On one of the other sailing forums I frequent, a poster asked about fender boards. For the cruising sailor, especially one that has to deal with slips that have rough pilings, concrete or stone seawalls or locks, fender boards can prevent a lot of damage to the boat and fenders.
The simplest fender board to make would be to take a piece of pressure treated 8′ long, 2×6 or 2×8 and drill a 1″ hole in the board about two inches down from one long side, and about a foot in. Then drill a 3/8″ hole through the side of the board so it ends in the 1″ hole.
Put a line through the hole and tie a stopper knot in the end. Run the free end (that comes out of the 3/8″ hole) through a fender grommet and a stopper knot just above the fender, so the board is roughly centered on the fender. Leave the rest for tying it to the boat. Then drill two more matching holes on the other long side of the board, and put a shorter piece of line in the hole, tying a stopper knot in the end. Tie the free end of that to the other end of the fender… keeping the fenders in position on the board.
The board will end up looking something like this:
The fenders would be on the boat’s side of the board, and tied to the line that holds the fenderboard to the boat, and to the board itself, so they can’t shift or roll out of position too easily. This assumes you’re using fenders that look like this:
image courtesy of sailboatowners.com
Another option would be to make the line that goes into the bottom hole a bit longer, and run it through a fender that looks like this, and tie it to the line coming out of the top hole, that ties to the boat.
Image courtesy of Jimbuoy.com
The advantage of this is that the fenders can roll a bit, which might be a good thing.