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Old 27-10-2019, 06:51   #1
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Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

I secured one relatively soft Plastimo fender on the upwind starboard side finger with one soft 10" x 26" Taylor-made fender at the berth entrance. Then I secured 3 Pastimo fenders on the downwind port side finger with one 10" x 26" Taylor-made fender at the berth entrance. I no longer need to exit and enter my two finger slip with fenders secured to the boat.

Plastimo just improved their fender dock mounting hardware by making them longer with tapered edges to "lock in place" and changed the nuts to nylon nuts to keep the nuts from unscrewing. The first hardware set I purchased early this year worked its way loose and I lost one bolt to the water.

I also stow fenders in the aft lazarette for docking at other marina berths.

Anyone else do that?
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Old 27-10-2019, 08:19   #2
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

I generally use fire hose. Screw it in every 6" or so, bunched out a bit in between for that "ribbon candy" effect. They also sell canvas-lined foam strips which work the same way.

I'm not a fan of fenders on a dock. If they touch the water, they'll get marine growth. As they move around, all that crud gets scratched and rubbed into your hull. If you put them too high above the water, they can pop up and out, leaving you to rub up against the dock. Lastly, it can screw up your landing if you bounce off of a big fender.

I've seen fenders on a dock work OK if you line a lot of smallish ones up tight along the top edge of the dock, sort of like you see on the gunnels of some launches. But that can get pricey.
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Old 27-10-2019, 09:11   #3
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

Most of the time it is a bad idea to have fenders in place along the side of the boat while maneuvering. They are more likely to hang up and get you in trouble than they are to protect anything. There are exceptions...

Having crew with a fender in hand is helpful, especially if the fender is rigged with two lines so it can be used horizontally. If the crew is inexperienced, the best instruction to give them is to "Protect the piling from the boat, not the other way round." If they are thinking of it that way, things will go better. Try it!

There is a lot I do not like about the modern design trends on boats, but one of the absolute worst is the complete absence of any kind of rub rail. I don't know if this is omitted because the designer/builder is ignorant of its importance, if it is a cost saving matter, or maybe an esthetic choice? No matter the reason for the choice, it is a bad decision!

On a "proper yacht" there is a rail at the widest part of the boat that you can put against a piling and use to rotate or guide the boat. Try that with so many current designs--even some very expensive ones--and you'll seriously damage the hull. Don't these boat builder know it is impossible to NEVER touch ANYTHING?

On so many boats not only is there no rub-rail, but there are also long swathes of the hull where you can not put fenders because there are very large and fragile windows set in the topsides (yes I am looking at you Lagoon!). What are you supposed to do if a piling is RIGHT THERE??? Then to make it even worse, they cut a hole in this large window and put an opening port in it! Argh!!!!
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Old 27-10-2019, 11:09   #4
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

We don't use fenders in our home slip, which is a 4-way tie-up at a fixed dock with short finger pier... and we dock stern-to.

Instead, I installed 5' strips bumpers (not fenders; 10' bumper strips cut in half) on the mid- and aft- piles:

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/taylo...38?recordNum=8

We do carry fenders: 4 TaylerMade hole-thru-middle Big B's in storage cans on the bow, 2 TaylorMade SuperGard's tied to our aft bridge rail for use at the stern, and a Polyform A4 buoy (stored tied on the forward rail) for keeping the hull up near the bow off floating docks up.

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Old 27-10-2019, 15:05   #5
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
Most of the time it is a bad idea to have fenders in place along the side of the boat while maneuvering. They are more likely to hang up and get you in trouble than they are to protect anything. There are exceptions...

Having crew with a fender in hand is helpful, especially if the fender is rigged with two lines so it can be used horizontally. If the crew is inexperienced, the best instruction to give them is to "Protect the piling from the boat, not the other way round." If they are thinking of it that way, things will go better. Try it!

There is a lot I do not like about the modern design trends on boats, but one of the absolute worst is the complete absence of any kind of rub rail. I don't know if this is omitted because the designer/builder is ignorant of its importance, if it is a cost saving matter, or maybe an esthetic choice? No matter the reason for the choice, it is a bad decision!

On a "proper yacht" there is a rail at the widest part of the boat that you can put against a piling and use to rotate or guide the boat. Try that with so many current designs--even some very expensive ones--and you'll seriously damage the hull. Don't these boat builder know it is impossible to NEVER touch ANYTHING?

On so many boats not only is there no rub-rail, but there are also long swathes of the hull where you can not put fenders because there are very large and fragile windows set in the topsides (yes I am looking at you Lagoon!). What are you supposed to do if a piling is RIGHT THERE??? Then to make it even worse, they cut a hole in this large window and put an opening port in it! Argh!!!!

^^ this
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Old 27-10-2019, 21:28   #6
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

For a piling, use two genders and a fender board. Also lets you put the fenders away from hull ports.

Coming back to the thread, my home marina did a deal with a local chandlers to let us buy foam blocks to mount to the pontoons (the marina staff mounted them, to make sure they all look the same). For me it transformed solo sailing. No need for any fenders coming into and out of the marina, and since there are no other docks within days I almost never need to get the fenders out of the locker from one month to the next.

http://obornsnautical.co.nz/2018/03/22/dock-fenders/

I agree that a massive rub rail (mine is the 4” wide teak toerail with a stainless rubbing strip on the outside) is a great thing. Particularly with pvc pilings there’s no possibility of damage.
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Old 27-10-2019, 21:42   #7
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
There is a lot I do not like about the modern design trends on boats, but one of the absolute worst is the complete absence of any kind of rub rail. I don't know if this is omitted because the designer/builder is ignorant of its importance, if it is a cost saving matter, or maybe an esthetic choice? No matter the reason for the choice, it is a bad decision!

