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The Different Types Of Boat Cleats – A Comprehensive Guide

Whether you’re a long-time boater or just starting out, the word “cleat” can be confusing. Boaters use this term to describe a variety of boat parts and hardware accessories with different purposes and functions. This article will help you understand what types of boat cleats are available so that you can choose the right ones for your needs.

What is a cleat?

You might have heard the term “cleat” before, and you might even know what it is. But if not, we’re here to help!

A cleat is a device used to secure a rope or line, usually for securing boats at their dock. It’s typically made of metal (although sometimes nylon), and has a hole through which ropes pass through and are secured by other means. The shape of this hole varies from model to model; some may have two arms facing in opposite directions while others resemble two hooks placed side by side. This variance comes from the fact that there are several different types of boat cleats available on the market today—and knowing which type you need will ensure that your boating experience is safe and efficient!

Different Types of Boat Cleats

When it comes to boat cleats, there are a variety of different types you can choose from. Each type of boat cleat has its own pros and cons, so you should be aware of what each one offers before making your purchase.

Below is an overview of the different types of boat cleats:

Pull-up Cleats

Pull-up cleats are used to hold a line or rope in place. They can be used in conjunction with a spring line, which is a line that is meant to help with docking and mooring. Pull-up cleats can also be mounted on the deck of your boat (or on another surface) so that you have easy access to them if you need to secure something quickly.

This type of cleat can often be found made from stainless steel, although some manufacturers offer aluminum versions as well. They may also come with an opening for an optional padlock, which adds extra security for your boat’s lines when it is unattended

Curved Cleats

Curved cleats are a great option for securing your boat to the dock or another boat. Curved cleats can also be used to secure your boat to a trailer if you’re transporting it. They’re often used on vessels with large drafts, as they help keep the vessel from moving during rough water conditions.

Pop-up Cleats

Pop-up cleats are the most popular type of boat cleat. They are easy to install and remove, and they are available in various sizes and shapes. Pop-up cleats can also be used with multiple types of boat fittings, as well as stainless steel or aluminum.

Open Base Cleats

Open base cleats are used to attach ropes and other equipment to the deck of a boat. They are designed with an open design, which allows them to be used as both a mooring cleat and a fender cleat.

Because they can be used on either side of the boat, they can also be mounted on either side of your vessel’s hull. This means you should mount them at least six inches from any edge so that it is safe for everyone aboard your vessel when using this type of cleat in conjunction with other equipment such as fenders or lifelines.

Folding Boat Cleats

A folding boat cleat is easy to use and can be used on the dock or at anchor. It folds up when not in use, which makes it convenient for storage.

This type of cleat is useful for securing your boat to the dock, as well as attaching spring lines, bowlines and breastlines. Folding boat cleats also work well with round turns and two half hitches (a knot that’s used for securing a rope to another object).

Standard Boat Cleat Sizes

A standard boat cleat has a diameter of about 3/4″. The size of these cleats is measured by the radius of their holes, which means it’s not an exact measurement. They can be found in sizes ranging from 1″ up to 3″ or even larger, depending on what you need them for and the capacity of your boat. These cleats are typically used for boats that don’t have a lot of weight going through their deck hardware (they’re mostly used for mooring lines). However, they are also used in racers because they don’t take up too much space on the deck and they’re easy to reach when needed in an emergency situation such as a capsize or collision with another vessel.

How to Choose the Best Boat Cleat Lengths and Depths For Your Boating Needs

Choosing the right size boat cleat is a crucial part of ensuring that your boat stays in one piece. However, choosing the right depth and type of boat cleat can be just as important when it comes to making sure your boat stays safe and secure. You can visit Boat Outfitters to find the right boat cleat for your needs. They have a wide selection of boat cleats available in different sizes and depths to match your boating situation.

To choose the best size for your needs, first look at how many lines you need to hold on to and where they attach to your vessel. Then consider how much weight each line might carry, whether it’s just a few feet of rope or an anchor weighing several hundred pounds (or more). If you’re going out on rough seas with heavy winds, then look for heavy-duty metal ones; if this isn’t necessary for your type of boating activity then less expensive plastic ones will suffice just fine.

Next up: choosing a depth! You’ll want something somewhere between 3 inches up all the way down around 10 inches – anything lower than 3 inches might not provide enough support; anything higher than 10 inches may cause problems when trying to maneuver through tight spaces – but there’s nothing wrong with experimenting until finding what works best!


We hope that our comprehensive guide has helped you better understand the different types of boat cleats and what they do. Now that you know more about them, it’s time to get out there and start finding the perfect ones for your needs!