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adding cleats?


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Hey again

So my boat (4.3m aluminium runabout) has no cleats other than a single bollard at the anchor well. I don't spend masses of time tied up to piers... generally just when I launch/retrieve and at those times I've been tieing off to the fore and aft handrails, but it's quite possible that at some point I'll want to pull up somewhere and tie up for lunch or something. To that end I've been wondering if using the rails (they're welded on, not bolted) is enough or if I need to put some cleats on? And if I do, can I simply drill through the gunwhales (1.6mm aluminium) and bolt them on with some big s/s fender washers behind them, or do I need to mount them to something more substantial?

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generally speaking, the handrails will suffice in most cases.  tying up to a jetty or pylon doesn't take a lot of holding force.  it would only be if you were trying to tow another boat or similar that you could run into dramas.  if you go down the path of mounting cleats, large backing plate, big washers and heaps of sikaflex or similar between the alum and stainless to stop electrolysis.  

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For a 4.3m i would just use the welded on rails. This would be more than enough.

Cleats especially if they are not flush mounted can cause a few issues:

1) Tangles with cast nets

2) If you have a painted hull - water paint bubbling 

3) Electrolysis (depending on what kind of fasterners you use (dissimilar metals)



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