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post #1 of 24 Old 08-01-2013 Thread Starter
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Fenders and Dock Boards, How Many?

I've read that you can't have too many fenders, but they take a lot of storage room. For the experienced sailors and cruisers, how many fenders, and what size, do you have on board and for what size boat? Where and how do you store them? Also, include dock/fender boards.

On my 32 ft. boat, I currently have seven 8" x 20" fenders and two 15" round fenders. Plus two 3 ft. x 2" x 6" fender boards, which each would use two of the fenders above. I have vinyl dock edging on one side of the fender boards and could use them without fenders in a pinch. Also, longer boards would be better. All fit into my storage lockers but take lots of room.

Originally, I had four 8x20's, but a short term critical docking situation at my marina required more, so I now keep those on board.

What is your situation?

Last edited by NCC320; 08-01-2013 at 09:18 AM.
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post #2 of 24 Old 08-01-2013
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Re: Fenders and Dock Boards, How Many?

Hey,

How many times a year do you dock in a strange place?

I have 4 fenders on my boat. I usually use two for short term (20 minutes) docking and sometimes I have used 3 (for a few days). I have never needed to use all 4 at once.

I don't stay in marinas very often, maybe 4-5 places in a year.

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post #3 of 24 Old 08-01-2013
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Re: Fenders and Dock Boards, How Many?

Assuming you are in a slip, if you tie the boat up correctly, you don't need any fenders.
If you're on a bulkhead, that's a different story - 3 maybe.

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post #4 of 24 Old 08-01-2013
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Re: Fenders and Dock Boards, How Many?

As F/T cruisers, we carry four. I think they are the 8x20, but I am not positive. You can see the size in the pic below.



We keep them mounted to a fenderboard and both secured down and to the board so they cannot take off in a sea. We have not found a use for more than four, and often get by with less.

I have a LOT more fenders in storage. THe best ones are the large rounds but they are a pita to carry around so we always deflated them, then got tired of that, so just threw in storage. Given the fenders are large but light, you can also carry them in your tender via davits.

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post #5 of 24 Old 08-01-2013
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Re: Fenders and Dock Boards, How Many?

I carry 7, but rarely use more than 4 at a time.

There are some different fender shapes that I find helpful. I like to use the Polyform HTM fenders (hole through the middle) turned sideways when rafting up to someone else. That sets the fender up to act as a big roller bearing between the boats and it's a lot quieter than having the fenders squeak as the boats slide up and down on them.

I mostly use some larger West Marine branded fenders that came with the boat. There are 3 of those, and a single large HTM fender that makes up the 4th primary set. In deeper storage I have 3 small fenders that are useful if we are both tied to a dock and rafted up with someone or need extra protection.

When cruising I carry the 3 primary fenders on the stern pulpit instead of putting them into the laz to have them take up less space. For day sailing there is plenty of room in my laz for all of these fenders, and will be more soon once I've removed the hot water heater (which is about the size of 4 fenders).

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post #6 of 24 Old 08-01-2013
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Re: Fenders and Dock Boards, How Many?

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Originally Posted by NCC320 View Post
I've read that you can't have too many fenders, but they take a lot of storage room. For the experienced sailors and cruisers, how many fenders, and what size, do you have on board and for what size boat? Where and how do you store them? Also, include dock/fender boards.

On my 32 ft. boat, I currently have seven 8" x 20" fenders and two 15" round fenders. Plus two 3 ft. x 2" x 6" fender boards, which each would use two of the fenders above. I have vinyl dock edging on one side of the fender boards and could use them without fenders in a pinch. Also, longer boards would be better. All fit into my storage lockers but take lots of room.

Originally, I had four 8x20's, but a short term critical docking situation at my marina required more, so I now keep those on board.

What is your situation?
Jeeze--on a 32' boat where do you carry all that truck?

For what its worth, we carry two large fenders that can be stored in our anchor locker when not needed and four quite large inflatable fenders plus two 2"x6"x4' fender boards wrapped in nylon/closed cell foam piling fendering. The inflatable fenders have worked well when needed. See Stow-Away Fenders

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Last edited by svHyLyte; 08-01-2013 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Correct typo
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post #7 of 24 Old 08-01-2013
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Re: Fenders and Dock Boards, How Many?

I use 4 10x26 fenders on my 34.5' boat. I also have two large-ish round fenders attached to the dock. I could probably get away with less but the marina I'm in is pretty unprotected so it does get rough some times.
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post #8 of 24 Old 08-01-2013
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Re: Fenders and Dock Boards, How Many?

FWIW, I use 2 10x30 for my 30' boat. My beam is only 9', though, and I am in a protected marina, in a 11' wide slip. If you use springlines, you'll probably only need a couple on whichever side you board from. That's how I do it when I am in other marinas. Otherwise, they go in the laz or saloon floor while underway.

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post #9 of 24 Old 08-01-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Fenders and Dock Boards, How Many?

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Jeeze--on a 32' boat where do you carry all that truck?
The cockpit locker and lazzerette lockers on the C320 hold lots of stuff....fenders plus much more. But if one was going on an extensive cruise, space would be at a premium, and ways to gain space would be desirable, but at the same time, you face somewhat unpredictable fender requirements. Hence, my question.

Normally, I'm in a fixed slip where I don't need fenders at all. The most I have used is 4 at a given time, 2 to each side entering the concrete lined lift slip at the marina that I use for haul out.

When our marina was being rebuilt, for about six months, I was in a slip where, because of it's shape and line leads, it wasn't possible to tie up adequately, given rise and fall of wind tide, so I added the additional fenders rigged, mostly on the pier, as precautionary protection.

Whenever I can, I try to keep boat related items on the boat, but I'll admit, the lockers are getting a bit full.
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post #10 of 24 Old 08-01-2013
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Re: Fenders and Dock Boards, How Many?

There is only one cockpit locker on my Pearson 28-2, but I still don't find it too hard to find space for fenders. When cruising I carried 4 fenders (3 on the stern pulpit), a folding bicycle, paddles/centerboard/rudder for the dinghy, second anchor and rode, snorkel equipment, and cleaning equipment in my cockpit locker. It also has the holding tank, hot water heater, and cabin heater. When I'm not cruising the dinghy and folding bike aren't in there, which leaves lots of room for fenders.

The locker on this boat is a bit smaller than the one on my Catalina 25 was, and I expect a Catalina 320 to have larger lockers.

Smaller 8" fenders tuck into voids pretty nicely.

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