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Ensign Sailing Forum

Bow Cleat
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Steve Mohr, #220
Too Too Oh!

I think I know what you'll find, Gary: lots of randomly sized foam blocks, many of which you'll need to move to get to the cleat bolts. As part of our Ensign's restoration, we replaced all of the cleats this year, using the line drawings, plans, and parts lists available through the ECA as a guide for size and placement.  It sounds as though your bow cleat is original as its description matches the one we replaced and the deck layout plans as well.  We decided on a more traditional look for the cleats, in part because I was having trouble finding a four hole, 7" aluminum cleat whose footprint and hole spacing matched the original bow cleat, but also because we thought it would look really cool, so we went with cast bronze cleats through Spartan Marine in Maine and ordered off their website.  Their 7" bronze cleat matched almost exactly, needing no new holes, just a tiny bit of modification.  All cleats are now bronze, with the chocks and blocks polished stainless.  The hardware looks great against the new Bertram white Awlgrip deck and cabin top.

Back to the bulkhead.  Several years ago I needed to refit the bow chocks as one had pulled loose due to spreader nut failure.  My solution was to reglass from underneath to eliminate the large holes needed for the spreader nuts, fabricate backing plates, and remount/bed the chocks with standard, stainless nuts/ bolts, lockwashers.  In order to make room for me to scrunch far enough forward to reach the chocks, I cut a hole in the bulkhead just large enough to squeeze through and then made a door from mahogany marine plywood and teak trim when finished with the chocks. I also fabricated a removable box so that we had a chain locker of sorts for the anchor, rode, and USCG required 100' of line.  That idea has worked out great; now the anchor etc. are stowed out of the way and, when I had to go back into the bow to replace the bow cleat it was no problem at all, except the access hole apparently had shrunken during the intervening years, making it a tighter squeeze for me to get through. We only lost a little floatation due to the chain locker addition because I broke some larger pieces so that I could jam the smaller ones into more places.

So there you have a long answer to a short question.  Hope it helps. Best of luck with the project.

Looking to replace what I believe to be an original bow cleat, built 1964. measures 7” long, 4 hole bolt pattern. Center to Center is - fore/aft 2”, port/stbd 1 3/4”. Not sure what I’ll find when cutting hole in fwd bulkhead, hoping to accomplish with just an access port for reaching nuts with hand rather than big hole?
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