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Old 09-27-2021, 04:36 PM   #1
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Fenders versus Fender Balls

What are the advantages/disadvantages of cylindrical fenders and what are the advantages/disadvantages of fender balls?
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Old 09-27-2021, 04:43 PM   #2
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The round ball type give you more separation from the dock but are more difficult to store since the diameter can be larger.
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Old 09-27-2021, 04:50 PM   #3
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Each has its superiority.
We use spherical fenders to gain distance and protection when rafting. At the dock the cylindrical fenders allow easier boarding as the boat is closer.
Neither stows well. We have room at the Samson post for 3 sphericals and in the Lazarette for 4 cylindricals, between the transom and the dinghy for a couple more cylindricals. Any more just get in the way.
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Old 09-27-2021, 05:01 PM   #4
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Exactly as Comodave describes it, we use large round ones on our dock and cylindrical ones are stored on the boat.
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Old 09-27-2021, 05:06 PM   #5
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We do that but when we are going to be doing locks we take the round ones since they give more separation and are more difficult to store. But for locking the storage issue is worth it.
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Old 09-27-2021, 05:36 PM   #6
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We use balls toward boat ends and cylinders in-between. (Cylinders are green and hard to distinguish from the green hull.)
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Old 09-27-2021, 05:43 PM   #7
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We use cylinders most of the time, but carry balls for locks and concrete walls. The balls can be deflated and squished for storage if needed and they slide much better on lock walls.
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Old 09-27-2021, 05:46 PM   #8
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My balls are stored on wide decks between use.
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Old 09-27-2021, 06:00 PM   #9
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I do something similar to Mark. I use cylinders but have one ball that I use near closer to the bow, just after the hull starts to narrow. This provides the same separation from the dock as the cylinders provide.


I just leave the all to bounce around on the foredeck. With a protected walk around with additional rails, it has never succeeded in bouncing overboard, even in seas that I've promised my wife we would never see again.
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Old 09-27-2021, 06:04 PM   #10
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Cylinder fenders hung horizontally can stay in place if the boat is resting against a piling where the balls will find a way to escape. If you are against a uniform flat surface like the wall of a lock or rafted with another boat, the balls provide a lot of give and protection.
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Old 09-27-2021, 06:46 PM   #11
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We like to use the ball on the forward half only because the diameter is larger and can still extend out beyond the hull on the curve. We use cylinders everywhere else, vertical or horizontal as needed. The one we always have set is on the starboard quarter because that's where the prop walk in reverse drives the stern.
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Old 09-27-2021, 06:56 PM   #12
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I too use both the balls and the cylindrical units. The cyl. are stored on the side decks for ready use, BOTH sides for ready, quick deployment.

THe Beach balls we store elsewhere. One on the back deck and one on the bridge.
My boat has a large fwd. deck overhang so once the boat is secured I then add a beach ball to hold the bow off more.

The beach balls have also allowed us to moor on docks that due to dock oddities with only the cyl. we would have had to pass on.

If you need to roll on the bow to get away from a dock due to wind or current the beach balls , my opinion, are superior.
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Old 09-27-2021, 07:11 PM   #13
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I use both.

I use very large cylinders (Polyform F8) hung horizontally for docking, rafting up, or fending off pilings. They are tucked under the rub rail to keep them from moving up.

I use balls for locking. They tend to contact the lock wall less and can more easily move in and out of walls that have chunks of concrete missing. I also hang these just under the rub rail to keep them in place when descending.

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Old 09-27-2021, 07:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdavid View Post
Cylinder fenders hung horizontally can stay in place if the boat is resting against a piling where the balls will find a way to escape. If you are against a uniform flat surface like the wall of a lock or rafted with another boat, the balls provide a lot of give and protection.
Exactly. Thanks for explaining the different uses, Gdavid. Now I don't have to.

Some boaters have a lot of balls.
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Old 09-27-2021, 07:26 PM   #15
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The balls are harder to keep low against the hull in areas of wakes and tidal range. They certainly give more cushion because of wider print. I prefer the balls when appropriate
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Old 09-27-2021, 08:07 PM   #16
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The balls are harder to keep low against the hull in areas of wakes and tidal range. They certainly give more cushion because of wider print. I prefer the balls when appropriate
For the tide situation (as well as varying lock wall heights) when using balls I tend to set big ones just above the water and smaller ones right under the gunwales.
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Old 09-27-2021, 10:54 PM   #17
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I do something similar to Mark. I use cylinders but have one ball that I use near closer to the bow, just after the hull starts to narrow. This provides the same separation from the dock as the cylinders provide.
.
As Dave says. Cylinders provide the necessary buffer when parallel alongside the dock.

I have one ball which dangles a few feet aft of the bow solely for reversing off the float.
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Old 09-27-2021, 10:58 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Blissboat View Post
Some boaters have a lot of balls.
I knew someone was going to go there! LOL
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Old 09-27-2021, 11:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
My balls are stored on wide decks between use.
This seemed best left alone......
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Old 09-27-2021, 11:25 PM   #20
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It's a shame the balls aren't black
They'd make a day shape.thats actually visible

Add: Google says they do come in black.
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