Posted by: Dan Sprague | November 1, 2012

Dock Cleats that are Decorative

Dock cleats can be decorative and whimsical.

Dock cleats do not have to be boring. You can make cheap, functional and unique dock cleats easily.

A good wooden dock cleat will last as long as the wood on your dock. If you make them from a defect free, fine grain treated wood, it will hold up for years. If you use a non-treated wood, use a good sealer and paint or varnish it, on all sides before mounting it to your dock and bed it when you do mount it.

I first started by making traditional shaped dock cleats. Then when I found an odd scrap of wood that looked like a fish, I got the idea to make unique shaped cleats. Dog Bone Shaped, Fish Shaped, Bird Shaped, Mermaid Shaped, and any shape I could come up with. I made them from scraps of wood I had, so there was little or no cost.

Whimsical cleats do give a unique look to your dock. I tie our dinghy to a frog and a fish. My sailboat is tied up to dog bone cleat and a mermaid cleat. My wife’s boat is tied to classic shaped wooden cleats (to match her classic boat).

dog bone shaped dock cleat

My day sailor is tied to a dog bone cleat…my dogs idea.

fish cleats

Whimsical fish cleats

When you mount a wooden cleat, use a flat headed lag screw or bolt with a flat washer. If you use a V toped screw or bolt, you can split the cleat when you tighten it down. When I mount the cleat, I use a bedding that will stay a little soft. I mount the cleat and tighten it down so some of the bedding squeezes out, but I do not tighten it down fully. The next day after the bedding has set, I snug it down. This gives a better seal between the dock and the cleat.

Try making a wooden cleat, whimsical or otherwise. It is fun, us useful and it can be made from scraps.

Dock cleats do not have to be boring. You can make cheap, functional and  unique dock cleats easily.

Fish boat cleat

A fishing boat cleat…or a Fish on boat cleat 😎

yellow bird cleat

little bird line holding cleat

Gator Cleat
Al-E-Gator cleat…also it made a nice kid’s pull toy.
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