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View Poll Results: Do you deploy fenders before entering a slip?
Always - I don't want to scratch up the beautiful dock and pilings! 70 79.55%
Never - bump and grind, baby! 15 17.05%
What the heck are fenders? 3 3.41%
Voters: 88. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-07-2011, 19:31   #61
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

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Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
Unfortunately (or maybe it's fortunate?) my boat doesn't have any prop walk or prop wash! The prop sits right behind the keel, about 10 feet away from the rudder, and it's off centered purposefully to offset the torque . . .
It sounds like your boat cannot turn unless you have some forward or reverse speed under way. But until you go out and practice turning the boat and finding out how much speed you need to turn the boat you will be just guessing.
- - Try "docking" to a channel marker or some other non-threatening fixed thing.
- - Spring lines to get into a slip - IMHO - really don't work very well. They can work well getting out if there is a turn needed immediately upon clearing the slip. But spring lines require another hand on deck so really if you plan on single handing they are not an option.
- - One good way to experience how a boat really turns is to go to a supermarket or super center and push the "grocery cart" backwards, that is from the front end so that the handled end is moving forward. This puts the swivel wheels at the back at the cart and not in the front.
- - A boat moving very slowly steers by the rudder moving the stern of the boat in one direction or the other. The bow of the boat stays where you put it. So the object in entering a slip is to place the bow where you want it and then use the rudder to move the stern so the boat enters the slip properly. Where you put the bow is determined by the such factors as current and/or crosswind. And it is all time dependent so unless you are in dead calm, no current conditions, the process of docking is rather dynamic.
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Old 05-07-2011, 19:35   #62
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

If you don't use fenders when docking when would you use them? Fenders on your dock instead of the boat might be a good idea. Of course if your dock gives as much as mine you don't really need fenders.
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Old 05-07-2011, 19:42   #63
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

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- - Spring lines to get into a slip - IMHO - really don't work very well. They can work well getting out if there is a turn needed immediately upon clearing the slip. But spring lines require another hand on deck so really if you plan on single handing they are not an option.
I didn't mean to say I would use them for entering the slip. They would just be the first dockline that goes out, once I'm in the slip, so I can use it to steady the boat (by giving it a little forward thrust with the mid-rail "spring line" tied off) to hold the boat in place while I casually tie off the rest of the docklines.

I'll definitely do some practice maneuvers to get used to the boat before heading to the slip, but I don't expect it to be any big deal. My experience is limited, but I do have some experience to go on... it's just a matter of getting used to doing things without crew. A few turns around the harbor and I'll have a pretty good taste for how she handles
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Old 05-07-2011, 20:03   #64
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

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Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
what is the likelyhood that a pre-placed fender is going to be in precisely the right location.
I always do a 'drive by' of a dock or anchorage to get a look at the berth, then go back out and set my lines and fenders. I never trust the dockmaster.

When I come into a dock sure sometimes I need to guess the heights so I use a slippery clove hitch to tie them. That can be adjusted in seconds. Also sometime I put two lower down and 2 higher up.

For their fore, aft position I have them at the beamiest spot and spaced evenly fore and aft of that till the boat is too narrow to have an effect. As I have them tied to the top strand of the life lines I can just slide each fender along, till its gets to a staunchion.

I have 2 fenders for the other side of the boat as I expect the other boat in the berth to have some fenders out too.

When Nic was aboard we often had a roving fender because she wanted one, but really by that stage its prolly better for the crew to be manning lines.

By myself I just go full throttle and scream a lot

If all docks were directly upwind and the wind never gusted it would be so much easier, but these days with 'designer' marinas trying to utilise every inch of space many are not upwind. And if only doing 1 knot and a gust off yonder hill hits off the bow (or stern) then it takes more than an olympic skipper to control the tub of lard.




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Old 05-07-2011, 20:11   #65
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

I always have what I believe is an old nautical term, a "Special Sea and Anchor Detail" on my yacht. Even when I single hand I go through it as check list. It is completed in a reasonable area away from the dock. This could be a turning basin, outside the breakwater, or approaching/departing an anchorage. This includes as a minimum:

1. Fenders.
2. Dock lines and/or Anchor lines.
3. Life lines.
4. Crew briefing.

I have not met a boater who has NEVER misjudged the windage and/or current and inadvertently bumped a dock. Being ready for the unexpected is always best -- I would rather hit a fender on the dock than my beautiful yacht.

Adhering to this policy also makes my boat look good on the water. I do not go all day with a fender or dock line in the water -- better yet not having a dock line around my prop at the wrong time. I believe that as a boater we the boating public have an age old tradition to uphold and act and look professional on the water.
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Old 05-07-2011, 20:18   #66
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

Nimble boat; own dock with pre-positioned springs, warps & padding. Light wind, minimal current. No fenders. No adverse consequences experienced.

