By Mark Prentice
I’ve been working through my big winter work project of resealing the deck hardware on my J24. The removal of the deck hardware allowed me to examine all the cam cleats. Some had a large amount of UV damage to the plastic parts while others are just warn out. My first reaction was to order up replacements but and then I found the Harken Cam Cleat rebuild kit. Rebuilding Cam Cleat sounds fun and saves a bit of cash. Below I describe how my crew and I went about rebuilding a handful of Harken 150 Cam Cleats.
The first thing I needed to understand is that the old Harken Cam Cleat (Pre 93) is not re-buildable whereas the newer Harken 150 Cam Cleats are. There are two ways to quickly identify the old style Cam Cleat, the plastic base is essentially flat and the balls in the cleats are white. The new cleats have a plastic base which fits up into the barrel of the cleat housing and the balls are black. The pictures show the earlier style base to the right and newer to the left.
I found most of my newer cleats' cams had groves worn into them. No surprises as these are the cleats which are normally replaced more frequently (jib halyard, etc.). This left me with old style cleats with good cams but very UV damaged plastic with some rotten balls
and newer re-buildable cleats with bad cams. On a hunch I compared the old cams with the new cams. Wouldn’t you know they are the same. Ok now I have something. I start matching up the new re-buildable bases with the old cams.
Next just add a rebuild kit and behold a new serviceable cleat. The rebuilding of the cleats is not difficult and the kits do a good job in describing the process. APS has a quick video describing the process as well. I also created a set of double spring cleats for my jib halyard by using the best springs from the old cleats in conjunction with the new springs. Not a bad way to reuse what you have and only throw away the stuff that no longer has any use.