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  #1  
Old 05-22-2010
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Bumpers/ Fenders Attachment

I just bought bumpers for my boat and spliced permanent rope eyes onto each one which look really good. My question is how do you sailors attach the bumpers to the boat when you need them. I have an aluminum toe rail with evenly spaced holes along it that I could tie them to or the life line stanchions. Do sailors normally tie them on or is there some sort of clip or carabiner system. Likely a stupid question but something I hadn't thought of.
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Old 05-22-2010
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We tie them to the lifelines when we need them, but our boat is on a mooring. It sounds like you're in a slip. Attaching fenders to the holes in the toerail will mean a shorter length of line between the top of the fender and the knot on the toerail. As the boat moves and the fenders roll forward & back, there is less line to absorb the twisting and pulling effects, and this may shorten the life of your fenders. Bending down to the toerail also gets to be a drag. Some people do use clips or specially designed hangers -- there are many out there, some of which may actually work.
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Old 05-22-2010
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I have about three or four ft of line with a clip, like on a dog leash, on my fenders. By wrapping the line around the two life lines I can adjust the height of the fender. Water line for floating docks or at the rub rail for fixed docks and locks. Dan S/V Marian Claire
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Old 05-22-2010
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Easiest is a clove hitch or a slipped half hitch. Both are easy and quick to release and entirely adjustable.
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Old 05-22-2010
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Tying fenders off to the lifelines will bend your stanchions. Eventually one will get caught on something and put a strain on the lifelines which will in turn try to bend the stanchion or loosen the fastenings to the deck.
You should always tie the fenders off to the toe rail, a shroud, a track cleat or something strong. Not your lifelines.
It's also good to get the kind of fenders that you can tie horizontally for those times you need to be against a piling. It's better than having to carry a fender board.
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Old 05-22-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
Tying fenders off to the lifelines will bend your stanchions. Eventually one will get caught on something and put a strain on the lifelines which will in turn try to bend the stanchion or loosen the fastenings to the deck.
You should always tie the fenders off to the toe rail, a shroud, a track cleat or something strong. Not your lifelines.
It's also good to get the kind of fenders that you can tie horizontally for those times you need to be against a piling. It's better than having to carry a fender board.
...what KnotHead said... when coming into dock, we'll put the fenders on the lifelines as it's quick and easy to adjust the position. Once docked, I'll move them to a stronger point, we have no slotted toerail - so either the stanchion bases, midship cleat etc... as for attachment, I tend to not like all the clips and fasteners and go for a simple clove hitch... I like tying knots I guess!
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Old 05-22-2010
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If you must tie the fenders to the stanchions, do so at the BASE of the stanchion so as to give the line the least leverage on the stanchion. I'd recommend using the toe rail whenever possible.

I would recommend using a round turn and two-half-hitches, rather than a clove hitch. Clove hitches are notorious for coming undone if not under a constant load. A round turn and two-half-hitches can generally be undone pretty easily and doesn't slip.
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Old 05-22-2010
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Ours are clipped to the toerails. Ditto on the lifeline fender-hanging ixnay advice.
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Old 05-22-2010
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Ours are tied to stanchion bases with a round turn'n'two half-hitches.
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I guess I should have been more specific. I only use my fenders as described when I am on the boat. I do not leave the boat unattended with the fenders deployed this way. My toe-rail is wood so tie off locations are limited. The OP said “when needed”. I interpreted that as going to the fuel dock or passing thru a lock etc not full time unattended. I agree that my method would not be good for long term unattended use and when faced with that I do not use the lifelines. I do not know how other boats are set up but my lifelines and stanchions are pretty %&^$ strong as they should be. I have had no issues and have done my share of docks and locks. Maybe I have been lucky. Dan S/V Marian Claire
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