One of the first things you’ll learn when becoming a sailor is how to tie onto a cleat. Like most things in sailing there are options.
There are two main recognized knots used for fastening a line to a cleat. The first is the cleat hitch and the second is called the OXO method. American’s tend to use the cleat hitch as that is what’s taught through ASA. The RYA teaches OXO. They both work well and it’s up to you to determine which one you want to use.
For me, I find the OXO method easy to remember.
The cleat hitch isn’t as intuitive and it’s easy to get it wrong. What I do is the OXO knot and then I will add a locking hitch in at the end for good measure. It drives Simon nuts because the lock can sometimes prove difficult to get off when the line is under extreme pressure.
For me, I like to sleep at night knowing that my knot is super secure.
How To Tie Onto A Cleat – Cleat Hitch Knot vs OXO Method Video
Ironically, the evening after we recorded this video we decided to tie lines from us to two other boats around us. We were all on mooring balls and there was no wind. The other factor was that we were on a lockdown – we couldn’t leave the boat. The most we could do is swim 15′ around our own boat.
Thinking creatively we decided to pull our sterns together so that we could all sit on the back of our boats and have sundowners without breaking rules. I fastened one of the lines to an aft cleat and things were fine. I did my typical OXO and locked it off with a hitch.
Simon, being Simon, got annoyed at me and had to redo the knot. I’m not sure what kind of knot he did, and to be fair it was a super slippery floating line, but it came undone!
Moral of the story – do an OXO with a locking hitch. Hehehehehe.
Your thoughts about how to tie onto a cleat?
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