On a "proper yacht" there is a rail at the widest part of the boat that you can put against a piling and use to rotate or guide the boat. Try that with so many current designs--even some very expensive ones--and you'll seriously damage the hull. Don't these boat builder know it is impossible to NEVER touch ANYTHING?
Well our yacht is totally "improper" then. We have no rub rail. (see the avatar?)

AND we DO hang fenders, four of them (long ones, Polyform F-4) on the side before arriving in our berth. Which side? Depends on if we are backing in or going forward.

Then we arrive slowly, dead slow, use the wind and tide, and stop the boat at the finger pier with reverse so that we don't take much impact, we try to avoid ANY impact. Can easily step off. First a midships line, then springs, then bow and stern. Captain helps with the throttle and gear shift.

If we're lucky there are dock boys. Or if the racing crew is on board a few hunks to jump off, but otherwise it's just Judy and me, and we do OK.

So the home berth has a rub strip of white rubber, but due to the rotted wood on the dock it won't take much impact, so we avoid that. The fenders stay with the boat.

The point is, have a boat that can steer and maneuver, then learn how to use it, and go slow.
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Old 28-10-2019, 05:14   #8
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

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The point is, have a boat that can steer and maneuver, then learn how to use it, and go slow.
Ahh, it must be nice to have a marina where there's no wind or current, with wide slips or face docks and plenty of room to maneuver.

In our area, going slow is almost guaranteed to have you crashing into something at some point. Frequently you need to come in pretty aggressively. Yes, use the wind and current to the extent possible. But sometimes it's just flat out working against you.

Often, the slips are only inches wider than the boat, and the boat in the neighboring slip always seems to be taking more than it's share. It also always seems to be a gleaming, million-dollar yacht that you'd never want to scratch. The fairway is often narrower than the boat is long.

"Dock boys?" Ha! Where dock hands are present, you never know whether they're going to save the day for you, or yank the bow line so hard you'll never be able to recover.

I will agree that a certain amount of skill is a huge benefit. But I've seen the best of them in irons from a sudden wind, unexpected current or poor line handling.
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Old 28-10-2019, 05:35   #9
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

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"Dock boys?" Ha! Where dock hands are present, you never know whether they're going to save the day for you, or yank the bow line so hard you'll never be able to recover.
Exactly my immediate reaction. Dockhands may well be the greatest hazard to cruisers. There are exceptions but they are few and far between. I've pretty well given up on them.
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Old 28-10-2019, 08:32   #10
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

We have three Plastimo 3/4 fenders and one half-round bolted to the floating finger dock, and I always come in with 4 large Taylor fenders on that side plus one on the other in case my neighbour's boat is there (never touched it yet, though she did hook one of my staunchions with her anchor once - yet the hulls never touched). The prevailing wind is usually pushing me into the berth and away from my dock (so does propwalk when I shift to reverse).


So, belt and suspenders. And a 1" line run from a winch to a large loop dropped over the pilling at the end of the finger.
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Old 28-10-2019, 08:39   #11
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

I have really been impressed with these permanent dock fenders:

http://holmesms.com/

3 seasons and still good as new, no marring on a painted hull

I do add a single hanging fender when sleeping aboard due to a little squeaking noise.
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Old 28-10-2019, 08:43   #12
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

Interesting thread.
Eliminating fenders hanging from the boat would simplify tremendously the preparation of the boat going out for sailing and coming back for docking. Especially when sailing solo or shorthanded, stowing the fenders before sailing and bringing them out again before docking is a lot of work.

My berth is quite narrow, with another boat on one side and a finger on the other. My boat is a 35'. When docked, I use four fenders on the finger side and two on the side facing the other boat (the other boat has two fenders facing mine as well).

I have been experimenting with dock bumpers, but with only partial success. For a boat of this size, my experience is that the dock bumpers tend to be too hard and mark the hull. Also, the area that gets in touch with the boat hull is rather narrow, so the pressure is not well distributed. The prevalent condition at my dock is wind on the beam, directly pushing the boat into the dock. There is no way to prevent that, because of the other boat next to mine.

I'd be very interested in hearing others with a boat similar as mine who have solved this problem with greater success. What type of bumpers are you using and any other "tricks" to eliminate the markings on the hull.
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Old 28-10-2019, 08:45   #13
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

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Exactly my immediate reaction. Dockhands may well be the greatest hazard to cruisers. There are exceptions but they are few and far between. I've pretty well given up on them.

An exception is Secret Cove Marina on the North side of the Strait of Georgia in B.C. Canada.

The dock hands are all young, female, cute and they know their stuff !


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Old 28-10-2019, 08:48   #14
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

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Originally Posted by Redline452 View Post
We have three Plastimo 3/4 fenders and one half-round bolted to the floating finger dock, and I always come in with 4 large Taylor fenders on that side plus one on the other in case my neighbour's boat is there (never touched it yet, though she did hook one of my staunchions with her anchor once - yet the hulls never touched). The prevailing wind is usually pushing me into the berth and away from my dock (so does propwalk when I shift to reverse).


So, belt and suspenders. And a 1" line run from a winch to a large loop dropped over the pilling at the end of the finger.
Very similar situation for me. Not using fenders hanging from the boat would be a dream, but I am not sure whether there is a realistic solution that allows it. In my marina, nobody has achieved it. If there is one, I certainly would love to know.
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Old 28-10-2019, 08:57   #15
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Re: Eliminating Bumpers at Your Home Berth

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I'd be very interested in hearing others with a boat similar as mine who have solved this problem with greater success. What type of bumpers are you using and any other "tricks" to eliminate the markings on the hull.

The bumpers we installed (see post #4) only ever touch our rub rails.

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