.

    Let me know how much beef up (what type & thickness) material you'd use. This is a 8 in. cleat with 2 x 2 in. (sq.) bolt pattern.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Hard to say. The damaged cleats pictured dont look like mooring cleats. They look like they are intended to cleat off a genoa sheet.

    Mooring cleats should be MASSIVE, both in size and structural reinforcment and correctly located to achieve the best entry angle for the mooring line. .

    The bottom picture shows a decent looking glass backing plate. Looks good to me.
     
  3. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Think: "Load distribution".

    That's the job of correctly designed, sized and installed backing plates.
     
  4. HighFly_27
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    HighFly_27 HighFly_27

    The Underside of these Cleats is Less than 1/16 " Thick

    Here's the labeling of the (7) pic's:

    Pic. order, starts at top, goes left to right 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.

    1. Location -- stern cleat, starboard side, on corner.

    2. Same Cleat, turned up side down (laying on white table), matt. seems really thin, less than 1/16" Thick.

    3. Sister Cleat on port side, no damage.

    4. Winch & 8 in. Cleat on starboard side, located on rail top, located about 2 ft. back of cabin wall.

    5. Shows the bottom side of No# 4 with the two different bolt patters.

    6. Underside shot of torn out cleat (pic. 1 & 2.).

    7. Underside shot of Good Cleat (pic. No# 3). Note, this underside shot shows a built up boss area but it's a thin area (1/16").

    I think that all these Cleats & Winch areas could/ should be built up. The Cleat that tore out.. does not appear to have had that much strain on it. I don't want my cleats to pop out like pop corn. I never had a sailboat and do not know the intended holding strenth of cleats (boat weighs 15 K). However, I need to know that I can trust these cleats to hold in stormy weather. Now's the time to build them up. I do know that multi lines is the way to secure any boat, not with 1 or 2 two tie off lines.


    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  5. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    you just need to spread the load out over a large enough area to prevent the pull through. The weaker/thinner the hull material, the larger and thicker the backing plate. There is a design calaculation for it but it just depends what you expect the maximum load on the cleat will be.

    I do not know know what standard practice is, there is some point where there will be less damage to the hull if the cleat pulls out than if it stays attached, most damage usually comes from the hull bashing against the dock.

    Designing a cleat to be able to lift the weight of the whole boat off one cleat would be deisgn overkill, but it would not be a bad place to start if you want strong cleats.
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Petros has some good points about how strong a cleat needs to be. Do you want the whole corner of the transom to come off next time, or just some holes where the washers pulled through.

    I'm a big fan of stout cleats and the best way is a backing plate of G-10 laminate, glued to the underside of the deck, with fender washers under the fasteners. Plywood is often used, which is also good, but not inert like G-10, though a hell of a lot cheaper. Metal is also good, but most times you'll need someone to cut it and drill it, which can drive up costs too. You have a picture of a G-10 backed what ever shown. The picture above it, shows a typical production approach, regular washers, which pull right out (probably what you had). A better, not too costly method is a fender washer and a regular washer, under the nut. It will not pull though as quickly, but will if you really abuse it. This might be the best option between bullet proof and not even close enough. Possibly a light plywood (1/4") or thin G-10 plate and fender washers can be an in between method.
     
  7. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Having the transom ripped out is a lesser evil that it breaking fee and bouncing against a cement wall and taking the side out. You can not forsee and protect or manage storm damage.

    That cleat you had would have held very little and was not meant to.

    Some cleats are meant to do more that others.

    Some owners fit large cleats just to hold an awning. A new owner will think the large cleat is indicative of its ability.
     
  8. HighFly_27
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    HighFly_27 HighFly_27

    I Think I've Got a Middle of the Road Fix (figured out)

    This Boat Broke Away from it's morring and ended up as a salvage boat. I'm guessing, only a bow line (snapped) and this one cleat was torn off (in a heart beat).

    So, I could reinstall the cleat like a hard point on a bull dozer. So, when this boat gets in a storm situation.. it will tear the side or the back of the boat off ! I have been told by experienced folks.. the fiberglass matt on this boat is fairly thin (1/16"). So, I'm going to add a 1/4 or 3/8 backing (plywood) plate & reseal it with lots of goop.

    If, my plans hold up (next 3 yr's.)... I will be miles & miles from Bonify, FL and may be caught in Wx. at Port X. I want all my cleats to hold a reasonable load. 1st reason, I think this torn off cleat failed due to thin fiberglass (1/16") matt. 2nd, they had only two lines on the boat (none too brilliant). I bet the tugging load when the storm kicked up.. was less than a 1000 lbs. of surge/ pop type loading. The line pull coming from the top... was the worst possible pull angle. If the cleat had it's direction of pull from the side, it would have stood a much better chance of holding up. I think they were lazy, throwed a couple lines on the boat & disappeared.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  9. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    I think you are right --as said this cleat was for tieing off the winch only.

    Check your winches have got backing plates.
     
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Tieing off a boat is a dieing art. The key really isn't how well a cleat is secured as much as how it's lines are lead. I've prepped for a number of storms and hurricanes and you can tie up a boat to withstand most anything except a direct hit. A moored boat is very likely to part it's painter, but a well crossed set of dock lines will keep it where you need it, unless a storm surge has it's way with it (lifts it up and places it on a piling or dock or worse).

    If the boat is to be moored, a stout bit, not a cleat is in order, with a level of redundancy to insure she stays on the block.
     
  11. HighFly_27
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    HighFly_27 HighFly_27

    Yes Sir, I Got Your Point !

    I'm just a New Guy and have a lot (tons) of information to learn. Some of it will make the difference between a damaged boat or worst. I have been reading & reading in - Chapmans & Annapolis Seamanship books. I'm going to a 3 day refresher course in December and more training in 2013. I will be looking around in April to hire a very experenced skipper to train me on my boat. I've been an instructor (test pilot) in the army and value a good instructor, they can teach you so much (if they're sharp & communicators).

    I have learned the art of tieing down helicopters in bad weather and it's a tricky business too. The tie down ropes & chains need to be set correctly or damage will (big $$$ bucks) result. Also, I can see that in Hurricane levels 5, 4 and 3's ?.. bad stuff can & will happen ! I have seen all the boats piled up against one another and they are junk. So, I'll do the best I can and hope for the best. Sometimes luck is on your side, sometimes you get the shaft and still did everything Right.
     

  12. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    The cleat should be installed with the same robustness as a winch. When a properly installed winch is overloaded and fails , its spindle breaks, it does not tear out of the deck.

    The sign of good engineering is when every cleat or fitting...regardless of its intended use... is fastened in a way that when overloaded, the fitting mechanically fails before it pulls off its substrate
     
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