No, no, we’re not planning on spending another year in Newport. No, I’m referring to keeping the boat in one place when she’s either tied to a dock or, more importantly maybe, anchored.
The Westsail 28, unlike her big sister the 32, was not built with a samson post. For those who don’t know, a samson post is a very hefty timber that goes through the deck aft of the anchor windlass and then is bolted to various structural members of the boat belowdecks. It provides a really strong spot to tie anchors off to or to use for towing, etc.
The W28 has cleats on the forward bulwarks which can be used for this purpose but I really wanted something a wee bit stronger. Besides, a guy can’t have too many spots to tie a mooring line to.
So, I bought a couple of galvanized 12″ cleats to mount to the foredeck, one for each primary anchor. I used galvanized instead of $tainle$$ $teel for the obvious reason$ as well as the fact that galvanized steel is stronger than stainless.
Now, before you jump on me for mounting them “crooked”, that is, not parallel to the centerline of the boat, I did it on purpose. When a line is tied off to a cleat it’s supposed to approach the cleat at an angle, not parallel to the cleat. The first turn on each of these cleats will be taken around the aft (inboard) end.
So, these cleats are nice and strong and all but what keeps a bad lurch from just ripping the bolts right out through the deck? Generally some sort of backing plate is used to distribute the pull. Sometimes the backing plate can be something as simple as a big wide fender washer. But that just wasn’t going to be enough for me to get a good night’s sleep while anchored. So I went a (giant) step further.
I decided to spread the pull over a piece of aluminum plate that is 16″ x 18-1/2″ x 3/16″ thick. This spreads the pull over a 240 square inch area which is backed up to a 2″ thick plywood/fiberglass/teak deck. The aluminum is some fancy grade that is supposed to have the tensile strength of steel. So, with our new Rocna anchor, mostly chain rode and these cleats and the backing plate, I think I’ll be able to sleep.
By the way, I normally wouldn’t want to have bolts sticking down so far. But I initially bought 4-1/2″ bolts and when I shoved them through there was only about 1/2″ showing. And that was before I added the aluminum, washers, and nuts. So I bought some 5-1/2″ bolts. Of course, as always seems to be the case, once I put the longer bolts into use I ended up with at least 1″ of bare bolt sticking down. So, maybe the 4-1/2″ ones would have been fine. But by the time I discover this I’ve gooped the bolts up with sealant and changing them would just be a nasty mess. Fortunately they’re not in an area where we would normally be so we probably won’t hit our heads. Also, my ukulele is stowed up there further protecting us from getting bonked.