Cleat (nautical)


An original cleat from HMY Britannia

In nautical contexts, a cleat is a device for securing a rope.


Types of cleat designs include the following:

  • A horn cleat is the traditional design, featuring two “horns” extending parallel to the deck or the axis of the spar, attached to a flat surface or a spar, and resembling an anvil.
  • A cam cleat in which one or two spring-loaded cams pinch the rope, allowing the rope to be adjusted easily, and quickly released when under load.
  • A jam cleat in which the line is pinched in a v-shaped slot.
  • A clam cleat (or jam cleat) in which the rope is held between two fluted stationary pieces. Such a cleat vaguely resembles two halves of a clam shell held back to back. It is more compact than a cam cleat, but the rope is less easily released under load.

A cleat hitch is a knot used to secure a rope to a cleat.


  1. ^ Ashley 1993, p. 286.


  • Ashley, Clifford W. (1993) [1944], The Ashley Book of Knots, New York: Doubleday, p. Dust jacket, ISBN 0-385-04025-3

External links

  • Grog. "Cleat hitch". Animated Knots. Retrieved 2017-01-23.