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Great Lakes Scuttlebutt Launch Issue 2017 : Page 26

Fenders Don’t Let Your Fenders Rub the Wrong Way By Capt. Fred Davis In years past, boats were made of steel and wood and a scratch could be hidden with the swipe of a paint brush. Old sailors made fenders to protect the finish on their boats. Using marlin spike, they would work line or rope into an attractive fender. The need to protect boats brought forth the use of old tires that were placed over dock posts or hung down the side. They did little damage to hulls, but the black marks were hard to remove and they provided a nesting place for mosquitoes. Shiny fiberglass boats needed better protection so early fenders were made of canvas or leather in the form of bags, stuffed with hay or rags. They reduced the scarring but looked horrible. Changes in hull designs and dock materials demanded upgrades. An assortment of Taylor Made fenders. One of the first companies to respond was Taylor Made, now one of the largest manufacturers of recreational fenders worldwide. They celebrated 100 years in the boating supply industry in 2008. “Colors are an important part of our life, an expression of individual personalities,” said VP of Sales & Marketing, Dave Karpinski. “Too often colors of accessories never seem to match quite right with the boat leaving a variety of mismatched colors. Our True Colors are available in fender and buoy colors with a variety of designs. New in 2016, Storm Gard Fenders are an expansion of the inflatable vinyl fender line. The colors are pearlescent-infused to create deep, added luster in sunlight.” If your fender gets scraped up or you tire of the color, 12-ounce Blizzard Fleece Fender Boots, designed to fit hole-thru center style fenders, are available in two sizes and two colors: blue and black. They are 100 percent polyester and fit snug so be sure to match your boot to the size fender you are covering. My fenders were showing wear and were grungy from sitting in the water alongside the dock so I simply slipped a cover on one and no one was the wiser. Storm Guard Fenders were new in 2016 with pearlescent-infused colors. 26 GREATLAKESSCUTTLEBUTT.COM May & June 2017

Capt. Fred Davis

Capt. Fred Davis

Don’t Let Your Fenders Rub the Wrong Way

In years past, boats were made of steel and wood and a scratch could be hidden with the swipe of a paint brush. Old sailors made fenders to protect the finish on their boats. Using marlin spike, they would work line or rope into an attractive fender.

The need to protect boats brought forth the use of old tires that were placed over dock posts or hung down the side. They did little damage to hulls, but the black marks were hard to remove and they provided a nesting place for mosquitoes.

Shiny fiberglass boats needed better protection so early fenders were made of canvas or leather in the form of bags, stuffed with hay or rags. They reduced the scarring but looked horrible. Changes in hull designs and dock materials demanded upgrades.

One of the first companies to respond was Taylor Made, now one of the largest manufacturers of recreational fenders worldwide. They celebrated 100 years in the boating supply industry in 2008. “Colors are an important part of our life, an expression of individual personalities,” said VP of Sales & Marketing, Dave Karpinski. “Too often colors of accessories never seem to match quite right with the boat leaving a variety of mismatched colors. Our True Colors are available in fender and buoy colors with a variety of designs. New in 2016, Storm Gard Fenders are an expansion of the inflatable vinyl fender line. The colors are pearlescent-infused to create deep, added luster in sunlight.”

If your fender gets scraped up or you tire of the color, 12-ounce Blizzard Fleece Fender Boots, designed to fit hole-thru center style fenders, are available in two sizes and two colors: blue and black. They are 100 percent polyester and fit snug so be sure to match your boot to the size fender you are covering. My fenders were showing wear and were grungy from sitting in the water alongside the dock so I simply slipped a cover on one and no one was the wiser.

The specialty Low Freeboard Fender is designed to sit over the gunwale to protect the boat should it slip under a docks edge. Vinyl Covered Flat Fenders are ideal for use on gunwales that have cleats mounted above an angled surface. They feature grommets at the top for fastening and a groove molded above the center so it forms to the boat’s contours.

Taylor Made offers a Lifetime Guarantee against splitting or bursting on every fender they sell declaring, “If it fails, we’ll replace it.” For pricing or to obtain a catalog, contact them at taylormadeproducts.com or call 1-800-626-5188.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Capt. Jim Stefano, President of Britestar Products to review his Nautical Cross product a few years ago. Stefano recognized the need for a functional fender holding system to protect the back third of all size boats that house fishing rod holders.

The product is shaped like a cross with a curvature in the top half and a smaller tube through the top. The whole system sets in a rod holder and offers a secure mount for a stern fender. Most boats with stern cleats have the cleats mounted at the very rear of the boat. Therefore, positioning a fender on the aft cleat offers very little protection for the stern’s hull.

The Nautical Cross will provide great positioning for an aft fender. It can also serve as a fastening post for a spring line mid-ship. It may also be used to hang a bait bucket or chum bag. For the cost of the travel, they will actually come out and custom fit one to your boat.

For information visit www.nauticalcross.com or call (419) 341-0432.

Read the full article at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/Capt.+Fred+Davis/2768657/402623/article.html.

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