Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Moderator: GreenLake

Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby Noley » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:23 pm

I solo the new-to-me DS2 a lot and the previous owner never bothered to really set the boat up well for single-handling. He thought he did, but it's mostly stock and is a capsize waiting to happen, so I have to do something.

Part of my approach is to make the jib more manageable by adding cam or clam cleats for the jib sheets. There are flat spots on the centerboard trunk that could take cam or clam cleats for the jib sheets. (I prefer cam cleats and Harken has some that will do what I need.)
SO... What are the gotchas for putting cleats on those spots? I don't like to rely on screws for anything that takes a load so what will I need to do to put some washers or metal plates as backers for through bolts? It looks like some fiberglass surgery would be required and I'm OK with that, but need to hear from others.
ALSO... who has this arrangement and how well does it work?

Part of this idea is also changing the existing Shaefer fairlead/cam cleat on a track setup on the seatback to a block on a track (same location), possibly with a ratcheted block. What do other people do?

I'm also replacing the existing 3-part mainsheet set up with a 4-part (I have a defective lower fiddle anyway) and am probably going to a ratchet block, which will be easier for my daughter to handle in the winds we normally encounter.

Thoughts and experiences?
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby GreenLake » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:30 pm

Ratchet blocks are definitely good. Not all ratchet blocks are created equal; one interesting review (with actual testing) found that of all ratchet blocks tested one design had double the holding power of the rest.

Screws (bolts) are not as bad as you think if loaded on shear (sideways), as they would be in this application. I would not go for sheet metal screws, precisely, but perhaps machine screws with washers and nuts. There may be a bit of room at the top of the CB trunk so that you could fit washers and nuts there without affecting the ability to raise the CB all the way.

On my DS1 I didn't have the "flat spots" that are molded in the CB trunk cover for the DS2, so I ended up with an adapter plate like this

712

You can see that I am using non-captive cam cleats. I prefer those because one can be sure that a jib sheet that is released will not re-cleat itself. The downside is an occasional need to push down on a sheet to make it cleat. I do use ratchet blocks for both jib and main.

1818
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby TIM WEBB » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:54 pm

There *might* be metal (bronze? SS?) plates embedded in the fiberglass under those lands. There definitely is under the land for the mainsheet block. Seems like this question came up not too long ago. If there are plates under them, you could easily drill/tap for machine screws.
Tim Webb
1979 DS2 10099 The Red Witch
(I used to be Her "staff", in the way dogs have owners and cats have staff, but alas no longer ... <pout>)
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby Noley » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:48 pm

Hey GreenLake, thanks for the come back.
What ratchet block came out on top? I see you have a Harken in your photo. Not all block makers seem to have them so am thinking Harken is the choice. Used those in Solings and on my Laser.

I know you have a DS 1, so I need to hear from a DS2 owner about what is under the flat spots on the CB trunk. It would be nice to do the job without having to cut into the trunk, so I will have to see what can be done. I also have to repair the foredeck that peeled back, so it would be a good thing to spend less time on the sheeting arrangements!

I was also thinking non-captive cam cleats would be better. There are a couple different designs of the captive ones so I have to poke at that a bit. I do like that the captive ones keep the sheet right at the cam. Useful when out alone.

Is there a place on this site that has an easily viewable gallery of how different people have rigged their boats? I can think of multiple ways to do things but seeing what others have done is always the best way to avoid re-inventing the boat.

And TIM: I wondered if that might be tappable. Maybe someone else will know. I'd love to be able to tap it and put in bolts with some LocTite Blue on them.

Take care, guys!
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby TIM WEBB » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:54 pm

I guess there's only one way to find out, and that's by drilling and seeing if you hit metal, but it sounds like you will be drilling anyway? I had a DS2, but never installed cleats on those lands.

Good luck with that foredeck repair - you're not the first one. While you're at it, you might consider some additional stem head reinforcement in there, as obviously the gooped-in L-bar failed to do it's job ...
Tim Webb
1979 DS2 10099 The Red Witch
(I used to be Her "staff", in the way dogs have owners and cats have staff, but alas no longer ... <pout>)
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby Noley » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:45 pm

Tim,
Thanks for the input.
I have had a look from the inspection port under the cuddy. Am about to enlarge that port to maybe 10" and add another to make working easier. I found there was zero connection from the stemhead to the metal plate that is embedded on the inside of the bow. There is a 1.5 strip of steel on the inside of the bow, embedded in old epoxy but no evidence of any connection to the stemhead, although part of the plate may have broken off at some point. Don't know. I will probably drill through the bow and the embedded plate, then through-bolt to a new fabricated L-shaped bracket bent to attach under the stemhead. It will be a project, but when I'm done it WILL NOT come apart again. Also need to replace the wooden backer for the bow eye, although that is less critical at the moment.

