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adding cleats to my Sport 130
Ginny Chapman
#1 Print Post
Posted on 08/10/17 - 2:07 AM

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Joined: 08/10/17

I need to add four cleats , two each side of the boat and I am thinking of putting them just inside or outside rails already on the boat. (these are just side rails)

I am going to put in at a state park that is on the river and there is no actual dock, just a nice ramp but their "wall" consists of concrete bags that have been wet and hardened. This is fine except I need the boat to be easily tied off and to stay put when taking the truck to the parking lot or backing down the ramp to trailer it. There is one 4 X 4 pole you can tie off on that sits in the ground above the wall. My thought is that I could run a line from both cleats and put a loop over the pole...........I do have my bumpers to protect her while tied off.

I am thinking if I have the two cleats on both sides it will be easier for me. I do this myself and am now 68 so it has to be as easy as it can be. I ordered four black nylon 4" cleats which will be plenty just for this particular purpose. I use my anchor off the bow when in the back bays or gulf so these cleats will not be used that hard and never for very long at a time.

My dilemma is that I am not sure I can put the cleats where I want to drill. How do I know for sure........I looked at diagrams but am still not sure.

Can anyone help me?
Ginny in Florida

#2 Print Post
Posted on 08/10/17 - 5:05 AM

Posts: 426
Comments: 2
Joined: 08/29/14

Hi Ginny,

Welcome to Whaler Central.

I can't help you with a specific recommendation for locating the cleats. But if someone here can, they will likely need to know the model year and the model (length) of your Whaler. Right now the only information we have is that you have a "Sport", but that name was applied to many different Whalers over the years.

As far as locating the cleats, as you study possible options on deck, be sure to look at the underside as well to make sure there is space for backing plates. At a minimum, you should use some oversized stainless fender washers as backing plates. So there needs to be enough room on the underside of the deck to accomodate these.

Also, while not knowing the size of your Whaler, 4" cleats seem a bit undersized for this purpose

Ginny Chapman
#3 Print Post
Posted on 08/10/17 - 5:29 AM

Posts: 5
Comments: 0
Joined: 08/10/17

It's the 13' 3" Sport 130, when I joined I put the boat info in where I did my profile and thought that gave my info. Sorry.

Thanks for such a quick reply .


#4 Print Post
Posted on 08/10/17 - 5:55 AM
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Whalers are famous for having no wood to rot, and thus no wood backing support to mount cleats. There is also no access to the underside to mount backing plates. Anywhere you drill, you are likely to hit a thin skin of fiberglass and then just foam. You can try some type of anchor like used for drywall, but in my opinion, those will tear out with any real force. If you have the stainless steel side rails, you can buy cleats that will mount to the tubing at West Marine. The side rails should be strong enough to hold the boat in position at rest with not too many people moving around on it, but if you are looking for something to hold the boat in a absolute solid position while trying to loan and unload it, you may bend the rails in the long term. In other words, your idea is much easier said then done. How about just getting some oversized fenders to protect the boat from the wall that will not , "sneak out", due to the current and using the standard whaler bow and stern eyes.

Jim G.

#5 Print Post
Posted on 08/10/17 - 6:11 AM

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Joined: 11/22/11

The bow and stern eyes are your friend. They are through bolted and strong. They can be used to lift the boat out of the water. I would not add the cleats.

Ginny Chapman
#6 Print Post
Posted on 08/10/17 - 6:33 AM

Posts: 5
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Joined: 08/10/17

Thanks everyone for the quick responses................I am going to check out those cleats that attach to the rail. The biggest thing for me is that the less I have to move around inside the boat while getting in and out, the better. Also I have the bimini to contend with till I'm out and up onto the wall.

This is a great forum.

Ginny Chapman
#7 Print Post
Posted on 08/10/17 - 6:40 AM

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Joined: 08/10/17

I just checked out the add a cleat at West Marine. So my next thought is if I just use of one of those and place it beside me on the rail, I would only have one line to contend with and and one cleat in the middle snugged should keep my boat where I need it for the two minutes it takes to back the truck down the dock. Also this cleat could be removed and adjusted...............
thoughts about only one please? You have to remember there is no "wave" problem and it's a matter of minutes the cleat will be in use.


Phil T
#8 Print Post
Posted on 08/10/17 - 9:18 AM
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Ginny -

We really need more than "Sport" for your model name. There are a dozen models over the 60+ years.

What is the year, legnth of the boat?

Do you have side and or bow rails?

With this information, we can give you accurate advice.

Personally, I use the rear transom eyes and the bow eye to run lines.

1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115
Ginny Chapman
#9 Print Post
Posted on 08/10/17 - 9:32 AM

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Joined: 08/10/17

It's a 2007. I went to West Marine to check out the add a cleats,,,,,,,,,,a gentleman in the store helped me out and showed me a rail fender hanger that I am going to try.............looks pretty promising and no drilling on the boat...........

You guys are great.
Ginny in Florida

Phil T
#10 Print Post
Posted on 08/10/17 - 10:42 AM
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The challenge with adding cleats is there is limited backing material.

Without proper install, it is easy to rip the cleat right out. While straightforward, the consensus recommendation is to use the stern eyes and bow eye for lines. In a pinch, attach to the rail bases.

1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115
#11 Print Post
Posted on 08/10/17 - 10:58 AM
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Ginny go to the Boston Whaler site under Resources you can find a Wood Locating Diagram which would show you where there is a wood backing under the FG skin for possible cleat mounting (if not used for something else already).
I sent you a PM showing where and how.

Skipper E-J
m/v "Clumsy Cleat" a 2008 Montauk 150
#12 Print Post
Posted on 08/11/17 - 10:09 PM
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Ginny: all of these guys who have posted to help you have been too polite! And this is pretty normal on WhalerCentral. Everybody is trying to be helpful.

If you haven't already figured it out, they're telling you to skip the cleat installation and use the bow and stern eyes. I think, having tried the fender hangers (mine were plastic) that they're generally not secure enough to trust my boat to them.

I like your idea of bow and stern being tied to the post at your usual dock. With a no wave, no wake, no current, and probably no wind situation, you're just trying to have your boat not be out in the middle of the lake when you get back from parking your tow vehicle.

For future reference, a very good breakdown of Whaler models can be found here:

Almost every question one might ask seems to require knowing the precise model and year of manufacture in order to get a thorough answer. You can check your boat's hull number against the listing of everybody's boats, found here:

For example, Whaler switched from wood stringers and backing boards to full synthetic at some point. Locations of these attachment points have shifted over the years. Recommended fasteners and recommendations of what can be attached to a boat will change as the model/year change.

So ... more detail from you in the future. Don't worry, you won't bore anybody! We're all Whaler geeks here! And everybody has faced the same challenges you face ... and we're just waiting for a new one to hit us upside the head! Then the fun starts!

Hope this helps ... have the courage to tell the West Marine salesperson no ... you've already got the best line-holding devices in the boating industry.

ClevelandBill Ferry
2015 150 Super Sport 60hp Merc
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