Tying Your Boat to a Cleat

By on May 26, 2015

Over the years, I’ve noticed that many boaters have a problem correctly tying to a cleat at a dock or on their boat. Following these five steps will make it easier for you to tie-up, untie, and leave your boat secure.

Step 1

Pass your rope under the cleat.


Step 2

Wrap the rope tightly under the cleat one time.


Step 3

Make a figure eight over the cleat.


Step 4

Do a half-hitch and slip it over the end of the cleat.


Step 5

Pull the rope tight. Now your boat is secure. It’s easy to untie this knot. Putting more half-hitches in the rope will not improve the strength of the knot. Once you’ve done the first five steps, you’re done.


Tom Nelson
Tom Nelson is the publisher of salmonuniversity.com. Known throughout the Pacific Northwest as the “Dean of Saltwater Fishing,” he has helped develop and test tackle and gear for Scotty, Pro-Troll and Silver Horde, is a regular speaker at area sports shows, has taught more than 5,000 students how to fish during his classes at western Washington community colleges, and is the co-founder of the Puget Sound Anglers.