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Old 08-12-2022, 04:21 PM   #1
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Fenders

Hi All, Our new to us boat came with a wealth of fenders. There are two types onboard; cylindrical fenders and round “ball” type fenders. My question to the forum is which to use and when. I know the cylindrical fenders are used horizontally across pilings. What are the advantages of the ball type and when are they chosen over the cylindrical fenders? Thanks in advance for the input.
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Old 08-12-2022, 06:50 PM   #2
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The ball types can be used in rafting applications to help separate the boats better.

THey are also excellent at cushioning against a dock or another boat, better than the tubes, when the seas are bouncing you beam on.

If your boat has a lot of flare at the bow or overhang of the side decks, and some do, they may be of more use to keep distance between the boat and the dock.

I have used them to dock in questionable situations where the tube types are simply to small a diameter. I have large , for my boat, tube fenders but even so the balls are better if they too are of a good size.

Don't discard them, the balls, untill at least a year or two has gone by so you can test them.

Of course it would help if you mentioned the sizes of both types as there are small and large in both types.
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Old 08-12-2022, 07:11 PM   #3
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Thanks C lectric. Good advice. The cylinders are HTM4 and the balls are quite large. I’m trying both styles.
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Old 08-12-2022, 07:59 PM   #4
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I prefer the ball fenders for locking. They're less likely to get hung up in ladders, cleats, and missing chunks of concrete in lock walls.

For docking I prefer cylinders and always horizontal. I use Polyform F8s which are huge. When the wind or current is driving you to the dock or a bulkhead, it's all about square feet of surface area. While I try to be gentle, there are times when I've hit the bulkhead harder than I wanted to. Having the fender horizontal generates more surface area when you mush it.

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Old 08-12-2022, 08:29 PM   #5
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The round ones work well for locks. But they are more difficult to store. I like the biggest fenders you can store.
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Old 08-13-2022, 05:32 AM   #6
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I agree with round fenders for locks. And if you're not going to need them for a while, you can deflate them and squish them down for storage.

We carry 10x26 cylinders as our primary fenders (stowed in holders on the bow). We also carry 12 and 18 inch ball fenders. The 18s are typically carried deflated unless we're doing locks or going to be docked against high concrete walls, as they don't stow nicely anywhere while inflated.
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Old 08-13-2022, 06:16 AM   #7
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Find the balls give better protection in all settings. But if against any rough surface where the water will rise and fall a bunch nothing works as well as a fender board. You want the fenders to move with the board and the board to move with the boat as much as possible. Use cheap lumber or castaways from construction. Throw it out when not needed for the near future. Use sweat pants legs for covers on fenders. When they get junky they get tossed as well. Put vertical strips held with counter sunk screws on board. Replace as destroyed. Haven’t locked but have used against concrete pilings and commercial docks with success.
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Old 08-13-2022, 06:34 AM   #8
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We use cylinders vertically against floating docks, augmented by a ball or sometimes 2 (increasing sizes) up forward where the bow curves away from the dock.

We use cylinders on the boat horizontally against piles at fixed docks. Sometimes works; sometimes depends on whether we can keep the fenders lined up with the pile. If not, Plan B often means fixing the cylinder fender to the pile itself.

We can deflate and stow our ball fenders; that helps a bit.

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Old 08-13-2022, 06:52 AM   #9
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Advice covered well above.
Having both is a plus. Just experiment a bit and observe what others are using and you will quickly find what works for you and your boat and situation.
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Old 08-13-2022, 09:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
The round ones work well for locks. But they are more difficult to store. I like the biggest fenders you can store.
I found that tying them off to the upper rail when not in use, worked well. Also found that repurposing kayak holders worked well for my F8 tube fenders. Normally there are 4 double stacked in the holders.

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Old 08-13-2022, 10:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
I found that tying them off to the upper rail when not in use, worked well. Also found that repurposing kayak holders worked well for my F8 tube fenders. Normally there are 4 double stacked in the holders.

Ted
That's what we do with the balls if we'll need them again soon. If we don't expect to, they go in the forward bilge storage with the bigger ones deflated (there's room for the smaller balls to stay inflated).
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Old 08-13-2022, 03:45 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the he good ideas. Most helpful.
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Old 08-13-2022, 07:27 PM   #13
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I've got 4 big balls on double braid nylon lines. But that's not the best part.

The best part is these adjustable fender line hooks that allow hoisting to the top for travel, midway for boat to boat protection or almost to waterline for floating dock protection.

Way cool! Just a push on the lock bar and the line slides through. I knot the line through the hole and I'm not going to lose the fender if I slip.
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Old 08-13-2022, 07:28 PM   #14
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Having both is nice, often you barely need fenders, other times there are not enough in the world to satisfy your need.

From the above posts and my experience, 2 different types for different situations, neither is better in all situations so having different kinds of different sizes is a good thing.... use what works best when tying up in any situation.

Long, obvious response instead of my typical " it depends" response.
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Old 08-14-2022, 08:19 AM   #15
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For hanging and adjusting fender height these are the best I’ve used. https://fastfender.com/
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