Jump to content
cckrobinson

Are these boat cleats on my Echelon?

Recommended Posts

cckrobinson

I picked up a 1994 Malibu Echelon 350 MAG EFI this spring. Last weekend was my 1st chance to use it and I love the boat. When it was off the lift I had a hard time securing it to the dock due to a lack of cleats. Looking back at some photos I see something that resembles a popup boat cleat, but I am not sure if that is what it is(boat is at the lake so I can't check). 

What are the black rectangular inserts on each side across from the engine cover? I see 3 screws, but I can't tell if these are popup cleats or just a place to mount a cleat or something else entirely.

Does anyone know?

20180528_130030_HDR.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DonT

I'm not 100% sure - but I believe they are just step pads.

On my Sunsetter, I usually do the following:

1.  A line from the Pylon to the dock

2.  A line from the rear grab bar/tow point to the dock.

This usually does it for most cases

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BlindSquirrel

They might be...that middle screw might be spring loaded and is the release. If you press down on it, they might pop up. I've seen some like that before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rednucleus

I'll bet they pop up - report back!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MadMan

Cleats aren't normally at that position on the boat.  They are normally close to the transom and close to the windshield.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
formulaben

Don't be afraid to install a couple sets of cleats if you're unhappy with your setup.  The retractable Neat Cleat by Attwood is a great choice.  A simple but rugged 2-hole design that looks great.  I added an extra set and also one on the bow.  It's easily one of my favorite upgrades and not hard to do once you get over the fact you're drilling holes into your boat.  Just measure several times and have a proper 7/8" hole saw; chamfer afterward with a dremel and then the rest of the install is stupid easy.  Don't forget to use backing plates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michigan boarder

Those are just step pads, definitely not pop up cleats.  Some guys have removed them, filled the holes, and covered in Seadeck or similar material.

I usually use the grab handles that are inside of the boat (the ones that you have some black ropes hanging from) to hang a dock bumper from to separate the boat from the dock.  Then I use the bow eye and transom eyes to attach a line that secures the boat to the dock.  You could probably use the grab handles to do both.

That said...pop up cleats are on my list of stuff I'd like to do to.

Looks like a nice boat, is that vinyl shades of grey or blue?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cckrobinson

The vinyl has shades of gray with aqua piping. The gelcoat is the blue\aqua combination.

20180528_130027_HDR.jpg

20180528_1321112.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michigan boarder

Really nice boat!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BSUBU_Kris

It definitely looks like someone added a cleat there.  Could be that the spring is not functioning right so it doesn't pop up.  Have you tried prying it up gently with a screw driver.  You can use your phone or a mirror to see what is on the other side.  If it is a cleat you will see it looking from underneath.

Doesn't look like a step pad or at least not like one I have ever had on a boat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cckrobinson

I thought it was a cleat initially, but when I pushed on it nothing happened (I didn't try the other side). I was in a hurry to tie off the boat, so I didn't bother to investigate. I won't be back to the cabin until the 4th of July, so I guess it will remain a mystery until then.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mikeo

As someone who owned an Echelon I can tell you that they are NOT pop-up cleats, they're step pads. When my Echelon was at the dock I ran a bungee line from the pylon to the dock and from the grab handle/tow point on the stern to the dock. To keep the boat from banging the dock I hung a fender from the interior grab handles and ran the lines over the gunnel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cckrobinson

Thanks Mikeo. That settles it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BlindSquirrel

Yeah, here is another one with the same "step pad". Good call @mikeo

 

28704128c3fc0b6652ee37c1867427.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Captain Blood
4 hours ago, Michigan boarder said:

Those are just step pads, definitely not pop up cleats. 

+1

Those are just steps as others have mentioned. The Atwood pop up cleats are fairly easy to install and look great on the Echelon.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Woodski

FYI - the step pads, along the side gunnel and on transom are made of plastic and do become brittle over time.  Mine cracked at the screw hole, replaced with hydroturf which does provide a softer more grippy surface.  

@cckrobinson:  I recall reading in the owners manual that it is required the kids ski before they can take that tube ride. The Echelon did earn "ski boat of the year" not tubing boat of the year. :whistle:  Great looking boat.

Edited by Woodski

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John I.

Very nice Echelon! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michigan boarder
9 minutes ago, Woodski said:

FYI - the step pads, along the side gunnel and on transom are made of plastic and do become brittle over time.  Mine cracked at the screw hole, replaced with hydroturf which does provide a softer more grippy surface.  

@cckrobinson:  I recall reading in the owners manual that it is required the kids ski before they can take that tube ride. The Echelon did earn "ski boat of the year" not tubing boat of the year. :whistle:  Great looking boat.

Woah, shots fired!!:lol:

That tube, connected to the pylon with those two kids in it is a blast to ride on and a blast to pull.  We have a similar HO tube, and I can put that thing anywhere on the lake that I want it, it is so much fun to pull.  I zig zag and they get air not off of the entry bump into the wake but from the exit bump out of the other side of the wake and land in the flats.  Good stuff.

But yeah, you guys need a skinny ski and/or a barefoot boom too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cckrobinson

The boat came with a barefoot boom, but we haven't tried it yet.

Last weekend we had a graduation party at the lake for my niece, so the tube got most of the work pulling various kids and adults around.  Both of my boys (11 and 15 in the picture) are able to ski on 2, but neither have tried to slalom yet.  This is my 1st ski boat, and I grew up skiing behind fishing boats with small outboards (20-40hp). My father-in-law(driving in the picture) is 79 and he can still slalom.

Our tubing tow rope walked off, so I had to pull the tube with the ski rope. It broke pulling 2 kids midway through the weekend. I just ordered a deep V sectional slalom rope which I hope will make it easier for the boys to get up.  I am also hoping the barefoot boom will be useful for helping them learn to balance on 1 ski.

Edited by cckrobinson
Typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Woodski

@cckrobinson:  Glad to hear you are thinking of using the barefoot boom, the Echelon is an excellent barefoot boat, the wake and table are among the best of the DD inboards.  You will want separate and specific ropes for each of the disciplines, and certainly get a multi section slalom rope so you can ski at the different and shorter line lengths, shortline is where the Echelon excels in the wake department.  The boom is a great teaching tool for skiing & footing, it can challenge the driver if the victim in the water tends to ponder about when they are ready to go as the boat will pivot around the person in the water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×