Then I get to grind off the old epoxy and re-attach the foredeck. Not sure what I'll use but am leaning toward West Six10. Together these will be a "bonding" experience! haha.

Then I'll play with the jib sheet blocks. It'll all be worth it, won't cost a ton, and will make the boat a lot more secure and with the new main and jib sheeting, a lot easier to sail.
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby TIM WEBB » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:55 pm

No prob!

So, your boat has a port in the forward cuddy bulkhead? That's a good start. Mine did not, and I elected to put the port on the foredeck, mainly for easier access. My need was for replacing the boweye, inspecting that L-bar, and also to open up some additional storage space forward (I was using the boat for extended multi-day cruising).

Some of the pics I've seen of boats whose foredecks have departed the hull have been horrific. Several had the stemhead screws completely missing the L-bar, others right on the edge. Mine seemed to be fine (pics in my gallery). Some owners added an attachment between the underside of the stem head and the bow eye, with reinforcement on the latter. Sounds like you have a plan of attack in mind, and are not intimidated by such a project, which is a good thing!

Having never had to re-attach the deck to the hull on my boat, I'll leave suggestions on that to others more knowledgeable, but it seems that 5200 was the weapon of choice. I *did* use some of that stuff along other areas of the hull/deck joint where the filler had cracked/fallen out.

Good luck, and get some pics of your progress!
Tim Webb
1979 DS2 10099 The Red Witch
(I used to be Her "staff", in the way dogs have owners and cats have staff, but alas no longer ... <pout>)
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby GreenLake » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:26 am

The ratchet block in my picture is a different brand than the jib track (and car). I was able to take apart an existing non-ratchet block jib car and retrofit the ratchet block of my choice.

Epoxy vs. 5200?

Good question. 5200 is generally not appropriate for anything that you need to be able to take apart at any future point in time. It can be cut with piano wire, I read, but everyone appears to agree that it should be considered permanent.

Those conditions would be met for your project, so I'm not worried about that. It also would appear strong enough and have the appropriate characteristics in terms of filling gaps, etc.

I have heard that for hull/deck joints for bigger boats, people even use other products that are a bit lower on the "tenacity" scale than 5200; but I don't know what drives the selection. Could be cost or other factors, but even if 5200 is bit of overkill, that shouldn't stop you. It's said to be messier to work with than epoxy.

On my boat, somebody (most likely a previous owner) has added a layer of glass to additionally bond deck and hull. That makes the connection more similar to what it would be if it had been epoxied in place. These glass tabs show no signs of cracking etc. from which I conclude that a totally rigid connection isn't an issue.

That means you should be fine with a bit of thickened epoxy glue (if you can keep the gaps down). I haven't used six10, but I've used System Three's GelMagic and T-88 (the latter is their "structural" epoxy glue) out of the cartridge and wouldn't hesitate to use either one for this kind of repair on my boat. (You might want to compare the specs but I think they are similar)

Given experience with my boat, nothing would speak against reinforcing the joint by an additional bit of glass tape on the inside. That would be an insurance against the case where you had gaps that pushed the gap-filling limits of your epoxy glue.
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby GreenLake » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:31 am

My answer to not losing the jib sheets where I can't reach them is to simply tie the ends together. Drives some people bananas who are not used to that (and who, as crew) have the free hands during the maneuver to not need that trick. But a "continuous" sheet and non-captive cleats mean that I can grab the sheet anywhere it's in reach and just pull in the required direction. I use that a lot when sailing with inexperienced (or very young) crew who may suddenly be in over their heads and need some assist. A mode you might call 1.5 handed sailing...

If you have a captive cleat, you can pull only from the end, never on the part of the sheet between the block and the cleat, because if you do, you can't cleat it (not without pulling the slack out with your other hand). That, in turn, drove me bananas when I sailed on a boat that was equipped that way.
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby Noley » Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:06 pm

Thanks, GreenLake. Good input.

Had never thought about tying the jib sheet ends together to make a "continuous" jib sheet. I think it would drive me (and my usual crew) crazy, but I can see where it could be a good idea.

I realized after I posted last time that you have a Harken track and Ronstan ratchet blocks. I had somehow missed on looking up Ronstan hardware and after checking I think it's a good choice. I will probably order their jib and mainsheet ratchet blocks as they seem to have better holding power than Harken, and are less expensive. And either make is more than strong enough for a DS.

It's too cold to do the bow repair now. Boat is in a barn/garage that's not heated so I'll have to wait. But I can do the sheets, blocks and halyards, and the spreaders, have reef points put in the main, and etc. A couple of friends will also have insights on which "glue" to use for the bow. One is a West System fan but he's an engineer and often makes things too complicated.

