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Old 10-17-2012, 07:42 PM   #1
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Fender Selection Help

I have purchased a 36' Marine Trader. Although it is fairly well equipped it did not come with fenders. I could use some help on the size and number to buy.

Since I bought the boat for the great loop I will encounter a wide variety of docks and locks over the next couple of years

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Old 10-17-2012, 08:04 PM   #2
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Four 8-10" dia cylindricals and for locks a couple of big ball types? Maybe also a couple of fender boards.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:26 PM   #3
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8.5" or 10"..... We purchased 8.5" off eBay and they fit our fender holders perfectly.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:35 PM   #4
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I like hole through the middle type fenders. The sizes suggested are about right for your boat.
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Dwhattys suggestion on fender boards is a good one. I've used 2 X 6's to make them.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:01 PM   #5
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An advantage of round or ball fenders is that under compression (wind pushing you onto the dock) you have the diameter of the ball between you and the dock. A cylindrical fender can in some cases partly fold over the edge of a dock leaving only a few inches of air between your hull and the dock as protection.

But...... if your boat is going to be pushed against a dock for a long time--- over a winter season, for example--- by the prevailing winds, the area of contact between the ball fender and the hull is fairly small. So a lot of pressure concentrated in a small spot. This can cause excess wear on the gelcoat or paint on the hull.

We found this out the hard way this past winter when we were assigned temporary moorage on the guest dock in our marina while our "home" dock was being replaced. Because our temporary moorage would have our boat pushed hard against the dock by the prevailing storm winds we were concerned about having enough cushioning against the dock. This is when we were told about the advantage of ball fenders, so we added a couple to our lineup and they did a good job of keeping us well off the dock through the winter storms. But when we had the boat hauled for bottom paint in the spring we noticed that where the ball fenders had been, particularly the forward one, the gel coat had been worn down some.

Not an issue with shorter-term use or use in situations where the boat is not shoved and worked against the side of a dock for a season by storm winds. But something to be aware of nevertheless.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:22 PM   #6
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I have an assortment of ball and tubular type, most Taylor Made and a couple of Polyform. whichever you buy keep your reciepts the Taylor Made, it think the Polyform too have lifertime warranties, unconditional, if you snag a a bolt or nail in a lock or pier bring it back to the store and they (should) take it and give you a new one. I changed one several years ago no problem at W. Marine.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:03 PM   #7
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What do you guys think about fender covers?
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:13 PM   #8
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What do you guys think about fender covers?
They can help keep the fenders clean. Of course you then have to keep the covers clean. They can make a boat look dressy if that's important to you. Personally I'd just go with dark fenders if keeping them clean is an issue.

By the way, the best tip I ever got from TF is from Keith who suggested using GoJo to clean groundpower cords and fenders. We tried it and it works a treat.

Our theory is that the fenders are there to get beat up and dirty so our hull won't. Not sure we'd gain anything from putting covers on the fenders other than it would be adding more things to take care of.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:02 AM   #9
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Have ten fenders: five to a side. They are of four different diameters to help compensate for the varying distances between hull and dock. Have round ones toward bow and stern and cylindrical between. The bow fenders are primarily used for docking and aren't necessary after completing docking.



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Old 10-18-2012, 12:15 AM   #10
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My boat originally came with four tires for fenders.

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Old 10-18-2012, 04:37 AM   #11
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I like hole through the middle type fenders. The sizes suggested are about right for your boat.
Big B Inflatable Vinyl Fenders

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Dwhattys suggestion on fender boards is a good one. I've used 2 X 6's to make them.
Hopcar, our boat came with a fender board that was assembled with a short 2 x 6, and then formed rubber pads at the ends. I want a second set up but have failed to find the rubber ends anywhere. Have you ever seen them? Possibly they have gone out of business?
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:11 AM   #12
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If you do any portion of the Rideau or Richelu the fender situation becomes unique .

The boat will float to within a few inches to the top of the lock .

