Fending Off

 

Fending Off

Here’s What You Need To Know About Protecting Your Boat

by Capt. Ted Lund

 

Fend Off

They’re the first line of defense between your hull, the dock and other boats. Knowing the difference can help you pick the right fender(s) for your boat whether you’re rafting up for a weekend get together or trying to reason with hurricane season. There’s a few basic types, and here’s a look their characteristics and what they specialize in.

 

Ball Fenders

As the name implies, this fender is a round, ball-shaped bumper made from plastic vinyl and featuring a single Ball Fendersattachment point for line. While a durable, cost-effective option, ball fenders can be difficult to store because of their shape — often requiring boaters to deflate them in order to stow them.

 

Tab End

Featuring durable plastic attachment points at both ends, these inflatable fenders can help keep pilings, other boats or docks at bay. Hanging them horizontally can help protect your boat in awkward docking situations, while vertical deployment can protect your hull from shifting tides.

 

Contour Fenders

This style of semi-custom fender has become more popular with the advent of inexpensive manufacturing and new materials. Made of either inflatable vinyl or closed-cell foam covered with a durable tri-laminate skin, contour fenders are ideal for boats with low-freeboard or stepdown gunwales. Because they follow the contour of the gunwale, they offer additional protection in case the boat gets trapped under the dock.

 

Hollow Body

FendersMolded from durable PVC vinyl, these fenders incorporate an internal rope tube allowing the fender line to run through it. These fenders  can be deployed horizontally or vertically, making them a versatile choice. Molded ribs make them durable and prevent rolling while alongside and several may be combined in tandem to fit just about any vessel from a runaround to large yacht.

 

 

Dock Bumpers

This is a fantastic permentant option if you own your own dock or have a permanent slip at a marina or yacht club.

Dock bumpers, fender board or vinyl edging are permanently attached to your dock, providing protection from rough edges.

 

Keep Em Clean

Regardless of what type of fender or the application, fenders are generally a low-maintenance item. Like most boating-related investments, though, a little TLC can make them go a long way. Avoid leaving fenders out in the elements, as their material is vulnerable to ultraviolet rays, which can make them brittle and vulnerable to puncture. Use a degreaser or soap and water to clean them and keep them looking like new. Fender boots or covers are also a good way to protect them and maximize their lifespan.

 

Original Source; Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

 

 

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