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Do-It-Yourself Series | Dock Cleats

For the do-it-yourselfers out there, today we are going to cover the installation of dock cleats. As far as installations go the dock cleat is quite low on the difficulty scale, so if you’re new to DIY this is a great place to start.

What Dock Cleat to Use

This is an important choice and be sure you do some research before purchasing. You must ensure that the cleat is the proper size for your boat, your water conditions and that the material used will last. Our Aluminum Flip Up Cleats are a great example of a high quality cleat for medium sized boats.

Dock Material

The type of material you will be mounting your cleat to may effect how you install it, so it’s important to take note of this. You could have a wood, metal or plastic docking system.

Wood Dock

With a wood dock we generally recommend securing it with a lag bolt, securing it into the dock frame rather than just the decking, this is to ensure it will withstand the stress and strain of a secured boat.

CanadaDocks dock

With a CanadaDocks system we make the cleat installation simple. Because Thruflow decking is engineered to withstand a great deal of pressure you can attach your cleats right to the decking, just slide the bolts through the cleat, the decking and backing plate and secure it with nut.

Where to Place the Dock Cleats

The placement is up to you, but keep in mind the size of the boats that will be at your dock. Ideally each cleat would be lined up with each end of the boat so you can easily tie up. First lay out all your cleats and determine what placement is good for you, whatever you do make sure that they’re all lined up to be the same distance from the edge. Then once you’re all lined up drill the holes for your bolts or in the case of Thruflow slide your bolts through the slots. Tighten your nuts over the backing plateunderneath and congratulate yourself, because you’ve installed your own set of dock cleats.




A well made cleat is designed to hold your boat in place regardless of the conditions, but this is also dependent on how you mount it. On most cleats you will either have to drill through the decking of your dock or with the case of ThruFlow, slide the bolt through the slots to secure it in place. Now CanadaDocks cleats have a washer plate that is attached on the bottom side of the deck to ensure that it will not pull out from any pressure, but no matter what cleat you are using, if it doesn’t have washers we recommend you pick some up from your local hardware store.

It is more than likely that you are installing several cleats onto your dock rather than just one. So to start off you’ll want to make sure that they’re all lined up. Using a tape measure mark how far in you want your cleats to sit from the edge of the dock, then mark the spot you want to place your cleat spanning the length of the dock.


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