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Old 13-08-2006, 17:03   #1
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Fender boards

I am seriously contemplating some fender boards. Any suggestions?
My thoughts are that i can use pressure treated wood to begin with, or use non-pressure treated and varnish, etc to make them water tight.

I think the second method would make nicer looking boards.

Opinions?
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Old 13-08-2006, 20:51   #2
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I'd skip the wood and use synthetic decking "lumber". This is commonly sold in the big hardware stores these days in a variety of "woodish" colors and trade names, usually some kind of mix of plastic chips and wood particles. The only drawback to the stuff is that wood screws don't grip in it the same way, but that shouldn't matter here.

OTOH, if you really want to go upscale get some ipe (ironwood) decking lumber, typically available as 1x5 strips. Wears like teak at a much lower price. Won't need waterproofing, although you can finish it if you really must.<G>

I'd go with the "plastic lumber" for this.
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Old 13-08-2006, 22:21   #3
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I have a fenderboard made from 2" x 8" x 12' plain wood. I just used Thompson's water seal on it ... worked fine ... but that ironwood sounds good. I'm not sure about the 'plastic' lumber - wood particles .. how do you treat it ... and how stable is it? I also use mine as a plank for med mooring.


A couple of things to keep in mind: a fenderboard needs to have fenders attached to it (securely), not the boat (between the boat and fenderboard) - otherwise they like to slip out. Each line that you attach to the fenderboard (and the boat) needs to go through two holes next to each other with the exterior side area between the two holes milled out so the line doesn't chafe against the pilings.
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Old 14-08-2006, 05:22   #4
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Depending on the size of the boat, the plastic decking probably is not strong enough. I am using a 20 year old pair of dockboards made from 5' long X 5/4 X 6 oak that was epoxy sealed and varnished. I prefer to use these with full sized cylindrical fenders rather than the clip on fender board fenders, for a more comfortable motion. Although quite heavy and d a straight grain piece of IPE would be a good choice. Ironwood, while very hard, is a poor choice.

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Old 14-08-2006, 06:26   #5
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Trex Deck is some pretty heavy duty decking that may work.
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Old 14-08-2006, 07:53   #6
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While Trex Decking is tough and durable, it does not have the same stiffness as wood. Therefore, it is not intended for use as a load bearing structural member (beam, post, joist, or any other primary load-bearing component).
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Old 14-08-2006, 10:48   #7
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Trex IS good for load bearing in compression only!

To be technically accurate Trex decking is good in load bearing compression-only applications. Loads cantilevered on this material put tension on the material and it is weak under tension which is why such decking planks must be supported on centers less than the usual 16 inches.

The material is not abrasion resistant yet is very weather resistant, the main attraction. Also it is VERY flammable and dense (unlike spruce, for example).
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Old 14-08-2006, 14:19   #8
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I have a pair of pressre treated 2" x 6" that are about 5' long. I skipped the little end caps and use round fenders next to the hull. They work great, and I don't care if they get scratched on barnicles, or coverd with creasote from the pilings (they will). I just drilled a couple holes in each end and makde up a couple of 8' lines to them.

They work great, and the lumber was 'reclaimed' (found it floating after a storm)

Would'nt that plastic (starboard) be awfully heavy and expensive for fenderboards?
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Old 14-08-2006, 15:27   #9
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Figuring that things on boats should have more than one purpose, I built a fender board that could also be a dog ramp, to get the dog from water back onto the sugar scoop. It was a thing of beauty, painted a dark brown, and carpeted with indoor outdoor carpet so the dog could get traction. It was about 5’ long and I put 3 round fenders behind it so that the load didn’t have much leverage. It was 2, 1 x 6” with a gap of about 1” between and three cross pieces of the same wood, one at each end, and one in the middle. Boards were good quality pine with no knots or splits. All assembled with &#189; 20 stainless bolts and lock nuts neatly counter sunk to heads were not exposed.

It worked great for about 4 months, then in a blow in Clarence Town, Long Island, it cracked so loudly I thought it was a shot. I took my good stainless fasteners out of it. I then raided the scrap pile at a near by construction project and liberated a piece of 2 by pressure treated pine about the same length and drilled two holes for fender whips. The new piece is a little heavier, doesn’t serve two purposes, but does the job admirablly. I need to square up one end and seal it, but I think it is fine as is.

I have not had a problem with properly positioned fenders slipping out, but if I did, I would probably look at the dedicated fender board ends that bolt or screw onto a 2 by. (similar to West Marine model 278871)

I considered the plastic decking, but it seemed considerably heavier than even pressure treated pine.

George
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Old 15-08-2006, 07:46   #10
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We have two fender boards aboard our First 42, both 2x6's about 5' long. While I used to try to suspend these in front of matched inflated fenders, too often I found that the inflated fenders would get pushed aside or otherwise rendered ineffective. As an alternative, I now have lengths of Taylor nylon covered/foam cored fendering material (normally used for pilings) attached to the hull-sides of the fenderboards which has proven a more effective means of protecting the hull. And, laid side-by-side with a couple of lengths of the securing line looped around each, they make a serviceable passerelle.

Cheers,

s/v HyLyte
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Old 15-08-2006, 10:30   #11
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So the jury is out on TREX?

I see that there seems to be a few questions about using TREX and similar materials. Anyone ever actually use it yet?

ALSO, I noticed that those fo you who were kind enough to list dimensions on your fenerboards, are using ones a lot shorter than I thought. For my Catalina 27, I was thinking 10-12 feet. That seems way larger than what others are using? Am I missing something? I thought they should protect a lot of your boat?
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Old 15-08-2006, 11:35   #12
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Trex has its uses

I've machined and routed pieces of Trex to use in various places always in compression. I replaced strips of teak supported on my S/S bow anchor assembly to avoid having to refinish teak. The strips are easily replaceable if they get banged up during retreiving the anchor chain.

I use a block of it to replace a teak crutch shaped around the bottom of the boom in my boom gallows, again, doesn't need finishing and looks just like weathered teak after a few months in the sun.

Trex would not make a good fenderboard because it is too heavy and flexes too much and would break too easily.
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Old 15-08-2006, 11:46   #13
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duplicate post
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Old 15-08-2006, 12:04   #14
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Trex VS Douglas Fir, all values in PSI:
rating Trex Fir
Para. Compression 550 625
Perp. Compression 625 1700
Shear strength 200 1668

Real wood is a lot stronger than trex. That is why they do not recommend it for structural members. I hope that is the information you were looking for?
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Old 15-08-2006, 15:16   #15
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GREAT info

Yes, that solves the Trex question for fender boards! How about length?? Any suggestions for a Catalina 27?
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