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Old 10-06-2011, 01:40 PM   #1
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Learned something about fenders

The dock in Squalicum Marina in Bellingham that's been our permanent slip for the last eleven years is being removed, the area dredged, and new concrete pilings and dock and finger floats are being installed.* So all the boats on this dock and one other are being reassigned temporary moorage for the winter throughout the marina.* We were assigned to the guest dock in our basin along with two other boats.* (So don't go to Bellngham this winter and spring expecting to finde space at the guest docks-- they'll be full of resident boats although the harbor staff can almost always find an empty slip somwhere for a short-term visitor.)

Where our own slip aligns us fairly closely with the prevailing southwest wind and the wind holds us off the dock, the guest dock is pretty much broadside to the wind and boats are pushed onto it.* While there is some protection from the boathouses and the Grand Banks charter fleet across the fairway, it can still blow hard.* Bellingham bay can get winter gusts of up to 80 mph.

In talking to the owner of the Grand Banks charter fleet about the best place to be on the guest dock with regards to wind and waves, he asked me what kind of fenders we had, cylinders or balls.* I said we had the typical cylinders.* His advice was to get a couple of ball fenders because, he said, the cylinder fenders will fold in against the dock when the boat is pushed hard against it and you end up with only a couple of inches of cushioning.* Where with a ball fender you always have the whole width of the ball between the hull and the dock.

So we got a couple and added them to our lineup.* Just in time because that weekend it blew 45 mph in the marina.* So while ball fenders are not as easy to stow as the more common cylinder fenders, if you're going to be in a situation where your boat is going to pushed onto a dock you might consider acquiring a couple of ball fenders.* I'm told they are also better for a rafting situation than a cylinder fender.

*

*
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Old 10-06-2011, 02:13 PM   #2
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RE: Learned something about fenders

Yes, there is a risk of having a fender roll up onto the dock if the boat gets rolling severely enough. But where we are located we don't think that will be a problem. If the dock was more exposed to waves or water movement coming off the bay it would indeed be a concern but this particular dock is all the way inside the marina. Plus we still have our six longer cylinder fenders that should stay put if the boat does roll some in the wind. Were we at a dock where rolling against it was a problem putting some fenders on the dock itself as you do would seem to be a smart thing to do.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:25 PM   #3
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RE: Learned something about fenders

A good thing about cylinder fenders is they can be used horizontally against a round piling. Around here lots of docks have tall pilings on the outside of the dock itself. I do have several large and medium sized ball fenders and often especially in locks or a solid seawall.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:20 PM   #4
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RE: Learned something about fenders

I have one "ball" fender fairly close to the bow for making landings. It's white ..dirty white but I refuse to get one of those orange balls. Just can't stand the orange. I have 4 or 5 new fenders but I keep using the old ones. After I tie up I stow the fwd "ball" and rely on one fender aft, 2 amidships and one slightly fwd of the midships pair. Willy has a curved gun'l so I put the pressure on the midships pair and the one aft to bring the rail close to the float for easier getting on and off the boat. I could go w 3 balls but the cylindrical fenders seem to do fine for us w the one doubled up. Before I doubled up the midships fender it used to get sorta smashed. I kinda let the bow mooring line hang a bit loose and when other people want to help tie up it always becomes a problem. Tying up is much easier w a slab sided boat where several fenders are equally loaded over a significant part of the boats length. On a regular boat I think 2 doubled fenders would be preferable to the balls considering the wide step to board and the stowage issue. One can max the pressure for a storm as well.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:36 PM   #5
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Learned something about fenders

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:
On a regular boat I think 2 doubled fenders would be preferable to the balls...
Depends on the wind and the windage of the boat, I think.* The GB42 behind us in the photo in my post did that--- put three sets of paired cylinder fenders down-- each end of the flat part of the side and in the middle.* When it started blowing 40+ in the marina--- this was after we'd taken the advice to get a couple of balls--- I looked at his fenders and all six of them were squashed up against the edge of the dock and folding over the top.* Just as the charter company owner had told me, there was only*about two or three inches of air separating the GB42's hull from the edge of the dock.

I agree with you about the orange, though.* I figured that's what we'd end up with but was pleased to see in the store that they also come in white.*

And hey, Eric, if your dirty white ball fender starts bugging you*take a page out of Keith's book and*get a container of GoJo (the one with the fine pumice in it) and that dirt will come right off. :-)* There are a lot of myths about products that are so good they're "used by Boeing."* Imron paint, Boelube, and Hammonds Biobor diesel additive are some of them that*we're apparently using but actually*aren't.* But I can tell you that GoJo is used in every washroom in every assembly and paint building we have.* Just used it myself in the P3 Paint Hangar on Boeing Field*last night. :-)


-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 6th of October 2011 07:41:15 PM
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:57 PM   #6
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RE: Learned something about fenders

Quote:
Marin wrote:
And hey, Eric, if your dirty white ball fender starts bugging you*take a page out of Keith's book and*get a container of GoJo (the one with the fine pumice in it) and that dirt will come right off. :-)* There are a lot of myths about products that are so good they're "used by Boeing."* Imron paint, Boelube, and Hammonds Biobor diesel additive are some of them that*we're apparently using but actually*aren't.* But I can tell you that GoJo is used in every washroom in every assembly and paint building we have.* Just used it myself in the P3 Paint Hangar on Boeing Field*last night. :-)

