Rope Fenders

Several years ago, I began building a set of rope fenders. They are big, heavy, and honestly serious overkill for stateside cruising (especially on the East Coast). Our journey down the East Coast of the United States and into the Bahamas involved anchoring everywhere we went (where fenders are not needed) or tying up in a marina which had padding on the finished wooden edge of the pier. The weather is always calm and there is little wave action inside the marina that would push your topsides up against the pier.

I honestly began to view our old rope fenders as overkill and dead weight on the deck, until we made landfall in the Azores! 



The Azores are small volcanic islands in the Atlantic with no protection from the weather. If the seas are big, they will be powerful inside the breakwater as well. The marina i also made of a few floating slips and a lot of large concrete sea walls that you tie up to. Pounding into these is a sure way to pop an inflatable fender!


Fenders alone will not save your topsides here, you need fender boards. Luckily, I made the rope fenders long enough that they themselves function as fender boards. This kept our hull a few inches away from the unforgiving concrete pier and large rusty ladder that sits in a small recess. 

If you plan on voyaging to distant lands, do your research about the mooring situation before you leave that way you can arrive prepared to safely tie up!