Do you have a bruise on your hip or tear in your favorite sailing shorts from that #$%^ cam cleat on the deck right next to where you sit? That’s what inspired professional sailor and expert Star crew Mark Strube to develop the CleatSlider. After coming home from yet another regatta with ugly purple on his hips, “I started thinking about how many people get bruised on boats and how much gear gets torn, plus the ease of cleating.”
Produced in two different sizes to fit both micro- and standard-sized cam cleats, the CleatSlider is easy to install; just place it under the cleat and then fasten both to the deck. As part of his four-year development process, Strube tried a prototype that glued onto the deck. “But after about a year, the glue got hard and it popped off. So we added the backing plate.” The CleatSlider works with both Harken and Ronstan cleats.
This simple add-on is rapidly developing fans around the sailing world. At the 2020 Star Midwinters, CleatSliders were installed on 10 boats from four countries. Strube says the feedback has been great, because adding them to the deck makes sailing less damaging to both body and clothing—and also makes getting a line into the cleat easier. “We really fine-tuned the angles, so when you cleat the line, instead of having to pick up the line and then align it with the cleat, you can just pull from anywhere and it’ll slide right over and drop in.”
“Cleat Slider was born to solve a problem,” Strube says. “I’m hoping this leads to less bruising, increased performance, and a more enjoyable time on the water. Juniors will be more receptive to proper weight placement from instructors if it doesn’t hurt to move a little more forward over a cleat. Crews will be happier, and so will skippers because performance will be enhanced.”
At $15.95 for the micro and $19.95 for the standard, adding a pair seems like a small investment to, as the promotional video puts it, “protect your assets.” They are available directly from Strube’s website, and at several retail shops. For more information, visit https://strubesailing.com/shop/.