How to tie the cleat hitch

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Maximize your boating pleasure by tying your boat correctly. Always use a good nylon rope with stretch! When I worked at a marina one of the things I did was replace the cleats when a boat ripped them off the dock. Weekend motor boaters would sometimes tie their boats with a piece of ski rope, which has no stretch. When a boat came by and made a wake, their boat would go up and down, jerking on the rope. When a boat that weighed thousands of pounds would rise and fall, coming to an abrupt stop at the end of the rope, it would pull the cleat from the dock. Sailors would sometimes tie their boat with an old piece of sheet or halyard, which also has little stretch. One Catalina 22 tied with an old sheet, ripped the bow cleat through the fiberglass.

Humans have used horn cleats for centuries, and we know how to tie a cleat hitch to fasten a rope to the cleat, but I still notice people inventing their own knots to fasten to a horn cleat. Some of these knots work ok, some hold even better than the cleat hitch, but I don't like knots that are hard to untie. Once I had to untie one of these knots with my knife!

The cleat hitch is easy to tie, even with one hand, and easy to untie, even with one hand. It holds well, and has enouh friction on the cleat to keep the human in control, not the boat.

This video was taken with the Panasonic PV-GS35

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