My DS2 had not been sailed in about 10 years and the PO was a very casual sailor, so the boat needs some work to get it to where it needs to be for our needs. But by next season it will be reborn! I'm able to put it on a mooring, so I have to get that in the water in April. I had it on a borrowed mooring last August but have to put in my own next year. Haven't decided if I should moor to the bow cleats or replace the bow cleats with fairleads and put a larger (well backed up) cleat on the foredeck. Since I have to do the bow repair swapping the cleats for fairleads (or adding fairleads) might be good since I'll be on a mooring all season.

The mooring area is generally good but can get a surge in big winds so I need to make sure the mooring and boat can handle a blow. If it gets bad while I'm there I can move the boat it to a spot where it would be safe, or just haul it, but if I'm not there I want to know it will stay put.
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby GreenLake » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:13 pm

Where are your bow cleats on a DS2? On the DS1 we have a central foredeck cleat with the line lead through a fairlead next to the forestay. That arrangement guarantees that any pull on the cleat is parallel to the deck. Nevertheless, in a scenario like yours I would make sure whatever backing is used on the cleat is still good and solid (for the DS1 it's wood with a good chance of some dry rot).

System Three makes "ColdCure" epoxy which does not, unfortunately cure the common cold, but instead will cure down to 35F. Perfectly fine to use for this application, but you would need to mix it in a separate container (have not seen it offered in a cartridge). If there are gaps to fill, you may need to thicken it a bit, so it doesn't run.

But that aside, it should help extend your season a bit. (BTW, It can be used as-is as a laminating epoxy).
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby Noley » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:43 am

On the DS 2 (or at least on mine) the bow cleats are just aft of the stemhead on each side. I'd use the same spot for new fairleads with solid backing plates. Then I'd put a horn cleat (about 8") on the foredeck with a very solid backing plate behind it. At least on mine, DS2 foredecks are solid glass, so less worry about in terms of rot.

Like I said, the boat needs some love, and was always dry-sailed on lakes. We're putting it in the salt and have things to address. (90% of my sailing experience is on the ocean (and in bigger boats), so I probably think about boat stuff from a different perspective than some DS owners. But whatever....
One cool thing is a neighbor gave us a free 8' dinghy to get us out to the mooring! Needs some minor fixing, but is much better than using my kayak!
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby GreenLake » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:02 pm

It's probably overkill to mount two fairleads; the original DS1 was delivered with only one, on the SB side.

Now, you may be overthinking things a bit. A DS weighs around 600 lbs. It should be possible to hold that using the deck cleat configuration that you have, assuming there's suitable backing for the cleat.

The area near the stemhead is generally pretty strong, with the one unknown being what actually holds the cleats.

On a DS2, the shrouds are held by the hull-deck joint (with a half pipe or pipe as backing) - something you might inspect/beef up on your boat, as keeping the mast up on a mooring would likely test your chainplates over time.

For the cleats, if they are likewise mounted on the joint (with the bolts/nuts on the outside) that might not be enough for strong loads that pull sideways, and perhaps in that case your plan is the simplest. However, if the bolts go inside the boat, then backing up the existing cleats with (metal) plate or L-bracket might be all that's needed.
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby TIM WEBB » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:36 pm

This pic shows the backing plates for the DS2 bow cleats:

1998

As long as your hull/deck repair is sufficiently strong, they should work fine. For a mooring situation, many use a bridle employing both bow cleats.
Tim Webb
1979 DS2 10099 The Red Witch
(I used to be Her "staff", in the way dogs have owners and cats have staff, but alas no longer ... <pout>)
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Re: Putting cleats on the CB trunk

Postby Noley » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:02 am

Great input from Tim and GreenLake. Thanks, guys.

The underside of my foredeck/bow is just what Tim's photo shows. Both cleats are backed up with steel plates. I think the plats could be a bit bigger, and that could be changed. Still the cleats are through bolted and the bottom side is inside the hull (nice and dry).

I know the boat doesn't weigh much but the constant motion in the cove where the boat will be moored me a little. I'm probably overthinking (I'm known to do that!) with fairleads and a deck cleat so if go with the existing cleats I'll do as the guy from Maine on the pbase.com site suggests and do a double mooring pendant with unequal lengths. This makes a lot of sense and is still overkill, but cheaper than losing the boat or repairing holes in the hull! I tend to be a bit paranoid/neurotic about this stuff since the lee shore in a normal high wind or storm is all rocks.

Tim, I see that you have a metal bracket under your stemhead. My boat had none at all. I'm amazed it held together as long as it did.
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