Any boat owner knows the importance of keeping their vessel stocked with all of the necessary safety equipment. One of the key items to have on board when it comes to protecting your boat is fenders. Fenders are a very effective, cost-efficient way to easily protect your boat and ultimately, avoid any damage. They can be used in a variety of ways, each having its own purpose and benefits.
Boat owners know that having several fenders on board and at the ready is the quickest and easiest way to add a layer of protection around your boat. The purpose of using fenders is to create a barrier around your boat, helping to avoid contact and/or damage. Most commonly, there are three ways to use fenders:
Secured to a Boat
This is certainly the most popular way to use fenders. There are dozens of different designs and even far more sizes when it comes to marine fenders. This makes it possible for boat owners to select the exact fenders that will work best for them and their boating situation. Fenders are secured to the railing of the boat with rope most often using a clove hitch knot. Depending on the object(s) you are protecting from, fenders can easily be positioned and adjusted if needed to ensure optimum protection. When not in use, fenders can be easily stored, some even being able to be deflated.
At a Dock or Piling
This practice is generally used at larger docks for either cruise ships or transport vessels. Sturdier, more substantial fenders than would generally be found on a personal vessel are used in this situation. They are permanently secured to the sides of the dock or piling near the waterline to avoid the vessel coming in contact with the structure or land. They help to absorb the energy from the vessel and prevent damage to the boat, and the structure as well. These types of fenders can either be fixed, such as cell fenders or cylindrical fenders, or floating, like pneumatic or foam-filled fenders.
Tied Between Rafts
Fenders can also be used for recreational purposes as well. While it is not the most common use of fenders, it is still very widely used when it comes to personal boating. Fenders can be tied in between multiple rafts, personal watercraft, or boats while out on the water. This technique is often used while anchored at a sandbar, or near the shoreline of a lake or beach.
While having fenders on board is important, it isn’t enough. In order to get the most use out of your fenders, you must know how to use them properly. The proper fenders must be used for you and your boating experience. Make sure to determine which fenders are the best fit based on your vessel, and where you will be docking.
When using fenders on your vessel, make sure to take note of where the waterline will be in reference to your boat, and always tie your fenders at the lowest point possible. The less slack in the rope, the better, as this limits the potential movement of the fenders. Also, you must always remember to take your fenders up when you are traveling in and out of the marina or canal so they do not get caught on anything while en route.
With a bit of research, it is easy to effectively use fenders in any of the three ways mentioned. Marine fenders are extremely versatile, and they are the perfect way to protect your boat. To find the best marine fenders in South Florida or more information on how to protect your boat, visit AERÉ Docking Solutions online.