Kajaksport makes a number of deck fittings:
as does Sea-Lect Designs:
You can get two and four point surface mount deck fittings. Use the two point system for question 1. The advantage over pad eyes is that they are designed to be as low profile as possible. They do require a flat spot to mount, but is doesn't need to be very large.
Q2: I used option 1 on my old Sparrow Hawk. See photo.
Q3: I would remove the cleats and fill the holes with gel coat. Maybe they were used to tie off an anchor for fishing?
Paddler's Truck Rack
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