Mooring Cleats


Fig. 1

Mooring cleats are mounted on docks and boats and are used to secure a boat by wrapping a line around the cleat several times, often in a figure 8 pattern. Cleats are often used in conjunction with chocks in tethering a boat. (1)

Generally, manufacturers recommend just slightly under one inch of cleat for every 1/16-inch of line diameter , which means you need a six-inch cleat for 3/8-inch line, an eight-inch cleat for 1/2-inch line, and a 10-inch cleat for 5/8-inch line. (2)

The drawing to the left (Fig. 1) is a commercial cleat where Dimension A is 610 mm. The ‘Pull Tonnage’ ranges from 5 to 20 tons with that A dimension remaining the same but the other dimensions getting larger as shown in the chart below (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2

Safe Harbor Statement : This is at best a very general guide for modelers. The hope is that is will be “good nuff” for helping to model a marine scene. The example cleat above is 610 mm across the horns or 24″. Using the suggestion above- “slightly under one inch of cleat for every 1/16-inch of line diameter” – this would suggest a 1.5 inch line.

Model Cleat Sizing

Fig. 3

My cleats will only change in overall size. The modeler can then look at the chart (Fig. 3) and decide which cleat works for his/her scale being modeled. A cleat requiring a 1.5″ line that is 24″ across the horns – or a cleat 6″ across the horns requiring 3/8″ line will be different only in size and which model depends on the scale being modeled.

  • If you are modeling in HO and want a 12″ cleat then you need it 0.138″/3.5 mm
  • If you are modeling in O and want an 18″ cleat then you need it 0.375″/9.53 mm
  • If you are modeling in 1:24 and need a 3″ cleat then you need it 0.125″/3.175 mm

MicroMimesis Cleats

Fig. 4

In the chart (Fig. 4) above we have MicroMimesis Cleats down the left side from ~3.5 mm to 15 mm across the ‘Hors’. Across the top are the dimensions from A to I. As I add cleats I will update the links below the chart.

3.5 mm/0.138″
6 mm/0.0.236″