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Old 01-18-2013, 08:44 PM   #1
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Value of fender covers?

A very good friend gave us a set of dark blue, almost black fender covers for Christmas. They are not the mesh type but are of fairly heavy fabric with an almost wool-like texture. He even had the boat's name embroidered on them.

It's not the sort of thing we ever would have gotten for the boat ourselves but since we have them I'm curious about the pros and cons of using them. While our boat is held off our finger by the prevailing winds, when the wind comes from the north it gets pushed up against the finger. So the main thing I'm curious about is which is harder on the gelcoat, a bare fender or a fender with a cover on it?
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:52 PM   #2
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Sounds obvious so no insult...but whichever is cleaner...

Covers can get crappy pretty quick in certain situations and need a good washing before they get stored and inadvertently redeployed with the gritty side against the hull...but plain fenders suffer the same to some degree.

Based on your thoroughness and attention to detail...I would used them to dress up older fenders or whenever you want things to look a certain way....but I can't imagine you using dirty covers OR fenders against your hull.

I also think it is somewhat how the fenders are secured...more so than bare/covered....

If a fender can roll and transfer dirt/grit from dock/piling to hull...doesn't matter what your using...your hull can get scratched.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:15 PM   #3
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Fender covers main use is to protect the hull from chafing. A painted, dark colored or highly polished hull is vulnerable to chafing. If you don't need them for that, just put them out for special occasions such as dressing ship on Sundays. You do that. Don't you?

Nice gift by the way.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:35 PM   #4
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It sounds like the material is similar to "polarfleece".... The Admiral made covers for our fenders with the stuff in black... I think they are less harmful to the hull with the covers on....as the uncovered fenders have more grab when the boat moves... The cover has some give in it....and less tendency to mar the hull.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
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Thanks Don and psneeld. While the hull on our GB is one of the batch that are arguably the best fiberglass hulls American Marine ever made for a GB because of the man who supervised the hull layups that first year, the gelcoat technology of 1973 was not anything to write home about.

That plus the 25 years of use in the California sun before we bought the boat have taken their toll on the gelcoat from a cosmetic point of view. So while we do not want to deliberately do anything to damage the gelcoat that is still there, it's not like we are trying to protect a showroom finish here.

We keep our fenders (and groundpower cable) as clean as we can using the GoJo tip Keith wrote up a few years ago. And it works very well. Our old wood dock is gone now, replaced by a concrete dock with doubled 2 X 12s down the side and a vinyl (I assume) guard on the outside of them. So our fenders should not be picking up stains from the old wood dock and bullrails as they did in the past.

We wax the hull when the boat is out of the water but you know the old saying, "You can only polish a turd so much."

So we're mainly concerned with not thinning the gelcoat out any more than it is. Someday, if we keep the boat, we will have the hull completely prepped and painted but you know how "somedays" can be.

The advice to use the fender covers for "dress up" occasions make sense, but we never have "dress up" occasions with our boat.

So we'll have to give this one some more thought......

PS--- Saw your post JAT after I'd sent this in. You make a good point, too, and is sort of what I was wondering about when I asked the original question. We had some gelcoat thinning last winter from one of the ball fenders we bought to help protect the boat in it's temporary slip where the storm winds pushed the boat hard onto the dock. I've been wondering if this might not have happened had the ball fender had a cover on it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
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It "pays" to have fenders the same color as one's hull. Might be hard to notice except for them covering the yellow waterline stripe, but there are three fenders hanging here.



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Old 01-18-2013, 09:42 PM   #7
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Don't know what difference the fender color would make to whether or not the fender damages the gelcoat (or paint in your case) if the boat is pushed hard up against the dock for long periods of time by the wind.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:52 PM   #8
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Neither do I, but other contributors blame blemishes on their fenders. Nevertheless, having fenders the same color as the hull should minimize the problem.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:11 PM   #9
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Damage to a hull's finish is going to occur because of pressure and the friction of the fender against the hull. What color the fender happens to be isn't going to matter I think.

Our only concern is minimizing wear on the hull's gelcoat.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:17 PM   #10
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Marin we have friends with covers that sound like what you describe. I think they've had them two years now. The covers look great and their hull looks great. So no issues due to the fender covers. I guess. . Why not use them as long as they look nice? Unless you don't like them? I'd agree that's a nice gift.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:24 PM   #11
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No, they're quite nice and seem well made. The manufacturer (in Portland, OR) left the accent mark off the first "e" in Perouse so my wife is going to add them if we decide to use them and are convinced that they won't damage the gelcoat any more than it already is.

It'll be a bit pretentious looking, though. Like putting whitwall tires or a chrome exhaust pipe on a garbage truck.

