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Boat fenders offer essential protection for yachts or anything afloat, when they come in to contact with harbour walls,...
Boat fenders offer essential protection for yachts or anything afloat, when they come in to contact with harbour walls, pontoons, pilings and other yachts.
Dock fenders, also known as bumpers, are permanently fitted to the pontoon or dock in areas of frequent use e.g. the pontoon in your allotted marina berth.
Boat fenders are relatively inexpensive compared with gelcoat or even structural yacht repairs so it makes sense to have an adequate quantity of the correct size and configuration onboard.
Boat fenders come in several different shapes and a multitude of different sizes to safeguard the topsides of any design of watercraft.
Calculate the optimum number of fenders according to their shape and size in preparation for your typical mooring conditions, whether in your home berth or visiting other ports or marinas. Then add some extra for use in severe conditions. Bear in mind that although more fenders are always going to be useful, they will all need to be stowed onboard securely.
Jimmy Green Marine offer two main types of boat fender which cover most mooring situations:
Cylindrical fenders with a rope eye at both ends can be hung vertically when mooring against predominantly flat harbour walls, docks and pontoons or horizontally against pilings and other awkward protrusions.
Round or pear shaped fenders with one rope eye are very similar to mooring buoys and can be hung vertically for heavy load points and where extra diameter is required to allow for a yacht’s fore and aft curve.
Take these factors into account when selecting the appropriate size for your fenders: Yacht Length Overall, Yacht Displacement (weight) and the anticipated mooring conditions
There is an old fashioned rule of thumb that will give you a starting point before making a final decision based on these three main factors.
Rule of Thumb 1 = 1 inch fender diameter or 2 inch round fender diameter for every 4 or 5 feet of yacht length overall.
The rule has been interpreted and converted approximately into modern metric equivalents in the table:
|Yacht Length Overall||under 5m||6m||8m||10m||12m||14m||16m||18m|
|Cylindrical Fenders Diameter||100mm||125mm||150mm||200mm||250mm||300mm||350mm||400mm|
|Majoni Star Size||Star 1||Star 1||Star 2||Star 3||Star 4||Star 5||-||-|
|Polyform F Series Size||F01L||F1/F02||F2/F3||F3/F4||F4||F5||F5/F6||F7/F8|
|Round Fenders Diameter||200mm||250mm||300mm||400mm||500mm||600mm||700mm||800mm|
|Majoni Buoy Size||RB1||RB1||RB1||RB2||RB3||-||-|
|Polyform A Series Size||A1||A1||A2||A3||A4||A5||A6|
There is another old rule of thumb for this too – 1 fender per 10 feet of Low Waterline Length (LWL) with a minimum of 3 for boats of 20 feet or less. The rule has been developed into a modern metric measure equivalent.
|Yacht LWL||under 6m||6m-10m||10m-14m||14m-16m||16m-18m|
Fenders need to be deployed in a proper fashion paying due care and attention to the spacing and height of the fenders and an assessment of how many of the total should be round rather than cylindrical fenders.
Deploy at least one fender amidships (maximum beam) with the remainder spaced appropriately fore and aft from the centre outward.
When mooring alongside another yacht (rafting up) an extra fender or two amidships will be required for adequate protection. An extra round fender deployed fore and aft will help to take up the increased gap between the topsides.
Hang fenders so that they are always just clear of the water or higher where required because of the pontoon height. Secure the fender lanyards to strong, deck level anchorage points. Avoid using lifelines or guard wires if possible because they are not designed to withstand the potential stresses and strains. A lower attachment point maintains the fender in position better by lessening the arc or swing.
Keep your fenders clean and free from harmful grit by washing with soap and water. Harsh cleaning agents are not advisable as they will harm the surface of the fender.
Fender covers are washable and help to keep your fenders clean and grit free as well as protecting them from the elements.