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Selecting Cleats vs Clutches

A recurring question that comes into the Technical Support inbox is "How to better select cleats and clutches?"

Q: Are you constantly going to adjust the line?
Q: Are you adjusting the line by hand or through a winch?

Basically, if you need to constantly adjust the line (like sheets), then cam cleats are the answer. Select Micro Cam Cleats for control lines up to 6mm in diameter. Select the Standard ones for main, jib, and spinnaker sheets or lines up to 10mm. This applies to dinghies up to mid-size boats of around 30 ft. (even if you are trimming using a winch, set a cleat to hold the line).

For high-load applications, such as mainsheets on a Beneteau 36.7, J-105, or similar size boats, the Spinlock PXR Cleats may be a better alternative as they take more effort to release under load. When cleats may be necessary on larger boats, you can opt for an offshore size cleat to accommodate more extensive diameter lines.

Note: Go with V-Cleats if you use single braid lines for control adjustments.

Find Cam Cleats at MAURIPRO Sailing!

Unless they are set on the mast, cam-cleats are not recommended to hold and put halyards (as they can quickly be released by the crew while switching sides through a tack. The Spinlock XAS or Lewmar DC1 would be appropriate for small to mid-size keelboats. For the upper end of the mid-range spectrum of boats around 40ft., select Lewmar DC2, Spinlock XTS, or XCS rope clutches. Larger sailboats should consider rope jammers to hold their halyards or high load sheets. One exception to the rule should be to set a foot block with a cleat for spinnaker sheets.

Shop Rope Clutches at MAURIPRO Sailing!

If you need to adjust a line or trim it by hand constantly, go with a cleat; everything else should require a rope clutch, jammer, or, as pointed out, a foot block with a cleat.

Do not hesitate to contact MAURIPRO Sailing - Tech Support Team, we are looking forward to assisting you select the appropriate sailboat hardware to fit your boat or sailing style.

Happy sailing,

We share Your Passion for Sailing

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