Paul and All:
Yesterday I got the cleats put on Swift with only getting stung by wasps once. They tell me my eye will be better in a day or so, but unfortunately, the wasp did not make it, nor his friends. They could not outhide my preditor habits.
I debated with myself quite a while over putting new cleats on. I had to justify them to my wife being part of the problem, after all, function over form is her motto and these cleats seemed OK. However, as you can see in one of the photos, they were really corroded and one broke up in my hand while taking it off. A failure like this would not be good, especially if I was having to tow Paul's Lancer back to the docks after his big dog lost it's bark in a certain race yet to be held. (TiC)
The last photo shows all of the cleats that came off Swift. Because they were all put on with the same style backing plate, but one having different bolts, I think one of the little cleats was aftermarket. I like to use, and did use, aluminum plate instead of wood. (There was plywood, painted grey, as a backing plate when I unbolted the old cleats as seen in the photo) Wood dry rots in this saltly clime and compresses too much so that the cleats can loosen over time. I am good for another 40 years now.
Tell Nadia that a cleat needs a smooth finish to avoid chafing of the docking lines. I think it will actually be "cheaper" for you in the long run to purchase new cleats when you account for all the savings in rope costs. How's that?