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Old 09-16-2007, 11:24 PM   #1
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Is there a practical reason why some cruisers choose round over cylindrical (or vice versa) fenders?

I have been told the guide for fender size is 2.5cm per 1.5m (1" per 5') of boat length for cylindrical, and 5cm per 1.5m (2" per 5') for round; is this an effective measure?

Some sailors also seem to think that suspending fenders from the hand railings/wire between staunchions is poor seamanship...is there a modern reason why this may be true?

I currently have round fenders on my 53' sloop, but intend to replace them before I move onboard again in just over a month. The tropical sun over the past five years of their almost permanent deployment, has irrevocably damaged the upper surfaces.Any advice welcomed.

Cheers

David.
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:09 AM   #2
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Hi David,

Like most things, there is no right answer or just one kind of fender that will do everything you need.

I have a couple of big round red ones (commercial fishing style) to use up near the bow flare when I have bowsed the bow into the dock to do some work there, or if I have the tender tied up near the bow when backing in for Med style docking. Also used for buoying off anchor or beach lines if needed.

The classical cylindrical ones are best for rolling along the dock when you are first coming in and give you the most forgiving height variation.

I also carry a few of those solid flat rectangular fender pads, that are great when you need to protect your bright sides and deck during yard work or taking on fuel from a barge.

About hanging your fenders, the stronger the anchor point the better, so I tend to go more for the base of a stanchion or a chainplate if possible.

If I can, the first thing I do when all secure is to retie my cylindrical fenders onto the dock using both ends so that they are not touching the water and try to tie the boat so that they are not touching the fender. I also have a stretchy cloth kind of fender covers that helps with the UV.
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
I currently have round fenders on my 53' sloop, but intend to replace them before I move onboard again in just over a month.

Cheers

David.
You're not living onboard now? I always thought you were in the middle of the Pacific.
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Old 09-17-2007, 04:23 AM   #4
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Hi Duane. I'm currently in the middle of Darwin in the Northern Territory. Sold my business last October, have spent the year travelling and working on the boat....Will head off again when the Southeasterlies start blowing next March/April.

Cheers.

David.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:15 AM   #5
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Many marina devotees including those who leave their boats for extended periods tied up in births, find that the spherical fender having a smaller footprint leave less marks on their boats. However, the spherical is harder to encapsulate in an UV protection cover, and it does tend to squeeze out onto to the pontoon top.

If the cruiser is on the move however, the most common fender seen is the cylindrical tube - which is long enough to match up with a variety of marina pontoon heights - also it is easier to fit covers, and easier to stow.

Agreed that fenders are best tied off to stanchions as low down as possible (Stanchions deserve a topic to themselves - many are merely items of decoration !!!)

My own fenders that turned out the best (for me !) were Norwegian - I have long forgotten who made them - help ?
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:47 AM   #6
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Hi Richard. Interestingly, after spending the day speaking to chandlers, I have decided to go with the cylindrical fenders. The ones I have chosen are Polyform, made in Norway. They are less expensive than many more well known brands, and I am told they are the choice of both voyaging yachtsmen and professional fishermen. I can buy their F5, which measures approx 30cm x 75cm (12 x 30 in) for AU$75 (US$66) each.

I wonder if these are the same as those which you found so good.

Cheers

David.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:08 AM   #7
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Hi Richard. The ones I have chosen are Polyform, made in Norway. They are less expensive than many more well known brands, and I am told they are the choice of both voyaging yachtsmen and professional fishermen.

I wonder if these are the same as those which you found so good.

Cheers

David.
Hi David ,

Thanks for Polyform,

Mine were certainly not as big in terms of diam - about 20cm and long about 60cm.

They were black at the top and bottom and white for the central 95% . The other item was a rubber screw at the top for inflating (I cannot remember ever having to do that !)

I had S/S rings made up and fixed to stanchions to stow the fenders.

Richard
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:13 AM   #8
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By golly...I think we have a match!
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:18 AM   #9
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By golly...I think we have a match!
Found an Aussie Fender cover maker :- http://www.fendercovers.com.au/?gclid=COTA...CFSgGTAodQlaT1A
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:35 PM   #10
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I'm certainly no expert, but...

I use TAYLOR MADE cylindrical fenders for one good reason - they come with a Lifetime Guarantee.

We had two of them burst when we were living & working in Papua New Guinea. Taylor asked me to return them for inspection - which would cost more in shipping than the cost of new fenders... so I cut out the dammaged portion (on top where the rope goes through 'em) and posted them back to the States for, like, $10 USD.

A month or so went by and lo and behold - a big box arrived at the office containing two big brand new fenders at no charge what-so-ever! No questions asked!

I have also come to conclude that white fenders hold-up a lot longer in the sun than coloured fenders.

Mate, the biggest reason to avoid hanging fenders from the lifelines is because this tends to wear the stancions (or lifelines themselves) where the lifelines pass through the stancions. As the vessel relentlessly rocks at the dock , the fenders are constantly tugging their lines which in turn often exerts constant (and often tremendous) strain on the mounting point. I have seen wire lifelines which became stripped of the plastic covers and left to start sawing slots in the aluminum stancion straight toward the deck because the captain had tied the fenders to the top lifelines midway between the stancions! Better to tie 'em to cleats, fairleads, toe rails or at the base of the stancions to hang your fenders.

We've now been at this same end berth in St Thomas for four years. We're tied side to. Early on, I made a string of old cylindrical fenders which I then attached along the side of the dock with stainless eye straps. Perminate fenders! Near the forward corner, I've hung a big white ball fender which sometimes comes in very handy when the wind is blowing us onto the dock and we need to a spring-line to power ourselves off cleanly away from the dock. This also makes returning to the berth a lot less stressful as we never have to bother with fenders.

I've also made a two custom length spring-lines which remain at the dock which enable us to simply drop the eye onto a cleat which puts us at the same parking position when they come up tight. Too Easy.

Taylor Fenders - Lifetime Guarantee - No Worries!

To Life!

Kirk
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:55 PM   #11
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I have also come to conclude that white fenders hold-up a lot longer in the sun than coloured fenders.
My years of experience from the Coast Guard supports Kirk's statement. We have coloured fenders to match the hull colour but they tend to become "oily" on the surface after a few years. When we have used white ones they have lasted far longer but looks are important so the white fenders went and the matching coloured fenders stayed.

Aye // Stephen
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