Nomen Sport Line Folding Cleat

Dieter Loibner | Professional BoatBuilder Magazine

The Nomen Sport Line folding cleat is destined for production builders and manufacturers of tenders, chase boats, and racing yachts. Customizable positions for fastener holes to match other brands allow installing a new Sport Line folding cleat without drilling new holes.

Folding-cleat manufacturer Nomen Products of Hamburg, Germany, sent word about Nomen Sport Line cleats, an evolution of the original product. Promised improvements include more sustainable production, lighter weight, faster operation, and compatibility with other mounts.

Catching my attention was the interesting PR claim that the company committed to “greener production…and has made the process much more sustainable by reducing material input by up to 50%.” That sounded a bit nebulous, so for clarification I contacted Nomen’s founder, Axel Hoppenhaus, a former colleague, who once produced technical drawings for a German sailing magazine. “It’s achieved by a more slender geometry, which saves about 30% raw material of both material choices, aluminum (silver or black) or polished stainless steel. Another 20% can be saved due to preproduction by extrusion molding for large orders by production boatbuilders, who usually purchase the aluminum version because of much lower costs compared to stainless steel.”

Okay, but less material also implies less strength, I surmised. “Breaking load tests confirm that the weight savings do not affect the holding power compared to the classic Nomen cleat,” Hoppenhaus said, “as the cleat arm and base of the new Sport Line do clasp more precisely into each other, so the two components build a strong block when all parts are in close touch.”

This more compact shape is an improvement over the patented mechanism that folds the cleat’s arms up and down. The plastic ball in the original cleat was replaced in the Sport Line by a plastic ring with an elastic buffer inside. The mechanism’s one-handed operation did not change.

The weight differences of the new and the original models are significant and range from 0.12 kg (0.26 lb) for a 200mm (7.8) cleat in aluminum to 2.66 kg (5.86 lbs) for a 500mm (19.7) cleat. In stainless steel these differentials range from 0.44 kg (0.97 lb) for a 200mm model to 7.48 kg (16.49 lbs) in a 500mm version. Losing weight without strength should make these cleats suitable for performance-oriented applications, Nomen’s literature suggests. “We are taking a broader stance with the Sport Line,” Hoppenhaus said, adding that the new product is destined primarily for production builders and manufacturers of tenders, chase boats, and racing yachts.

Another highlighted feature: the customizable positions for the fastener holes can be adapted to those of other brands. Switching to Nomen or upgrading from the older model now does not require drilling new holes.

As a German company, Nomen also sent along a test report from Gleistein Ropes, certified to DIN EN ISO 9001:2015, signed and stamped by the test engineer to confirm a break load of 86.18 kN (19,373 lbs) at a 90˚ angle. The rope broke at the pressure point of the cleat (a 300mm/11.7 model), which was not damaged.

Nomen Products GmbH, Steckelhörn 12, 20457 Hamburg, Germany, tel. +49 40 367683