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We were in Defender today and saw Taylor Made Modular Flat Fenders. Does anyone have any experience with them, or thoughts? It seemed like they would take up a lot less space in our lazarette than the traditional fenders, but then I also thought that if they were so great, why isn't everyone using them?
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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We were in Defender today and saw Taylor Made Modular Flat Fenders. Does anyone have any experience with them, or thoughts? It seemed like they would take up a lot less space in our lazarette than the traditional fenders, but then I also thought that if they were so great, why isn't everyone using them?
CT, not sure about the Taylor Made ones, but I have a couple of flat fenders on board that rarely (if ever) get used.

The main reasons I don't use them is (a) with a larger flat surface area they make more of a mess of your topsides finish than the regular round inflatables when (not if) the boat shifts and (b) they don't 'flex' as much as inflatables and so don't appear to absorb the loads of coming alongside as well.

They're perhaps better when used with a fender-board (for the hull side - not the dock-side), but even then they're not my first choice..
 

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Crealock 37
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I have two of the flat fenders. One is used to pad the dinghy transom when it's inverted on the foredeck and the other one is put on the cockpit deck so the Admiral can see over the dodger when she is at the helm.

I found them to light to work as fenders, they tend to blow around in a stiff breeze.
 

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We've used flat fenders and find them particularly useful when tied to a low floating dock in rolly conditions. Unlike the cylindrical fenders they don't pop up above the floating dock.
 

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I had a trimaran with SoPac flat fenders which I liked very much. I think though with the rounded sides of a monohull you'd like bigger fenders
 

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Flats work well with cat's and other flat sided boats, especially the ones you can fold or roll to various thicknesses.
Mine went with the Gemini.
 

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We use a flat fender on our painted transom to protect it from the dinghy, when we board from the sugar scoop. It folds open to be about 8 ft wide, but is about 18" square when stored. Very nice.

However, I would not use one at a slip. The round fenders will roll a bit, when you don't nail the landing or need to fend off when departing. The flat fender would just rub down the topsides.
 

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They cost a fortune, but the Aere inflatables are of good quality and would solve your storage problem. Keep a lookout on eBay etc and sometimes you can find them for good prices (I did).
 

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Iv'e owned them and I really like them . Somebody liked them better than me and that was it . I'm going to get some more . I try to have a little of all , ball type , tube , different sizes too , you never know when you might raft . Some things I like about them, like you say little space taken , and when sailing they lay flat on deck , also they make nice knee pads . Dislike , at anchor or a mooring when it's windy they rattle on the side of the boat .
 

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Inflatable fenders are the best, when weight is an issue. If you put a fleece cover over them, they are likely to be less attractive to a thief, as they are harder to identify. They can be grossly expensive.

The two downsides, beyond cost, I see to them are: 1. they are so light, they can easily blow or be pushed out of place. 2. I don't believe they are as durable and the warranties are not lifetime, as I recall.

A quality, properly inflated and maintained vinyl fender can be a lifetime investment.
 
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