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Old 12-05-2018, 06:29   #1
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Fending off Pilings

Many docks seem to have pilings to tie up to. My powerboat has a heavy-duty rub rail so it's manageable. But my sailboat has no rub rail, and is marginally too small to carry 2x4 boards to lower across my fenders. What's the best way to deal with this?
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:49   #2
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Re: Fending off Pilings

I don't think you need 2 x 4" but a pair of boards are very useful. Ours are 1x5" about 4 foot long and were formerly off a pontoon decking so some form of hardwood. If you don't have room in the cockpit locker then tie them on the rails out of the way.

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Old 12-05-2018, 07:23   #3
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Re: Fending off Pilings

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Originally Posted by TreblePlink View Post
Many docks seem to have pilings to tie up to. My powerboat has a heavy-duty rub rail so it's manageable. But my sailboat has no rub rail, and is marginally too small to carry 2x4 boards to lower across my fenders. What's the best way to deal with this?
There are several ways, and they all have their issues...

Fender boards are the best, but as you point out they can be a pain to store on a smaller boat.

There are fenders with gromments on both ends, but if they are big enough to give reasonable protection they also get to be hard to store on a smaller boat.

There are some long inflatable fenders that work great for tying along pilings, but they can be expensive. Easy to store, but need to be inflated for use.

All in all, on a boat like yours, I'd probably stow a couple fender boards along a berth. Four or five feet is plenty long enough.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:54   #4
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Re: Fending off Pilings

When it comes to fender boards the longer the better if you are tying up for any period of time where tide/water level is an issue and you canít constantly adjust your spring lines.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:43   #5
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Re: Fending off Pilings

I have seen real heavy gauge PVC pipe used effectively, and it doesnít look nearly as bad tied to the rails as my 2x6 boards would.
I think Iím going to give the PVC a try
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Old 12-05-2018, 13:11   #6
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Re: Fending off Pilings

Hi, Treble Plink,

Most berths can accommodate fender boards stored under the mattresses, so storing them shouldn't be too difficult, and the lines for handing them will just go alongside the timber portion. I think they're your best bet for protecting the boat from piles, especially if there is a big tidal range.

When you tie up, spring the boat both fore and aft (foreward cleat to aft pile, aft cleat to forward pile, so that the springs keep you located where you want to be on the pile where the board is. You can use a breast line to pull her in, for getting on and off, and if necessary, we've used a kedge anchor to hold us off. Old timber wharves can have the oddest bits of metal sticking out of them!

If there's a sea ladder, you may want an extra fender by it, as well.

Ann
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Old 12-05-2018, 16:38   #7
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Re: Fending off Pilings

As always, great advice! Thank you all.

Chris
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Old 12-05-2018, 17:13   #8
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Re: Fending off Pilings

Here is a thread that discusses some more options, and some of those in details:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ds-195247.html
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Old 15-06-2018, 13:51   #9
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Re: Fending off Pilings

For years I tried to tie fenders horizontally to protect from pilings, but as the tide and current change the boat always shifts so the fender gets caught and the boat rubs on the piling. I finally learned that fender boards are necessary. By the way stout fender boards are an imperative in preparing for a storm.
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Old 18-06-2018, 21:48   #10
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Re: Fending off Pilings

Yes, use the longest fender boards you can. Measure up a bunk and make a set that fit precisely under the mattress, which means you’ll have three or four and they’ll be at least 6 feet long. When you need them you’ll be very glad you have them.
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