I'm trying to figure out how to attach a cleat on my new PA as well. I was thinking of attaching a fair-lead to the outside edge of the sideboard mounted parallel to the gunwale and mounting a regular cleat on the inside edge of the board. The anchor line would make a 90 degree turn through the fair-lead whether the anchor trolley O-ring was at the bow or the stern. Your thoughts on that setup?
Also, when your anchor trolley O-ring is at the bow, does your anchor line ride up on the sideboard enough to get in the way of anything else mounted there?
That's exactly what I was after with my setup. The fairlead allows the anchor trolley clip to be positioned anywhere along the side of the PA and still have the line pass straight through the cleat. It sounds like what you describe will work, but I don't think I would put the fairlead and cleat so far apart. It's not really necessary and, as I see it, just leaves a length of taught line across your sideboard that is begging to get snagged by a hook or something else. I really like the Harken 358 with the fairlead that is made to attach right on top of the cleat ( here's a link, but you can type Harken 358 in Google and you'll find lots of options -- http://www.mariner-sails.com/partdetail.asp?id=28384
). It's compact and easy to install. I set my cleat back from the edge of the sideboard so I could drill through the board and attach it using SS bolts with washers and vinyl insert locking nuts on the bottom of the board. This is instead of just using a self tapping screw and putting the cleat out closer to the edge of the sideboard. I'm sure a self tappng SS screw would would work just fine, but I like the security of a nut and washer -- I'm just weird that way. I think the anchor line did come up on top of the rail some when I had the trolley clip all the way to the bow or stern, but it didn't get in the way at all.
One other thing I did learn is that I need to figure a good way to manage or minimize the amount of anchor line I use to prevent having to carefully bundle the extra line and put it in the side tray on the floor of the PA. In the event I do have to release the line in an emergency, it needs to run out freely through the cleat and not bunch up in a knotted mess. Of course, this would prevent the line from running out the cleat, thereby defeating the entire purpose of the quick release. So, I think I may try having a few different lengths of anchor line available to use depending on the depth of water in which I'm anchoring. I haven't figured what the lengths should be, but maybe I'll have 10, 15, and 20 foot anchor lines that I can switch based on need. Maybe this is a terrible idea. I don't know. I'm happy to have suggestions. Murphy's law applies fully in my PA -- if it can get tangled, it will get tangled.