Horn cleats on a tandem kayak deck

I’ve just acquired a SeaScape .5 fiberglass tandem kayak. This boat has two horn cleats in front of each cockpit. Are these necessary, or even useful, or would it make more sense to replace them with lashing hooks or something else?

Maybe someone had it rigged for…
sailing ?

If it was me, I would take them off.

Just use stainless bolts to fill the holes. Put a rubber washer under a stainless washer under the nut, or use a captive nut with a nylon bushing.

I would think they would just get in the way.

Jack L

Paddle Park ???
Mariner kayaks used a system of such cleats combined with a bungee cord (crossing the deck) just in front of the cleats. If the paddle is laid on top of one cleat and the bungee is pulled back over the paddle and hooked on the cleat the paddle will be held in place with one blade in the water. If the paddle is place across both cleats and the bungee is pulled over the paddle and around both cleats the paddle is held horizontal with both blades out of water. This system is supposed to be a quick release so that if you just grab the paddle and pull up and back it immediately comes free.

If you go to www.marinerkayaks.com and call up the owners manual you can find this system described and some drawings of how it works.


Paddle park, Northwest Kayaks
Is this a Northwest Kayak? If so, many of their models had/have the same cleat/bungee paddle park system as Mariner had.

It’s a nice feature IMHO
You have a problem with it?

It’s a Northwest kayak
and I guess the cleats were meant for a paddle park. I can see how it’s a convenient system, but using 4" cleats seems like overkill.

And the cleats don’t have backing plates, or even washers, under the deck, and it seems like the poor leverage-to-support ratio could make them a liability when the boat’s being cartopped or handled off the water. There might have been backing plates once, but it seems like most of the maintenance was done by an eight-year-old who had a tendency to lose things.

You might want to go through the Mariner owners manuals and read more about the paddle park and the bow painter and some of the rigging options. The cleats on my Mariner are also used to keep the bow painter in place. It allows the painter to be rotated and the painter attaches at the cleat which makes it easier to pick up a painter after it is realeased from a dock rather than having it tied to the bow toggle and also possible to tie in something for towing right at your cockpit, but then rotate it forward for towing and then rotate it back when time to release it.

Mariner had some unique ideas about functional deck rigging.


No problem, but
one of the cleats on the kayak is broken and I was wondering if it was functional enough to be worth replacing, or if I should try something else. I’ll probably replace it for now–with a backing plate-- and see if I like it when the boat is repaired enough to be seaworthy.


– Last Updated: Jan-27-13 2:32 PM EST –

On my Mariner I had the cleats were kind of recessed and those on the .5 stick straight up in the air. You can set if up any way you want. I could see those hooking on other kayaks perimeter lines in a rescue. There's nothing written in stone you have to rig a kayak the way the manufacturer did.
Basically the rigging is for your use, if you don't see a need get rid of them or try something else.

I got used to having the recessed cleats on the Mariner so that when I outfitted other kayaks I ended up installing 1" webbing loops or a ss D ring on the foredeck for attaching a painter or quick tow line.