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Houseboat Anchoring - Where are the center bow cleats to tie off an Anchor?

by Patrick McKenny
(Avon, Co)

Houseboat Anchoring - where's the Cleats to Tie an Anchor?

Houseboat Anchoring - where's the Cleats to Tie an Anchor?

When it comes to houseboat anchoring, where are the center bow cleats to tie off an anchor, or to a mooring buoy?

How do you set up a 44 ft Gibson houseboat for a buoy mooring? There are no eyes on the front bow, and there are only cleats on the sides of the deck.

Thanks for any input, Pat.

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Reply - Answer
Well Pat, welcome to the houseboat forums, and sorry to hear about your mooring buoy and anchoring problems.

You are not alone when it comes to the lack of cleats to tie off the bow of your houseboat. This can create a difficult condition when you want to anchor or tie up to a mooring ball.

If I remember correctly, the Holiday Mansions, Chris Crafts, and Gibson houseboats are some of the models that don't have a bow cleat in the center, only on the port and starboard decks.

I have previously used an "inverted v bow line" tied off the port and starboard cleats to give used a centered location for the anchor to pull on. It was never an ideal situation, but it did work for daytime use.

If I were you, ideally, I wonder investigate the possibility of installing a center mounted bow cleat. The Gibson has plenty of room to make for a good solid installation.

However on some houseboats having a center mounted bow cleat will create some inconveniences when boarding from the front bow entrance.

Hopefully other forum members will post comments or ideas to help you with that problem.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their problems, experiences, or solutions for houseboats lacking center bow cleats. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Houseboat Anchoring - Where are the center bow cleats to tie off an Anchor?

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Just put a sampson post on it
by: Russell

I know it can be a toe buster but you will learn it is there after a few toejams and learn to avoid stubbing your foot. I would rather have the security of the center post and heavy duty side cleats than wonder if we are making a night crossing because the lines pulled the anchor out of the bottom.

Proper anchoring is the real secret to a good nights sleep. Keeping the nose centered as close on the wind as possible will reduce swing. Houseboats have more than enough freeboard and can put a serious strain on the anchor and line. One pound of anchor per/foot of length and 7 to 10 feet of line per/foot of water under the bow. Not from the waterline, from the deck. Poor holding bottom may require extra scope.

I have 100 feet of 3/8 chain at the anchors and 300 feet of 1" line backing the chain up. Overkill beats dragging the hook in the middle of the night. If you are just dropping the hook for a short stay then you can keep it short.

In an anchorage you do NOT want to be the one who drags anchor in a sudden storm at night. It also helps if you put a float on the anchor so others know where your hook is and can anchor without crossing your line.

I've been hit by boats dragging anchor twice. It's a sound you do not like to wake up to in a storm. Talk about a circus. Try keeping a straight face while running along the gunnels naked to fend off a boatload of drunken college students.

Bummer! Whoa, I'll leave you with that thought!

Bow Cleats on Houseboats
by: Old Houseboater

Common practice is to mount cleats on each side of the bow opening and bridle them to your mooring buoy. This distributes the load over 2 cleats and does not create a trip hazard.

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