Spinlock Power Cleats

click pictures to enlarge

Self-tailing winches do not come standard on the H260. Although great additions, they would cost about $800 a pop. 

The normal jibsheet run is through a pulley, a jam cleat, around the winch and tie it off on a conventional horn cleat. This setup makes single-handing the boat a challenge.

Many H260 owners have bypassed the winches by installing the Spinlock Powercleat in place of the horn cleat. The holes of the two cleats match exactly. All you need is longer bolts. 

Why toss the winches? The port winch useful for hauling up the keel or raising the mast but unnecessary for normal sailing. If you always sail with experienced crew, or race, the winches are useful. However, in five years I've never used the winches for sailing.  You'll also find the jib sheet either readily pops out of the supplied jam cleat or is hard to release under pressure. I have found the winches useful for hanging the bitter end of halyards on otherwise they are useless.

spinlock2.JPG (77265 bytes)On the other hand, if you do much single-hand sailing the Spinlock Powercleat works great. One disadvantage is that you can't use the winches to muscle the jib in when sailing in strong winds - the best technique when tacking is to pull the jibsheet in as much as possible prior to tacking and then trim as necessary when the boat comes around. Or you can just head up a little to take pressure off the sheet. This sounds a little more complicated than it really is -- I don't find it a problem.

The Powercleat is very strong -- it holds under pressure but will engage or disengage with quick down or up flick of the sheet. By adding enough extra length to the jibsheets you can stand behind the wheel and control the jibsheet with a flick of the wrist.

There are two common uses of the Spinlock Powercleat in the H26/260; Jib sheets and mainsheet. A third possibility is replacing the jam cleat

 on the Vang with a Powercleat. 

What to order:

  • Jib sheet: SPNPX08121; Spinlock PX Powercleat, Single, 5/16 to 7/16in. Quantity: 2. They came with the 11 degree wedges. Item Price: $29.95 in 2004.

  • Mainsheet: SPNPXB0812; Spinlock PX Powercleat, Single, w/Block adapter, 5/16 to 1/2in. Item Price: $41.95

  • Longer jibsheet: I replaced the stock sheet with one 60 foot length so I can control the sheets from behind the wheel.

    Note: The 0812 refers to the line size range of 8mm to 12mm. (7/16" max). If you have 1/2 inch  jib sheets you'll have  to replace them with the 7/16" size. For other applications the PX0381 is available for lines 3-8mm.

Installation Examples: 

Jib sheet

IMG0004.JPG (116755 bytes)

The winch horn cleat is replaced with the spinlock as shown. The holes match exactly.

Spinnaker sheet

spinlock_spinnaker2.jpg (66342 bytes)

Here is another use for the spinlocks. Jeff Peltier uses them on his H260 to control his spinnaker sheets as well as the jib sheet. 

I tapped out the 1/4 x 20 threads all the way through. You'll need at least 2 1/2" stainless flathead bolts. You'll need the wedges that come with the Power cleats. You'll find the proper stainless bolts at your local hardware store. The bolt heads will stick up a little bit so I enlarged the rear holes with a countersink carefully - (don't over do it because the base is plastic). This allows the bolt to sit flat. I Used a light amount of silicon glue in the holes and around the base. There is a reinforcing plate imbedded in the fiberglass so I'm not sure adding a washer and nut is really necessary. However, you can access the underside from the winch access holes in the cabin. 

7896480-r1-024-10a.jpg (27984 bytes)I Added washers and lock nuts underneath but that may be overkill. You have to have long/skinny fingers to get the washer and bolts started. I used silicon glue to keep the washers attached to the underside while I put the nuts on and tightened from above. 

Mainsheet: The Spinlock cleat for the mainsheet looks the same as that used for the Jibsheet. It replaces the mainsheet cleat jaws and there is a adapter that insures the Spinlock Power cleat stays horizontal at all times. You just flick the line up and down to engage and release the mainsheet. Another use for the mainsheet is to raise and lower the mast. I was concerned that the Powercleat might not be strong enough to handle the strain - not to worry -- this is one strong device. Caution: Don't rely on any cleat to hold the weight of the mast if you have to step away during stepping operation. I always tie the bitter end off on a stern cleat.