You will need fenders that are set to simply float alongside. And fenders for when you are down 7 ft.

The tubes seem to work best.Probably 1/2 dozen to lay next to the hull, and help up higher.

In the huge locks for commercial vessels , by far the best technique is to ride the pipe with a center cleat and a fairly short line.Seconds after coming alongside , your ready.

This works best with really large fenders , the big balls do great , esp if the hull has much flair like a sport fish.

Happily the big fenders have a plug that can be removed , so after the trip they can be kept aboard ,stowed flat.

These are expensive , but 3 or 4 would be grand.

Used fenders work fine on the rough concrete walls.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:45 AM   #13
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.

Our theory is that the fenders are there to get beat up and dirty so our hull won't. Not sure we'd gain anything from putting covers on the fenders other than it would be adding more things to take care of.
Moonstruck has 10" dia. with hole through the center black colored fenders. The fenders have covers----not to protect the fender, but protect the hull from chaffing. Since we have mostly pilings here on the East Coast, the covers can get really beat up over a season. I would love to have a set of the heavy velour type covers, but it is hard to justify the expense. Fender covers are a small price to pay to protect a polished hull.

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Old 10-18-2012, 08:04 AM   #14
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Used fenders work fine on the rough concrete walls.
Yes I agree. We just spent allsummer in the erie and Canadian locks and used fenders found via dumpster diving almost exclusively.

But in my opinion tubular fenders work the best. 8 to 10 inch dia. Never had an occasion to use a fender board.
I saw several on the loop who were using poly play balls inside of heavy reusable shopping bags that were hung by the handles. Talk about a cheap way to fender for locks. I plan on trying some next summer.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:30 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Forkliftt View Post
Hopcar, our boat came with a fender board that was assembled with a short 2 x 6, and then formed rubber pads at the ends. I want a second set up but have failed to find the rubber ends anywhere. Have you ever seen them? Possibly they have gone out of business?
Steve, I bought some rubber slip on end pads for a 2x4 fender board at West Marine early this year.
Taylor Made Products 2012 Catalog
I don't see them in the WM catalogue now, maybe discontinued?
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:28 AM   #16
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I think the Taylor Made fender board ends are still available. I'll check when I get to the store today. I remember the bigger ones as well. They were made by another company that will come to me later. (The mind is a terrible thing to lose.) I don't think the big ones are made anymore.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:52 AM   #17
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If you are going to move along a dock/lock that the ball fenders are best as they roll, where as the cylinder will tend roll up and maybe pop out. Therefore we have a combination of 3 balls and 4 cylinder per side and one 3 ft ball for the curve of the bow to protect when coming into the dock. and/or push the bow out/way. If the boat is going to be pushed up against a dock for a long period of time both the ball and cylinder will rub up against the hull. So you either have a round spot or a long strip.

A cylinder that can be tied at both ends, used horizontal if up against a piling. I keep the old deflated ones and hang them over the swim step when we have the dink/run about moored/tied to the stern, so even the old deflated can be used.

Buy fenders that are the length from the gunnels to the water line which will work for high docks/locks and low floating docks and a big ball that fits the curve of the bow. Better to have fenders to big then to small.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:14 PM   #18
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Greetings,
If I was to buy fenders the distance from the gunwale to the water line, I'd end up with fenders 4.5' long! As to fender boards, depending on length, 2x6 would be stronger than 2x4-no?
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:36 PM   #19
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Greetings,
If I was to buy fenders the distance from the gunwale to the water line, I'd end up with fenders 4.5' long! As to fender boards, depending on length, 2x6 would be stronger than 2x4-no?
I was looking at Arch's boat. For a boat his size 18 to 21 inches is recomended. They make fenders up to 77 inches so you could buy fenders that long. The largest we have are 34 inches.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:23 PM   #20
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What do you guys think about fender covers?
I paid a guy to compound and wax my boat shortly after I bought it and he recommended fender covers to keep the fenders from scuffing the gelcoat. I use covers and it seems to help.
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