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How to Tie a Cleat Hitch

Learn how to tie a cleat hitch in this Howcast boating video with expert Toby Stull.


Hi, my name is Toby Stull and I'm captain with Out in the Water Sailing. We're an adventure sports sailing company, providing charters, sailing lessons, vessel training and consulting. Please visit our website at We're here today in Liberty Harbor to talk about boating. Whether you are on a power boat or a sail boat, the cleat hitch one of the most commonly used knots on a boat. Cleats, that are made out of metal, plastic, or wood, can be on a dock around a boat. They're up two horns for the line to be tied around. They're used for not only dock lines but on sail boats they're used for lines that control the sails. In order to tie a cleat hitch, take your line from wherever it's coming from. Make sure it goes around the far horn first and then under the horn closer to you. Go over the horn, in almost a figure eight tied fashion, and then lock it underneath the horn right up against the earlier part of the line. If you tie it the wrong way, these two lines can't lock each other together. Again, the cleat hitch; go the far horn; go under the horn under the one closest to you, over; and then twist the line to lock itself against itself.

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