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Old 26-11-2015, 06:31   #1
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Fendering for rough concrete docks

What's the best way to deal with a situation like the customs dock in Aruba, where one is required to come alongside a rough concrete dock to check in, and again to check out, in whatever weather?

Two orange ball fenders, as big as one can possibly carry? Sausage fenders with boards (how long are the boards, and how tall, and how many?) Spare tires wrapped in duct taped plastic bags?

Is the advice the same for a dock covered in tires?

I've read in other places online that the experience at that particular dock, and with the officials there, is bad enough that people are avoiding Aruba. But I feel like there should be a solution for the dock...
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Old 26-11-2015, 06:38   #2
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

Lots of big fenders! Looks nasty too.
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Old 26-11-2015, 06:38   #3
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

Yea, Our final solution was three of the 34" Taylor (orange) ball fenders. Normally stored deflated, inflated and tied/hanging from pushpit if somewhere we are using frequently. Small electric inflators.

We tried fender boards (which are useful in some specific situations) and other options, and found the big balls the easiest/best general purpose solution.

The super yachts often use even bigger sausage shaped inflatable fenders - really huge ones, but the 34" balls seemed good enough.
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Old 26-11-2015, 06:40   #4
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

That dock is in fine shape compared to some...it's low and has no rebar sticking out. I carry a huge fender, deflated, that I inflate when I need to enter a port like that. Otherwise two regular cylindrical fenders mounted on a 4' board is fine. You can also land against the tires, tie up, then fender as necessary. I often place a fender of my own against the existing tire. Any stray tire marks will come off of gelcoat or paint very easily with mild rubbing compound.
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Old 26-11-2015, 06:55   #5
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

I've found that several Taylor Made Big B fenders strung on a single line can work well on nasty concrete docks. Big ones.
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Old 26-11-2015, 07:16   #6
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

Fender board.

In that situation I would center the fender board over the tire that is already on the dock.

We carried a 2"*8"*6' cedar board. Used it a lot.

Cheers,
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Old 26-11-2015, 07:21   #7
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

Anchor off and dinghy in, anchor abreast to hold you off the wharf, med moor...
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Old 26-11-2015, 09:16   #8
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

A great idea from Greg Delezynski of S/V Guenevere using the plastic decking boards starting around the 4 minute mark.
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Old 26-11-2015, 09:29   #9
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

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Originally Posted by Imprezza72 View Post
A great idea from Greg Delezynski of S/V Guenevere using the plastic decking boards starting around the 4 minute mark.
The plastic decking is rot proof, stain proof, and abrasion resistant, but, I don't think the plastic decking is strong enough to do everything you might want to do with the fender board. We were able to use ours as a gangplank in some places.

I like how he attaches the board to the fender lines so that the fenders can not escape.

Cheers,
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Old 26-11-2015, 09:36   #10
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

In Japan, we used a fender board similar, but a couple feet longer, than the one described by JM.

Over winter, we tied to many concrete/stone seawalls in many harbors. Mooring floats were rare.

Our fenders survived, look like new, but the board would be a hell of a thing to carry for occasional use.
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Old 26-11-2015, 10:19   #11
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

Two things come to mind:

Tires make excellent fenders (and drogues BTW). You need to go through the Panama Canal. Usually they won't accept standard fenders for obvious reasons.

Fenders that have been punctured by rough docks can be filled with expandable foam sealant/insulation that comes in can. I haven't tried this one yet but will since I have several dead fenders and several cans of foam.
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Old 26-11-2015, 10:38   #12
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

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Originally Posted by NahanniV View Post
Fender board.

In that situation I would center the fender board over the tire that is already on the dock.

We carried a 2"*8"*6' cedar board. Used it a lot.

Cheers,
JM.
The right answer. I'm used to tides, which could cause it to hang-up, but that would be a minor issue there.
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Old 26-11-2015, 10:44   #13
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

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Originally Posted by NahanniV View Post
The plastic decking is rot proof, stain proof, and abrasion resistant, but, I don't think the plastic decking is strong enough to do everything you might want to do with the fender board. We were able to use ours as a gangplank in some places.

I like how he attaches the board to the fender lines so that the fenders can not escape.

Cheers,
JM.
Yes, It could snap in a storm. Plain old PT wood. These should be rugged and disposable.

A better way to locate the fenders is a loop going between 2 holes in the board located 1 fender diameter apart. Stuff the fender behind the loop and hang similar to his method. Additionally, I would not use metal snaps--could scratch something. Instead, simply hang the board from the fender (a short line with a loop in the end the fender suspension line is threaded through).

Additionally, he has lines exposed on the dock side; they will chafe through. They need to be counter sunk or moved.

Even simpler in use. The down side is that the assembly is heavier. The trick is to tie it to the toe rail (never lifelines) with clove hitches before you lower it.
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Old 26-11-2015, 10:44   #14
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

I carry a 4' length of PVC 4" pile. Drill holes in each end and tie a line with the line going over the end. Hang this as a fender board. Nice and slick and it sores well.


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Old 26-11-2015, 10:51   #15
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Re: Fendering for rough concrete docks

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The right answer. I'm used to tides, which could cause it to hang-up, but that would be a minor issue there.
I just posted fender boards for locks. Concrete docks are also right for using them. Use something cheap and replace when torn up. Cheaper than your fenders taking the abrasion.
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