*
*Marin, I use BoShield on my anodized aluminum T-top frame.* Supposedly it was developed by Boeing.* Are you familiar with that?
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:57 PM   #7
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RE: Learned something about fenders

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*Marin, I use BoShield on my anodized aluminum T-top frame.* Supposedly it was developed by Boeing.* Are you familiar with that?
Yes, but if it was ever used by Boeing it was before my time.* What used to happen sometimes*is Boeing would develop a product to do something-- I think Boelube is an example of this---* it was used for awhile, and then something better came along.* But an outside company would want to continue making and marketing the original product so they would acquire permission from Boeing. And permission may not have even been needed.* Boelube, Boeshield, etc. are not trademarked names by Boeing so far as I know.* Or a company might produce something, give some to Boeing to try, which would then let them say "as used by Boeing" even if we didn't elect to continue using it.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:28 AM   #8
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Learned something about fenders

Near the bow I have an 18" ball and near the stern a 12" ball, with an 8.5" and*two 6.5" cylindricals between them, both port and starboard.* The prevaling wind is just off the port bow, and there are dock fingers on both sides so the boat can be held away regardless of wind direction.* The fenders are primarily for hull protection during my clumsy helmsmanship exiting and entering the berth.

*



A stainless steel plate protects the bow.



I don't usually remove the fenders underway in protected waters.* I place them behind the bulwark, and the lines holding the forward balls are just long enough to hang from the chocks.



*


-- Edited by markpierce on Friday 7th of October 2011 09:18:01 AM
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:57 AM   #9
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RE: Learned something about fenders

Marin I can't see how 8 fenders round or whatever could'nt do the job in any weather. When you put smaller ones between bigger ones they don't come into play until the bigger ones are partly squished. Don't your fenders have inflation holes? The only way your 8 fenders could possibly fail is that they were not fully inflated. Fender lines are a weaker link than fenders if a boat puts heavy pressure to the float and rolls as well. If you want to test your fender settup tie to the outside of the customs float at Friday Harbor during the summer. My fender failures have all been line failures and sometimes the bonehead skipper has'nt tied a good enough knot. Thanks Kieth and Marin for the GoJo tip. I suspect Oxalic acid would prolly work too.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:31 AM   #10
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RE: Learned something about fenders

Doesn't Taylor made fenders come with a lifetime guarantee.

If one cracks or splits you can trade them in for new ones?

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Old 10-07-2011, 11:50 AM   #11
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RE: Learned something about fenders

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:
Doesn't Taylor made fenders come with a lifetime guarantee.

If one cracks or splits you can trade them in for new ones?

SD
*Yes. I have exchanged a few in my day.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:05 PM   #12
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RE: Learned something about fenders

Eric--- I don't anticipate much rolling. We are clear at the front of the marina with probably a good quarter mile between us and the entrance through the breakwater. Between us and the breakwater entrance are four rows of boathouses plus the GB charter dock. So the main factor is going to be the wind pushing the boat against the dock. When it blew hard the other weekend the wind seemed to be turned by the boathouses and other structures so it did not come directly broadside to us but was from slightly aft. There have been other boats that have spent the winter on the guest dock in years past and they did not appear to have any problems. They did, however, put out a lot of fenders as we have. Our fenders all have inflation fittings. They are all pretty well inflated but I am leery of pumping them up totally tight.
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:05 PM   #13
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Learned something about fenders

Quote:
Marin wrote:
*Our fenders all have inflation fittings. They are all pretty well inflated but I am leery of pumping them up totally tight.
From what I could find online, the manufacturers recommended inflation pressure for most of the fenders we are likely to use is only 2 PSI.* Probably not a good idea to go much over that.* In any event, that's not much pressure.*

So, when the boat is being forced against the dock by a strong wind, the ultimate deformation of the fender would likely be more dependendant on the force of the boat versus contact area, rather than any small variation in the starting pressure.* In other words, it seems doubtful that adding a PSI or two would make much difference in a hard blow.* That make sense?*

Anyway...more and/or larger well placed fenders, to better spread the load, appear to be the solution to "squashing". *


-- Edited by Tonic on Friday 7th of October 2011 02:06:52 PM
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:41 PM   #14
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RE: Learned something about fenders

I seem to be a fender magnet or something. I keep finding the darn things floating all over the place. Whenever I see an errant fender I hook it. I have them in all sizes and shapes.

I post notices at the harbor office to this day no one has ever claimed a lost fender.

Just remembered I found one. Huge a good 4 ft across Round Orange. Tied it to the dock by my boat it disappeared the next week.

Anyway*if you have lost a fender I may have it.

SD
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:24 AM   #15
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RE: Learned something about fenders

Yea Dude I've got a small pile in my back yard too.
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:46 PM   #16
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RE: Learned something about fenders

Never seen them floating around.* Must be an Alaskan thing.

*
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:43 PM   #17
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RE: Learned something about fenders

That's what we build igloos out of these days.
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:26 AM   #18
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RE: Learned something about fenders

i have woven fenders made of 100 percent line woven in marlinspike fashion which work great. The line is just soft enough to absorb shock without collapsing, and heavy enough not to ride up. They were woven by an old time hand. I'll have to get over to the boat to post pictures.
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