Improved mooring cleat

Innovative open design for securing a vessel or equipment of any size


Naval engineer Brandon Bagwell has invented a new mooring cleat with an open design for non-threaded rope entry. The patented design is available to businesses who would turn it into a new product.

Mooring cleats are mounted on docks and boats and are used to secure a boat by wrapping a line around the cleat several times, often in a figure 8 pattern.

Cleats are often used in conjunction with chocks in tethering a boat. Chocks are feed-through devices – either closed or open rings – that direct the line to the cleat so that the line is attached from a specific direction.

This combination creates a more secure mooring. Cleats with openings can also be used as feed-through hardware with the line terminating at a second cleat. Regardless of the fittings used, the keys to securing a ship are to do it safely and quickly and with minimal chance of the boat going adrift.

However, current designs require a significant number of rope loops around the cleat as well as a knot to secure the loose end. The activity of securing a boat is thus more time consuming and potentially dangerous in the presence of waves or anytime when securing a larger ship. Fingers and hands can get caught in the line and pinched as pressure is applied to the line when the vessel moves on the waves.

To address the above concerns, Bagwell developed a new cleat that allows for fast attachment of a line without the need to feed it through a cleat or chock and without the need to knot the end.

The open design has an overlapping horn with an angled slot that allows a line to be dropped into the fitting at any desired position and restrains the line against pull in any direction. While the rope can be attached in multiple patterns, slipping the rope through the angled slot at the start or end of the pattern produces a more secure mooring.

Businesses and entrepreneurs interested in turning the invention into a new product can contact TechLink for more information on the invention and the technology transfer process, which includes the development of a commercialization plan and patent license application.

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