So we'll see......
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
Damage to a hull's finish is going to occur because of pressure and the friction of the fender against the hull. What color the fender happens to be isn't going to matter I think.
Our only concern is minimizing wear on the hull's gelcoat.
Marin, just stop dithering and put the b***dy things on, and thank your lucky stars and the people who thoughtfully gave them to you. For mine, and I've been putting them on my fenders for yonks, (and they're not cheap, and I'm on my 3rd set), they are the best thing since sliced bread, fenderwise - especially once we did go for broke and get the hull 2 pack re-sprayed. But seriously, they do prevent marks and scratches, and they don't catch and hold abrasive material. A good wash in gentle detergent occasionally is all they ever ask of you, and besides, they look great, with all the fenders the same colour, and even name embroided on them - wow..! Waddaryehwaidingfor...?
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:52 PM   #13
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Waddaryehwaidingfor...?
Mainly that I think they'll look pretty silly on our boat. We are currently leaning toward not using them but I wanted to find out if they would be beneficial enough to warrant putting up with the pretentious look. It sounds like they won't really make any difference one way or the other in our case so I'm thinking they'll stay in the box.

I appreciate everyone's input.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
Mainly that I think they'll look pretty silly on our boat. We are currently leaning toward not using them but I wanted to find out if they would be beneficial enough to warrant putting up with the pretentious look. It sounds like they won't really make any difference one way or the other in our case so I'm thinking they'll stay in the box.
I appreciate everyone's input.
Pretentious...? No way Marin, the only thing here pretentious, is you worrying about it being pretentious, not to mention the indirect insult to the friends who presented them to you, and the diappointment they will feel when you don't use them - and show them pics of them on...which is what the rest of us want to see. Does my poor humble Lotus look pretentious with them on...? Just get over it and put'em on - what say the rest of you...? Do we need a poll..?
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:19 PM   #15
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Best to have a "single-stall" berth so that one's boat is held with dock lines from rubbing any surface. Nevertheless, my neighbor's boat continually rubs against its starboard-stern fender although I haven't seen marks on the hull despite a dark-colored fender and a white hull.

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Old 01-18-2013, 11:42 PM   #16
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.... not to mention the indirect insult to the friends who presented them to you, and the diappointment they will feel when you don't use them....
I don't think this will be an issue in this case. It wouldn't be so bad if they didn't have the boat's name on them. That's what makes it look so corny.

Anyway, from the comments it sounds like there is no really significant benefit to using covers or not using them so I think we'll just leave things as they are. Thanks.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:47 PM   #17
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Marin:

I agree completely. Those fender covers will look silly on your boat. Don't use them. In fact, next time you are in the gulf Islands, I'll do you a favor and take them from you so you wont have to agonize over them. Just let me know.
and no thanks are necessary.

ps
the boat name embroidery will not bother me.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:52 PM   #18
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Ok, as for me, I hadn't thought of it until now, but next time we buy us some new ones, (and sun and rain do take their toll eventually) I'm gonna ask my wife to embroider the name on them. I reckon it's a great idea, and not pretentious at all. I have fished out several fenders floating about in our marina after a major blow with chafed through ties over the years, and never known for sure which boat to return them to. This small thing would solve that, would it not...?
PS, anticipating Marin's next comment, of course I make sure my fender ties are sound, and positioned to they should not chafe, but rot is not always obvious, and a heaving boat can exert considerable tension on a fender pinned against the finger...and it has happened to others...so....
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:23 AM   #19
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Marin:

I'll do you a favor and take them from you so you wont have to agonize over them.....the boat name embroidery will not bother me.
Wrong name for your boat although there is a pretty little commercial salmon troller in Ucluelet (or there used to be) with the same name as our boat. Perhaps he could get some use from them.

But actually my wife has just informed me that she has "A Plan." Unfortunately it will negate your generous offer. Her plan is to cut them up for drawer liners for which she feels the fabric is eminently suited.

So look at that. We went from initial query through valuable information to ultimate answer in just 19 posts. Too bad we couldn't have done that with the Twins vs Singles thread, eh?
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post

Anyway, from the comments it sounds like there is no really significant benefit to using covers or not using them so I think we'll just leave things as they are. Thanks.
Just as a sort of point of order Marin, on what do you base that statement..?
Those who don't use them..what do they know...? And of those who do use them, who of those advised against, or knocked them in any way.
I put it to you, You just did the thing you accuse others of, that is seeking and grabbing the answer you wanted to hear.
If you cut them up, I tHink you will later regret it, but what do I know...? Better to give them to koliver, surely...draw liners...ughhh
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