Is This Your Fender?


A “found fender” we picked out of the water in Puget Sound

This is a fender that my crew and I picked up in Puget Sound recently.  About a $ 70.00 loss to another boat.  Our cost was the time it took to sail up to the fender and do a “fender overboard” drill and pick it up from the water.

The fancy quick height adjuster had came undone and the fender fell off the boat.  I have seen many fender adjusters break or fall off.

The quick adjust holders are handy but they have a disturbing tendency to fail or come undone and the fender then gets lost.  A preferred addition is to tie the bitter end of the fender whip to the lifeline or rail so when (not if) the quick adjuster has a problem or breaks you don’t loose the fender.  I like to use a Spar Hitch as it is quick and secure.  Many people also use a Clove Hitch or the old standby of a Round Turn and Two Half Hitches.


A fender tied on the rail with the bitter end of the fender whip tied to the rail in case the quik adjuster breaks

It is also a good idea to bring the fenders in so they are not hanging off the side of the boat   Part of boating is style and having fenders hanging off your boat while underway will cost you many style points.  Loosing fenders is bad form and tends to upset the skipper, even when you have tied their special knot and it does not end up working real well.

I borrowed my neighbors boat to show a better form.  This has the bitter end of the fender whip tied to the railing with a Spar Hitch so if the Quick Adjuster comes loose the fender will still be attached to the boat.  Not able to be seen in the picture is the stiffness of the fender whip which makes tying a knot in the whip difficult.  Fender whips need to be changed when the line becomes too stiff to easily tie a knot in.

One friend has fenders spaced every two feet or so along his boat as protection against his neighbor “Bumper Car,” the neighbor’s nickname from his docking skills (or maybe lack of skills), all the fenders are Found Fenders that my friend has picked out of the water.  My old Dock Captain keeps a stash of extra Found Fenders for the winter time in case a boat on his dock has a problem in a storm, he can add an extra fender or two that will help prevent damage  to the boat.

If more than one person claims the fender, bids will be taken to support the Mountaineer Sailing and fender retrieval training program and my Barbeque Fund.

Thanks for your interest in boating safety.

You might also find Lee’s Fender Knot to be a useful knot.

– c/m –

This entry was posted in Sailing and Boating Skills and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Is This Your Fender?

  1. Cosmo says:

    If you have to tie a knot anyway, why bother with the ‘Quick Adjusters’ ?

    A round turn and two half hitches is very quick and easy to tie. Tied halfway up a vertical stanchion, you can easily set the height of your fenders and they can easily be slid up or down as needed for different docks. When sailing we just flip them up on deck, or untie and allow crew members to tie them to practice this knot which is really useful for mooring as well.

    Never lost a fender using this knot.

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