Then there are environmental conditions, handling situations, boat types, types of dock, and 'foreigner' situations where fenders are required.

But I liked the "What are fenders?" option so much I ticked it anyway.
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Old 05-07-2011, 20:27   #67
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

If you have a "permanent slip" there is a neat setup that really works well. You may have seen it used by other slip owners. You string permanent lines from the dock out to the pilings. Then string another set of lines from the outside pilings or from a position along the parallel lines from dock to piling - to the center point on the dock of your slip.
- - This makes two parallel guide lines that keep your boat from straying into the next slip. The "V" shaped lines guide the bow of the boat to the centered position in the slip.
- - These lines can also contain tied off pendants that can be attached to mid-ship cleats to act as spring lines.
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:58   #68
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

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Even when I single hand I go through it as check list. 4. Crew briefing.

Glad I'm not the only one who talks to themself. I will remember to report it as 'Crew Briefings'

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Old 06-07-2011, 08:50   #69
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

As opposed to what, those that leave their fenders dragging every time they go out?
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:59   #70
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

When sailing with others, I explain my intentions before the fight starts, when sailing alone, I talk to myself anyway, so we talk about docking.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:32   #71
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

dont all sailors talk with self-- crew briefing???? even talk to kat..lol he keeps watch.....
but i dont place fenders until after i hit dock and line it all up the way i want it so i dont have to keep readjusting stuff all the time. a lil dock hit isnt gonnna hurt the boat. just dont hit it hard..LOL....
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:37   #72
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

Much of the disagreement here stems from the difference between folks who stay in one berth and come and go repeatedly, and cruising folks who seldom if ever utilize a berth more than once.

When entering a known berth, whatever its configuration, you will know whether fenders should be rigged, where they should (or will) be placed, if there is likely to be current or gusty winds and so on. No problems.

But for those of us who move around (and frankly don't get much practice in berthing) and are always entering a strange berth... well, fenders seem like a good idea. Even better, having a snoop ahead of time to scope out the situation, as MarkJ has suggested. In many marinas, having a "drive by" isn't convenient. I'll often get in the dinghy and explore at leisure before committing myself, either by anchoring nearby or having Ann drive around in circles outside the entrance. You would be surprised what you might find! We've actually found: no cleats on the dock, a dinghy stored in the berth, another boat in the berth, inadequate depth for our boat, fingers so short that we couldn't actually tie the boat up safely, a neighboring boat moored so that there was not room for us, dock lines stretched across our side of the berth from the stern of our neighbor... and once a berth so big that we could have gone in sideways!

Now, as to the instructor who advised to never deploy fenders ahead of time... I suppose that if you have a large crew standing by to leap off with lines while others drop the fenders over in just the right place this might be ok. But for the typical cruising couple, or worse the singlehander, it doesn't make sense to me.

As always, YMMV.

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Old 06-07-2011, 10:02   #73
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

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Ok, I am firmly in the fender camp, as many as I can.

HOWEVER, the longer I own a boat, the less room I seem to have to store the crash and bash baubles.

Where do you store them in the size and quantity required.

That's why you have a really large dinghy/tender, to haul all the cra-(stuff) that will not fit inside the large on deck storeage lockers......
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Old 06-07-2011, 14:47   #74
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

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. . . But for those of us who move around (and frankly don't get much practice in berthing) and are always entering a strange berth... well, fenders seem like a good idea. Even better, having a snoop ahead of time to scope out the situation, as MarkJ has suggested. In many marinas, having a "drive by" isn't convenient. I'll often get in the dinghy and explore at leisure before committing myself, either by anchoring nearby or having Ann drive around in circles outside the entrance. You would be surprised what you might find! . . .
- - Actually in some places marinas use the "Med-moor" system of a buoy for your bow and stern-to the dock/quay. Checking out the buoy system is quite a smart idea as some have lead lines to the dock and others have pendants and others are floating less that 2 meters from the next buoy. Planing how and where to cross the buoy line ahead of time befrore you back in can save a disaster of having the buoy line/rode/whatever get wrapped around your propeller.
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Old 06-07-2011, 15:09   #75
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Re: Poll: Which Fender Camp Are You In?

I have a nine foot inflatable fender - yes, I said nine feet - which I use in canals, and on rough docks when in other countries, it's great when rafting. In Cuba, I called it my 'chorizo grande' as it's bright red. Got lots of laughs, but protects the sides. It's called a Hullkushion, made in Canada and quite a bit cheaper than the competition's products. Highly recommend one on board any boat.
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