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Old 12-10-2020, 18:58   #1
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Fender inventory. Care to share?

I'm interested to hear what basket of fenders you all carry?

We've got a new-ish, 37'/13'/6'-4" sloop that displaces roughly 15,000lb dry. We usually carry 6 "standard" fenders (to deploy vertically), 1 with the hole-through-the middle (to deploy horizontally), and one 17" ball.

We're sailing Annapolis to Florida in Nov/Dec, taking the ICW most of the way.

Any specialty fenders we should add to the standard complement?
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Old 12-10-2020, 19:13   #2
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

A Fender Stratocaster...
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Old 12-10-2020, 19:22   #3
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

A fender board is invaluable at times.
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Old 13-10-2020, 02:49   #4
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

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A fender board is invaluable at times.

Or Two even.


Been on a few gnarly fuel docks requiring them
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Old 13-10-2020, 03:11   #5
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

Those vertical fenders can be tied end to end so make a long horizontal fender with a support line in the middle. Makes coming into a fixed leeward dock in 25knots a bit easier.
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Old 13-10-2020, 03:24   #6
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

You'll be fine with what you have most of the time. Second the idea of a fender board. Those really come in handy if you cruise the Canadian Maritimes, where there's lots of commercial docks. We carried a couple of huge inflatable fishing buoys up there as well. Those would also have been useful in the Panama Canal, where we wrapped an exercise ball in netting for a fender (worked great). But for the trip you're looking at, regular buoys are fine.
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Old 13-10-2020, 03:47   #7
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

only one thing to say about fenders...you can never have enough

cheers,
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Old 13-10-2020, 03:54   #8
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

Other than the welcome center at the dismal swamp, Elizabeth City free docks, and Oriental Free docks we don't stay overnight anywhere else on the trip south. We'll hit a fuel dock every week or two to fill the tanks and pump out. One doesn't normally need fenders on the hook.

I prefer fenders that have the line run through them or have eyes on both sides so they can be hung vertically or horizontally. The Taylor Made Big-B are my favorite, but we never buy fenders. We always find them floating around. We find a couple every season.

We drop off the ones we don't like ehen we collect too many in the "free pile" at marinas that have such when we use their dinghy docks. Vero has the dumpsters by the dinghy dock. Hang up an old fender there and it is gone later that day.
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Old 13-10-2020, 04:57   #9
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintedKite View Post
I'm interested to hear what basket of fenders you all carry?

We've got a new-ish, 37'/13'/6'-4" sloop that displaces roughly 15,000lb dry. We usually carry 6 "standard" fenders (to deploy vertically), 1 with the hole-through-the middle (to deploy horizontally), and one 17" ball.

We're sailing Annapolis to Florida in Nov/Dec, taking the ICW most of the way.

Any specialty fenders we should add to the standard complement?

We carried a mixture of hole-thru-middle and ears-on-each-end tubes, mostly 'cause that's what came with the boat, they were the right size, and they worked OK. Either style could work horizontally or vertically.

But for the ICW, we also added a large buoy-shaped fender, mostly for deploying up near the curvature at the bow... for leaning the hull itself against floating docks when necessary, pivoting on the fender, etc.

-Chris
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Old 13-10-2020, 05:20   #10
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

My normal docking fenders are 3 of the 10x26 Taylor Big B. I prefer the hole through middle to end loops, as you can set the fenders lower if needed without dangling anything in the water to get slimy.

I also carry a set of ball fenders in the forward bilge for when I need extras or for locks and tying to walls. 4x 12" balls, 2x 18" balls. I keep a couple of the 12s inflated, but the rest deflated (the 18s don't fit in the storage spot inflated anyway). So most of those require a few minutes of prep before use.
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Old 13-10-2020, 06:34   #11
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

We have enough line on both ends of the Big-B fenders to reach up past the fender to then loosely tie two half-hitches around the upper line. There are stopper knots to firmly fix the fender onto the line without moving either way along it. Loosely hitching the lower line to the upper when vertically-deploying keeps the lower end of the line from dangling. It also still allows each line to be of fixed-length so a horizontal tie can be at any angle or orientation without the fender sliding down the line and sagging when you need it to stay "right there."
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Old 13-10-2020, 09:23   #12
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

I think it is prudent to carry enough fenders to be able to fully prepare to dock on either side (often, you approach an unfamiliar dock and they have you switch side at the last minute, resulting in major scrambling to move the fenders, which I find very stressful). This should possibly include an extra step fender, if you use one. Even better if you prepare dock lines on either side, so you are prepared for anything.

One situation that I was not prepared well was going through a lock, where we had to tie on a wall on the port side. At the last minute, a large barge came into the lock on our starboard side and created a substantial pressure for us into the wall. We had five "normal" vertical fenders to the wall, but they were not sufficient, and they ended up etching marks into the gelcoat (not a huge deal, but still an afternoon of buffing and waxing to fix).
In that situation, having maybe 2 or 3 15" or 17" "balls" would have worked much better and avoided any damage.

From that experience, I think having a few extra "balls", maybe stored somewhere but available if needed, is a good idea.

And don't forget the dinghy, at least a small one (or two) that you always leave in the dinghy is useful in many situations.
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Old 13-10-2020, 09:27   #13
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

As a note on the lock situation, I typically deploy 5 balls on a side. 2x 18" balls down low, just above the water (one aft, one further forward where the hull starts to curve in). Then 4x 12" balls just below the gunwale (aft, center and 2 forward). That covers us pretty well for any way the boat can move against the walls as well as making sure the hull doesn't hit when at the top in locks where there's only about a foot of exposed wall when fully filled.
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Old 13-10-2020, 10:06   #14
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

I like having one or two large, inflatable fenders, like these. Easy to store and long enough to deploy when you get pinned on a roigh dock or rafted to a large, ugly fish boat.
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Old 13-10-2020, 10:10   #15
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Re: Fender inventory. Care to share?

We've been through the Erie canal twice, the Oswego, the St Lawrence between the 1000 Islands and Montreal, the French Chambly and the NY Champagne canals, as well as the chicago locks dozens of times, and the dismal swamp multiple times. Once you get a feel for how to do them they are not stressful usually unless you really mess up, or the lockmaster messes up.

We had something weird happen in the Erie Canal in the flight of five going up at Waterford. We were in the lock with a larger motorboat cruiser and all of a sudden we both got flushed from our starboard side all the way over to the port side to slam hard against the wall there. There was no holding onto the lines, both us and the motorboat were powerless to do anything but brace for impact.

We always set up all of our fenders out on both sides when we are in the New York Canals and just leave them hanging there the whole time. That way we can lock or dock on either side and not worry about it. We call it our "New York jewelry.". We bring them back up when we leave the canal system.

We had them all out on both sides when the big flush happened in the waterford flight and we had no damages from that incident. By the sound of scraping fiberglass coming from the motorboat ahead of us they didn't fare quite so well. The dude tried moving a fender over but he wasn't fast enough to get even one placed before we both hit.

I've been through probably a hundred locks and never seen anything like that. I've seen some rough currents but nothing near like that time.

Always be prepared for the worst.
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