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Author Topic:   Fender Lines Abrade Rub Rail
Wet Foot posted 05-22-2015 04:37 PM ET (US)   Profile for Wet Foot   Send Email to Wet Foot  
How do I avoid the [lines] from a [fender] cutting the rub rail of a 2005 Dauntless 180? I recently noticed a cut in the rub rail. I think a [line] from a [fender] did it.

When I tie a cylindrical [fender] to the hand rail, the [line] rubs against the rub rail and fiberglass. It has sawed a nice circular groove in the rub rail. I think the same thing would happen if I tied the cleat to a low dock.

The accessories to prevent chaffing look like they are meant to save the rope, not the rub rail and fiber glass.

TaylorMade has some low-freeboard [fenders] shaped like an L that tie-up higher to cleat. I'm not sure if that is a good solution.

Any thoughts on [fenders] and avoiding cuts to rub rails?

Tom Hemphill posted 05-22-2015 05:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Hemphill  Send Email to Tom Hemphill     
Maybe you could apply baggywrinkle?
Jefecinco posted 05-22-2015 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
I've neither seen nor heard of such a problem before. For this to happen I believe the fender line would have to be made of a harder material than the rub rail. Perhaps a poly rope would qualify. I recommend nylon rope for hanging fenders.


wezie posted 05-23-2015 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for wezie    
Also, it sounds like the line is under pressure. With no knowledge of the mooring, I will suggest attaching the fender(s) to the dock, not the boat.
jimh posted 05-23-2015 12:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Usually a fender is positioned so it intercedes between the rub rail and the dock or other boat, and the line securing the fender would not be abrading on the boat hull or its gunwale. At least one boater has fashioned short wooden poles that fit into a fishing rod holder, and suspends the fenders from these poles. Storing the fenders attached to the poles when not in use may be a problem. Here is a link to an image taken by JECHURA showing the method with wooden poles and rigging fenders from them (although the fenders on the boat shown are perhaps a bit undersized).

On my boat there are specific locations intended for rigging fenders and Boston Whaler installed pad eyes to lead the line from the fender over the gunwale in a particular location. I usually position the fenders so the line attached to the fender is hauled up high enough that it is not abrading on the rub rail. The use of an L-shaped fender is also possible.

There seems to be a tendency to employ fenders that are a bit too small, and I recommend carrying at least one fender that is significanly larger than the others. A larger fender can come in very handy in some situations where the dock or another boat has some overhang to your boat's gunwale height.

NOTE: in nautical terms, rope is cordage in its stored form, before it is employed on a boat. When rope is employed on a boat it is called a line, and the rope becomes the mooring line, the stern line, the bow line, and so on. Devices deployed to reduce damage to the hull by contact with the dock or with other boats are called fenders. Bumpers are generally found on automobiles or other highway vehicles, but not generally on boats, except in amusement parks.

While on the topic of fenders and lines, I also suggest making the length of the fender lines quite generous. I think in the last 15 years I have increased the length of the lines on my fenders in three steps, as I continually found the lines to be too short to be useful. The fender lines now are at least three feet longer than they were at their first deployment. And I always have at hand an even longer line of suitable size for use with the fenders when an unusual situation comes up that requires more line.

number9 posted 05-23-2015 02:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
Using a larger diameter fender could easily solve your problem is you don't find stowing them a problem.
Wet Foot posted 05-23-2015 09:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wet Foot  Send Email to Wet Foot     
Thanks everyone. My fender line rubs against my rub rail just like the larger boat on the left in Jim's first photo link.

Does pulling line not typically cut the rub rail? Maybe my cheap line is the problem as suggested by Butch.

Jefecinco posted 05-24-2015 09:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
If pulling line is the line you use for water sports it probably is a floating line made of polypropylene. Poly rope degrades and hardens after exposure to sunshine. It soon frays and weakens considerably. Nylon would be a better line material for fender use.


crabby posted 05-26-2015 05:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for crabby  Send Email to crabby     
Put a cut off length of garden hose over the line.

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