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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-26-2009
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A Simple Fender Board

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.
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Old 04-27-2009
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Old 04-27-2009
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Not as necessary for steel hulls... but us more delicate fiberglass boats can really use them.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 04-27-2009
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I would argue otherwise. Paint is tough, but it can't ride on pilings all day every day. Now what do you think happens to unpainted steel?
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Old 04-28-2009
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Lighter weight fenderboards?

Any suggestions for material to use to make lightweight fenderboards (for a racer) ?

Ideal thing would be something about 2 - 2.5 metres long that could fold in the middle and weigh about the same as 3 feathers. Anything heavier and the crew starts to give me static :-)

Fenderboards would be used when we go to weekend regattas away from home base where the tie up facilities are often primitive at best.
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Old 04-28-2009
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LOL... I did say "not as necessary"...
Quote:
Originally Posted by tager View Post
I would argue otherwise. Paint is tough, but it can't ride on pilings all day every day. Now what do you think happens to unpainted steel?
Same idea but instead of using a solid 2x6, use several small sections of 2x6 and then use 1/4" plywood on each side to connect the separate blocks together. A six-foot long fenderboard made up of three 2x6 x 3" blocks and a two pieces of 1/4" x 6" x 6' plywood would be much lighter and almost as durable, especially if you fiberglassed over the plywood to protect it from water intrusion and damage.

If you need it to break down into shorter lengths, you could cut the plywood and make two 3' long fenderboards, which connect together via fastpins. The way I'd do this is to make the plywood extend beyond the block on one of them by about four inches, and have the 2x6 block extend that far out on the other... Fiberglass a couple of wraps of cloth around the plywood extensions, leaving the end open, and it becomes a four-inch deep socket for the section of 2x6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbarkas View Post
Any suggestions for material to use to make lightweight fenderboards (for a racer) ?

Ideal thing would be something about 2 - 2.5 metres long that could fold in the middle and weigh about the same as 3 feathers. Anything heavier and the crew starts to give me static :-)

Fenderboards would be used when we go to weekend regattas away from home base where the tie up facilities are often primitive at best.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-28-2009 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 04-28-2009
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SD... The only issue I would have with your construction post is the word "simple". The only Fender Boards I have ever seen and used were actually Much Simpler. Just one hole at each end for the rope to hang it with and no means of attaching the fenders...... that's your problem.
At the Old Harbor docks at Block Island the salty old guy in the shack just says..... grab a couple of the 4 - 6 foot fender boards laying outside the shack.
At Stonington Ct. the boards themselves were just as simple although 10 feet long but...... they were rushed out to aid your docking by perfectly dressed dock hands to help with your every need.
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