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Thread: Fenders for painted boat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    100

    Default Fenders for painted boat

    Sailrite's "boat blanket" material is what they sell to make fender covers with. The description specifically states that this material is intended for hard surfaces such as gel coat and warns to us caution with painted surfaces. It got me thinking, what's a good practice for fenders on painted wooden boats. I'm using Kirby paint. It's a pretty soft paint. Advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
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    Default Re: Fenders for painted boat

    A low cost solution is to source old knitted jumpers, cut off the arms and slide them over the fender, tied at the top if necessary. I like the wear from fenders on my boats painted rub rails. It gives me a feel for the condition of the paint.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Olympia, WA, USA
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    1,106

    Default Re: Fenders for painted boat

    I'm using Kirby's too. I sewed a fender-cover out of cheap synthetic terry cloth ages ago, and had enough material left over I sewed a new one last year. It's okay, not great. It does chafe a bit more than I'd like, but hasn't (yet) gone down to wood with the Kirby's, over a six-month season. It was harder on the Z-spar I used before I changed to Kirby's, too.

    Hinckley's used to use polarfleece for their covers. I've been thinking of doing the same.

    Alex

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
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    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Fenders for painted boat

    I mostly use ball fenders because they can roll in any direction and thus don't harm my topsides. With the cylinder fenders, I either make sure that it's vertically hung to swing or horizontally mounted to not move at all.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    PNW, an island west of Seattle
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    1,144

    Default Re: Fenders for painted boat

    My painted lapstrake sailboat fetches up hard on her mooring buoy for an hour or more at a time, at least twice a day. During their "bonding" time, the topsides and the buoy are continually rubbing together. The old hard pvc buoy wrecked havoc, but the new inflatable buoy does no damage to the planks nor to the paint. I can't imagine that any fabric covering could offer an improvement.

    Jeff

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    La Conner, WA
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    94

    Default Re: Fenders for painted boat

    New PVC fenders are shiny, bead up water and work great to protect your topside paint. However on Day 2 they begin to lose that new look and eventually become giant abrasive pads, scouring away on your hull. Run your hand over an older one and you can feel the bits of grit it has picked up, and now that shiny surface looks and feels like clay and wreaks havoc on your paint job.
    The solution is a fleece cover, and there are many suppliers, the fabric does not harm the paint, is easily washed, and you can monogram the "S.S Minnow" on the cover. They are more expensive than the fender but more than pay for themselves in extending the life of your topside paint

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
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    16,517

    Default Re: Fenders for painted boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    I mostly use ball fenders because they can roll in any direction and thus don't harm my topsides. With the cylinder fenders, I either make sure that it's vertically hung to swing or horizontally mounted to not move at all.
    ^^ This
    No covers. They will eventually be an effective sandpaper

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: Fenders for painted boat

    Thanks for the help.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
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    12,859

    Default Re: Fenders for painted boat

    Jill poles (spelling?). Hold her off if using soft paint.
    Of spring her loosely.
    Or use 2 part coating.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    La Conner, WA
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Fenders for painted boat

    I have to disagree canoeyawl, all, I mean all the boats I have seen that have damage to their paint or their gelcoat are from fenders with no protective cover. The fender is the the culprit, you can see the pattern of their abrasive swing on the hull.
    The only thing that will protect is a cover made from the same recycled pop bottles as your fleece jacket, it can be cleaned, the fender, once it ages, only becomes a more abrasive agent.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cundys Harbor, Maine
    Posts
    745

    Default Re: Fenders for painted boat

    I too use ball fenders and have had goo from the plastic fender deposit on the topsides (Brightsides). The only thing I've found to remove the goo is sandpaper. Switching to a fleece covered ball solved the problem. If you do this, be prepared for the "fuzzy balls" comments.
    Dave

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
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    22,648

    Default Re: Fenders for painted boat

    If you're in salt water it can be helpful to wash your fleece covers from time to time also. I use Kirby's and the boat's at a dock for four months in winter (sprung off the dock with the fenders held in place from swinging) but they still pick up salt and dirt, both of which can be abrasive.
    "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

    -Mark Twain

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
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    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Fenders for painted boat

    Meg's laying at the dock all last winter left the starboard side considerably more weathered than the port side against the dock. No fender marks after seven months and all those storms.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Scotland
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    4,970

    Default Re: Fenders for painted boat

    I have been known to buy used jeans from charity shops. Cut the legs off for fender covers and you have a collection of denim shorts for Summer use.
    Somewhere between Murder and Suicide, there is a place called Merseyside.

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