Do any of you NC11 owners use your stern cleats to tow water-sports equipment and riders such as water skiers, wakeboarders,
I just purchased a 2015 NC11 (Hull #233) and I asked Jeanneau America, among several questions, about towing from the cleats. I was told no, this should not be done without reinforcing the cleats with backing plates. I have looked at the cleats from below, their fastening bolts have been completely enclosed in what appears to be several layers of fiberglass. The bolts aren't even visible, and there is nothing to even attach a backing plate to.
My plan was to attach about a 25 foot (8 meter) line between the two cleats with a single block pully between them. The block's attachment point would be connected to the tow rope thus spreading any load between the two cleats.
We have used the above method on the last 8 boats (various types and sizes but all american manufacturers) that I and my family have owned over the years with no problems. I'm having trouble believing, as an experienced builder as Jeanneau is, that this boat, my NC11, was built incapable of doing this without damage.
Is Jeanneau trying to protect themselves from a liability angle by telling me no, or are the stern cleats actually that weak?
I would greatly appreciate any comments or advice.
I believe an NC 11 is over 12000 lbs. The cleats would need to be able to withstand considerable force to hold that boat to a dock in a stong wind with the boat being yanked against the ropes as it moves around in the water. I’d take a guess that they would each be designed to handle at least 5% of the boat weight (with the rope providing a small Amount of shock absorption) in a Fwd/aft/side directional of 600 lbs. if you were pulling 2 really big people on a water toy that might be 500 lbs dead Weight. But actual lateral force on the tow rope at at hard turn would be well under 50% of that. Let’s pick half at 250 lbs. And that tow rope would provide lots of shock absorption. So I would not have any concerns. I did this with my 695 with no problem and plan to do it with my NC895 if it ever gets here. The numbers I applied heee I just pulled out of the air hopefully using some common sense. I’m not a boat engineer so take this for what it’s Worth.
Skipper 71, I agree with Lynn. I do not have any experience with towing persons but the cleats withstand being tied up in harbor with heavy wind without damage. Perhaps you should ask Jeanneau America wether they also advise not to tie the boat down with heavy wind without mounting the plates they mention. If they reply that it would not be necessary to mount plates for that purpose ask them what the difference between the two situations is in their opinion.
I am in contact with several NC11 owners and none of them ever experienced popping out cleats, not even due to heavy wind.
Talking about towing: when towing a boat or being towed it is generally advised to attach the split towing line to the middle cleats and lead them over the bow or stern cleats, give the rope one turn around those, and then lead them to the one towing point you also mention. Doing so will distribute forces over four cleats: when being towed is possible in that way.......
Since I haven't made my towing bridle for this boat, I could easily make it so it distributes the pull to 4 cleats, that's a good idea Belmar, of course the side forces would still all be on the stern cleats during turns.
I'd still like to hear from any NC11 owners who have actually used their boats for water-sports towing, theory has us thinking this should be fine, proof would be nice!
we tow a 4 person inflatable behind the boat quite a lot during summer. Cleats havent fallen out yet.... On our 2011 boat they bolts look accesable..not glassed over. You can only get to the starboard one anyway, using deep sockets. I use a ski bridle with a roller. I can't remember the rating on the rope.