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Old 19-09-2018, 20:23   #1
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Coating to protect fenders

Has anyone had any luck coating new fenders with anything. I'm replacing mine after about five years as they take more cleaning effort and cleaning materials than the $50 it takes to get a new fender. My current ones are starting to leave hard to clean marks on the gelcoat. My own fauld because - after my regular cleaners stopped working well - I tried some acetone and they became sticky.

I'm not looking for suggestions for cleaners, I've tried them all. They mostly work fine - until they don't. And I don't like fender covers because they last only about a year and are half the price of a new fender.

So I was thinking of putting a yearly coat of some protectant on the new fenders to make them easier to clean and hopefully last longer. Has anyone tried that. Suggestions? I've thought of Collonite Wax, 303, Plexus, and SailKote.

Opinions?
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Old 19-09-2018, 20:33   #2
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Re: Coating to protect fenders

T-shirts stuck over them work well, so do the commercial fabric covers.
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Old 19-09-2018, 22:47   #3
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Re: Coating to protect fenders

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Has anyone had any luck coating new fenders with anything. I'm replacing mine after about five years as they take more cleaning effort and cleaning materials than the $50 it takes to get a new fender. My current ones are starting to leave hard to clean marks on the gelcoat. My own fauld because - after my regular cleaners stopped working well - I tried some acetone and they became sticky.

I'm not looking for suggestions for cleaners, I've tried them all. They mostly work fine - until they don't. And I don't like fender covers because they last only about a year and are half the price of a new fender.

So I was thinking of putting a yearly coat of some protectant on the new fenders to make them easier to clean and hopefully last longer. Has anyone tried that. Suggestions? I've thought of Collonite Wax, 303, Plexus, and SailKote.

Opinions?

303. Plasticote them? (Joking would look crappy quickly but might buy time if that's the only goal.)
You said you aren't looking for cleaners but... I've had better luck with a single wipe with MEK than acetone on soft rubbers(bumpers on cars) and hard plastics(headlights and tail lights) as well as rub rails. One wipe only. Wipe over plastic a second time, and you'll get bits of papertowel all over them, and a ugly mess.
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Old 19-09-2018, 23:21   #4
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Re: Coating to protect fenders

sailkote or likewise helps but needs to be applied regularly. Also helps stops squeaks when squished against the dock. Also buying darker fenders helps a bit depending on uv in your area, but with that they just fade.
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Old 19-09-2018, 23:34   #5
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Re: Coating to protect fenders

If you can sew, make some covers out of thick fleece. I made some for my fenders-black fenders/black fleece- going on four years ago, and they're only now needing replacement. Someone even stole one off my boat at my slip! Fleece is cheap and doesn't squeak against the hull.
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Old 20-09-2018, 00:50   #6
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Re: Coating to protect fenders

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
And I don't like fender covers because they last only about a year and are half the price of a new fender.

Opinions?
Not sure why you say that fender covers only last a year. Ours have seen four years of hard use and still look great. My wife made them from material she bought from Sailrite. It is fairly thick, almost like outdoor carpet. Nice and soft on the topsides.

I will also go out on a limb here... My wife is not mechanically minded, so most of the boat projects and maintenance wind up on my plate. Sewing, however, she can do. It is a source of pride for her to be able to make something like this for the boat that we use practically every day.

Other than some sort of fender cover, I've never had any lasting success with the various cleaners.

Cheers!

Steve
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Old 20-09-2018, 09:40   #7
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Re: Coating to protect fenders

Waxing them helps. Any good boat wax. / Len
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Old 20-09-2018, 09:54   #8
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Re: Coating to protect fenders

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Has anyone had any luck coating new fenders with anything. I'm replacing mine after about five years as they take more cleaning effort and cleaning materials than the $50 it takes to get a new fender. My current ones are starting to leave hard to clean marks on the gelcoat. My own fauld because - after my regular cleaners stopped working well - I tried some acetone and they became sticky.

I'm not looking for suggestions for cleaners, I've tried them all. They mostly work fine - until they don't. And I don't like fender covers because they last only about a year and are half the price of a new fender.

So I was thinking of putting a yearly coat of some protectant on the new fenders to make them easier to clean and hopefully last longer. Has anyone tried that. Suggestions? I've thought of Collonite Wax, 303, Plexus, and SailKote.

Opinions?

Have you tried paint brush & roller cleaner? I know you specifically didn't ask, but it has worked for me for many years. I, too, used to use acetone with the same results. A dock neighbor turned me on to this stuff, and it works. Much easier to use, no rubbing, no sticky. I have the same fenders I bought 20 years ago. They look brand new.


If people had found "The Holy Grail" of protectant, everyone would know about it by now. Simply doesn't exist.


I use Collinite on my hull. Great stuff. Never needed it on fenders.


Good luck, sorry if you may not have liked the answer.
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Old 20-09-2018, 10:06   #9
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pirate Re: Coating to protect fenders

The Admiral has made many a cover for our boat fenders from Thrift store pillow casings and towels. They seem to last for several years and prices were right for the materials. Sorry for no pics. Away from fenders at present. Good luck in your quest.
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Old 20-09-2018, 10:08   #10
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Coating to protect fenders

Why not make covers from Sunbrella? Seems like those would last a long time.
I have this problem now, three of my fenders are old and leave marks, so itís either cover them or buy more.
Sailrite has a material for this that I think they call Boat blanket material whatever that is, other sources say use fleece, but wonít the sun eat that up quick?
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Old 20-09-2018, 10:21   #11
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Re: Coating to protect fenders

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Why not make covers from Sunbrella? Seems like those would last a long time.
I have this problem now, three of my fenders are old and leave marks, so itís either cover them or buy more.
Sailrite has a material for this that I think they call Boat blanket material whatever that is, other sources say use fleece, but wonít the sun eat that up quick?

a64, try the paint brush & roller cleaner (any hardware store). You have nothing to lose. It does work, and is really not "work" at all. One of the easiest things left to do on our boat.
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Old 20-09-2018, 10:26   #12
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Coating to protect fenders

So what do you do with this cleaner? Scrub them with a rag, soak them or what?
These are dark green fenders, and leave dark green marks, they arenít white ones that have just gotten dirty
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Old 20-09-2018, 10:29   #13
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Re: Coating to protect fenders

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Why not make covers from Sunbrella? Seems like those would last a long time.
I have this problem now, three of my fenders are old and leave marks, so itís either cover them or buy more.
Sailrite has a material for this that I think they call Boat blanket material whatever that is, other sources say use fleece, but wonít the sun eat that up quick?
Made mine out of thick fleece, and they've lasted going on four years 24/7. The color faded but the fabric isn't deteriorated. Might not last in Florida or Hawaii....
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Old 20-09-2018, 10:35   #14
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Re: Coating to protect fenders

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
So what do you do with this cleaner? Scrub them with a rag, soak them or what?
These are dark green fenders, and leave dark green marks, they arenít white ones that have just gotten dirty

No scrubbing, just put some of the cleaner on a rag and wipe (why it's superior to acetone). Takes all the dirt off. The dirt usually comes from the side of the dock. Good luck, it works. The stuff is so relatively cheap that you should be liberal with its use on the rag, keep using clean spots on the rag or a new clean rag. Color of fenders doesn't matter.
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Old 20-09-2018, 12:41   #15
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Re: Coating to protect fenders

I know you said you donít like fender covers as they are expensive but we met a cruiser who used ice hockey socks as they were relatively cheap
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