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    Notice on 2021-2022 Fund Raising

Backing plates?

Geoff Johnson

Fellow Ericson Owner
There was a message on the Ericson list of telling of an E27 that broke loose from its mooring during Isabel because the bow cleats were secured only by washers and ripped out. Does anyone know if this is typical of Ericson construction? The backside of my 32-3 cleats are blocked by the the anchor well liner and it would be a major hassle to check.

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Irresistable Forces?

Random Thoughts: I believe that the E27 was much older and that Ericson may have upgraded stuff like this a decade later. Also, given the force on the cleat, and the short description of the damage, a larger backing plate may well have simply created a larger hole in the boat. It would be like moving the "weak point" up the ol' stress chain a bit further.

My '88 has alum. backing plates under the cleats.
Perhaps you could look at your stern cleats and see what's under there; bow is probably done similarly.

Loren in Portland, OR
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Geoff Johnson

Fellow Ericson Owner
Yes, it's hard to imagine that Ericson would install 10" cleats fastened with four 5/16" bolts and not use backing plates. Also, I admire the design of the cleats in that they are placed on the edge of the boat without use of chocks. As a consequence my boat was able to ride out 30 to 40 mph winds from Isabel for 12 hours with no chafing of the (unprotected) mooring lines.


Member II
Think my 77 e27 has plywood and washers.

During the surge of Isabel down here I heard of some boats breaking dock lines.

A cleat, dockline, dock. deck or sinking something has to give.

Geoff Johnson

Fellow Ericson Owner
Yes, except that I have a mooring (2500 lb block of concrete) so short of cleats pulling out or another boat hitting me, I feel relatively confident. Moreover, most boats around me and I use a backup storm bridle (tied to the mast) in case the cleats/mooring lines fail. FEMA reported that when Gloria came through in 1985, 10% of the boats in New England blew ashore. To me that means 90% were doing something right.

How did you make out with your 300 feet of nylon line?


Member II
I went down Tues with all the line and the marina owners asked that we just strip off the canvas and double up the dock lines.

During the storm they had a crew checking the boats and adjusting the lines. Friday during the surge ( 8ft !! ) they walked the dock up to their wait in water adjusting taunt lines after that they used a small boat.

We had no damage to our boat :egrin: and none to others in the marina. Other boaters in the area reported broken dock lines.

The town was flooded though. Lot's of furniture on the lawns drying out on Saturday.

Thanks again for the storm prep info!!!!

Geoff Johnson

Fellow Ericson Owner
Having a little time during haulout, I got out my trusty telescoping mirror and a flashlight and determined through the Beckson plate in my anchor well that my cleats do have aluminum backing plates.

Sean Engle

Your Friendly Administrator
Me too -

My cleats were backed by an aluminum plate - appeared to be about 1/4" thick.

When I pulled the hardware to do my stern cap in May, I wired the port cleat with a negative ground - direct to my engine block to ensure a good 'zinc-in-the-drink' ground.

It worked pretty