A line tied to a cleat on a dock. The line comes from a boat off the top of the picture, around the right horn, around the left horn, across the cleat from top left to bottom right, around the right horn, and then hitches
around the left horn.
A jam cleat. The rope is free to run around the lower part of the cleat (below the screws). The upper part is tapered so that the space between the cleat and the boat gets smaller closer to the screws. Hence the rope jams in the cleat when it is pulled downwards.
In nautical contexts, a cleat is a device for securing a rope. The traditional design is attached to a flat surface or a spar and features two “horns” extending parallel to the deck or the axis of the spar, resembling an anvil.
Other cleat designs include the following.
- A cam cleat in which one or two spring-loaded cams pinch the rope, allowing the rope to be adjusted easily, and quickly released when under load.
- A jam cleat in which the line is pinched in a v-shaped slot.
- A clam cleat (or jam cleat) in which the rope is held between two fluted stationary pieces. Such a cleat vaguely resembles two halves of a clam shell held back to back. It is more compact than a cam cleat, but the rope is less easily released under load.
A cam cleat on the main sheet of a sailing yacht. The rope passes between two cams, which resist a pull in a direction away from the camera.
A cleat hitch is a a knot used to secure a rope to a cleat.
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