Eliminate deck cleats and eliminate the headache!
For years i struggled tying my main sheet, Cunningham and fore-stay using those little cleats. A few months ago i decided to try something new with the adjustments and experimented with simple and effective ways to make my life a little easier. The result is a simple and easy to do boat hack that makes adjusting the tuning points that previously used cleats quick and accurate. I replaced the cleats with bowsies! Probably not that unique of an idea but i did it and it took less than a hour. You will need a few bowsies and some line. The only major modification i have made is i had to drill holes through the center of the cleats. Although you could even skip this if you wanted to. You will also need some of those fishing snap swivel clasps from the local fishing supply. Make sure you get some with a hook in the end like those in this photo. I ended up using two different sizes. The smaller one worked fine on the Cunningham, but the fore-stay has a much greater load on it, especially when your fore-stay catches another boats rig. So i had to try a few larger sizes each time i suffered a catastrophic failure. Next you may have to re rig some parts because you will need more line. I ended up removing the old Cunningham and installing a new one with plenty of line. I decided for a little more precision i would implement a 2 to 1 system so that with each mm of adjustment on the bowsie it pulled the line ½ mm. I also rigged these up so the mast could be easily removed. The cunning ham runs through the goose-neck, through the new hole in the cleat and forward to the snap hook. Then forward to the fore-deck fair-lead and bowsie. The fore-stay runs from the jib boom, through the fore-deck fair-lead then back to the snap hook. The snap-hook is secured to the deck cleat with a bowsie set up for 2 to 1. The added benefit is i can quickly adjust the mast rake as conditions change. I tuned the boat using the tuning guide to medium conditions rake, then put a sticker on the deck adjacent to a knot in the line. Now i can quickly move the jib boom up and down and thus change the rake on the fly. The main sheet was a little easier. I removed the cleat and put a bowsie on the line using the rudder post as a turning point. If you have a short main sheet you will need to re-rig this. I find that i don’t have to change the main sheet tuning that often. But after getting my main sheet caught on the cleat and losing a few spots on the course I decided to eliminate this problem by implementing the cleatless solution.