cam cleat question

Those of you who use cam cleats as a tow mount, how do you keep the rope from being released by wave action? I set one up on my old school WW boat to make recovering beginner yard sales easier, but it only works in flat water. If waves/features are big enough to be washing over the stern, the tow rope pops out of the cam cleat in short order.

The cleat is mounted on the stern deck near the outside of the cockpit. I’m using 3/8 polypro floating rescue rope. The rope goes from the cleat through the stern grab loop, then back up to a security loop in the center of the stern deck where it’s binered off, total length of probably 8 feet. I only have maybe 6 inches of rope on the release side of the cleat - just enough to grab.


– Last Updated: Jun-19-06 12:53 PM EST –

run mine thru a fairlead, not the rear grab loop. stopper knot in the rope at the distance so you have the 6 inches after going thru the cam clete. pull with a little tension to lock the rope....takes all kind of abuse without releasing.

possiably, your problem is related to no or very little tension in the line when locked

Best Wishes

usually use the Harken 326 clete

and a 425 Fairlead

Hope that clarifies a wee bit

Best Wishes


couple followups
1. How far from the cleat do you mount the fairlead?

2. How important is the wire fairlead? I’ve got what’s probably the same cleat as the one you linked to, but without the built-in fairlead.

not sure how important the wire fairlead on the clete is. I have 4 sea kayaks outfitted with them and have never had any problem. the only boat I have that doesn’t have one is a old school WW boat and on that boat, the tow rope is rigged the same as you described, thru the grab loop…never had a problem with that one releasing either, but it has a jam clete instead of a cam clete…the kind where you push the rope into some stationary grippers…I always just pull it tight, then jam it into the clete.

on my sea kayaks the fairlead position is somewhat determined by where the rear bulkhead and the recessed deck cord mounts are. Generally they tend to be about 10 to 12 inches back of where the cam is mounted (cam clete is mounted at a slight angle so it points at the fairlead). the fender washers have to be able to be used and not have to be ground off on one side to clear the bulkhead.

hope some of this helps

Best wishes


got pic?
I’d appreciate a picture of your setup. Thanks

I’ll play with rope tension, and if that doesn’t work, add a fairlead and stopper knot - might be the fact that I’m using a very stretchy throw rope scrap as the line.