Fender knots

awol

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Having been fascinated by the seamanship, or lack of it by some, shown on the "Dip your Wick" thread, I offer another for your delectation. My cockpit locker is now full of fenders, 3 of which have been picked up this year floating at sea (2 with no names or identifying marks, the third didn't respond to a vhf call).
My attachment technique is a clove hitch round a life-line with a figure of eight stopper knot as a back up and I have never lost one yet. What kind of knots do profligate discarders of fenders use?
 

muyuu

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I believe the most common thing is the clove hitch, stoppers optional. In the RYA books it features as "the fender knot" and these probably set the standard of modern leisure boating.
 

Shakemeister

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I prefer to attach fenders around the stanchions where possible, as putting them on the guard wires can make them stretched and loose over time. It also offers up the opportunity for the fenders to slide along the wire and move out of position.

In an ideal world I'd have room to stow a fender board onboard.......

Clove hitch is OK. 'the fender knot' - oh good grief.
 

lw395

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I normally use a clove hitch plus a half hitch or two.
Depending on the size and stiffness of the fender tails, a clove hitch does not always tighten properly on a 4mm wire.
 

LadyInBed

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Usd to use a clove hitch with a half hitch but switched about four years ago to a round turn and two half hitches, mainly because adhock crew had trouble with a clove hitch!
I attach fenders to lower guard wire BECAUSE they can move if fender gets caught between bits on pontoon or for easy repositioning after having tied up.
 

Shakemeister

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I bet the fenders you salvaged at sea where from boats who were sailing with fenders outboard.
 

prv

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While tying up, I use a slipped clove hitch (I was taught it as the "slippery hitch" for gaskets on square-riggers, but it seems other knots use the same name so "slipped clove hitch" is clearer). This is very quick to adjust fender height (by lifting the cross-over part of the knot and sliding the line through it one way or the other) or to move fenders completely by pulling the end to release the knot. Once we're settled in our berth with fenders positioned to my liking, I make a half-hitch around the standing part of the line using the slipped loop, which makes things secure and keeps the fenders out of awol's clutches :)

I generally hang fenders from the lower guardrail, as they do stretch it a bit and sag in the lower wire matters less than in the top one.

Pete
 

michael_w

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Rolling hitch. Plus I was brought up in the school ' fenders must be off within a nanosecond of leaving the berth.'

On an Atlantic crossing we were SW of the Cape Verde Islands in very light conditions and we were overtaken by French boat motoring allong. Not only did he still have his Senegalese courtesy flag up, but fenders all along the topsides...
 

Adamastor

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It seems that the preferred knot used by fender-donors is the Round-turn and two half-Uckets, which is a very useful knot for dropping fenders, slipping dinghies off into the ebbing tide, etc.
 

RichardS

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Rolling hitch. Plus I was brought up in the school ' fenders must be off within a nanosecond of leaving the berth.'

On an Atlantic crossing we were SW of the Cape Verde Islands in very light conditions and we were overtaken by French boat motoring allong. Not only did he still have his Senegalese courtesy flag up, but fenders all along the topsides...

I was brought up in the school "leave them alone unless they are dragging in the water" and, on a cat, that is not very often. :)

Richard
 

KevinT1

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Rolling hitch. Plus I was brought up in the school ' fenders must be off within a nanosecond of leaving the berth.'

On an Atlantic crossing we were SW of the Cape Verde Islands in very light conditions and we were overtaken by French boat motoring allong. Not only did he still have his Senegalese courtesy flag up, but fenders all along the topsides...

I'm amazed - a French boat with FENDERS !
 

MM5AHO

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A turn round the lower guard wire, then a clove hitch on the upper wire, with a half hitch round the rope.
Fenders should be off before existing the marina. Ropes should be coiled and stowed immediately afterward.
 

Neil

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Single-handing, I get them off whenever I get a minute, but usually before I raise the mainsail .......

I tie them on with a round-turn and single half hitch tied as a loop - just pull the loop out to take off the fender. I've never lost one yet. I can't see the logic of using a clove hitch in preference to a round-turn and two half hitches (or one in my case) - the only time to use a clove hitch, in my view, is when you want a quick (and temporary) knot to put over a post (using the loop method); it's a poor knot under most circumstances
 

ithet

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I my days as a fender donor I just used a clove hitch. Since then I have leant how the clove hitch can loosen when unloaded (which can happen when rocking against a pontoon or another boat) I now add a half hitch. Prefer to use the lower guard wire as it is less leverage on the stanchions.
 

Neil

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I my days as a fender donor I just used a clove hitch. Since then I have leant how the clove hitch can loosen when unloaded (which can happen when rocking against a pontoon or another boat) I now add a half hitch. Prefer to use the lower guard wire as it is less leverage on the stanchions.

A clove hitch on its own can slip and although, admittedly, it's unlikely to be the case with fenders, adding one or more half hitches afterwards can cause the knot to bind if put under too much strain.
 

Giblets

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My skipper bought a load of these bloody things for his fenders
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.

Spawn of the devil they are. I take great delight in "forgetting" to use them and rely on the old fashioned method of a good clove hitch and round turn!
 

prv

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I can't see the logic of using a clove hitch in preference to a round-turn and two half hitches

I use it because it makes it very easy to adjust the fender height when what we're berthing against turns out to be higher or lower than expected. Taking the "crossover" (the section of line in the knot that runs diagonally across the two turns) and pulling it out away from the knot drags in a load of slack from both the free end side and the side with the fender. Then you re-tighten the knot, sending all the slack to either the fender side, by gravity, to lower it - or - to the free end side, by pulling it with your other hand, to raise the fender. Much easier to demonstrate than to describe, and takes a second or two per fender. Undoing, adjusting, and re-tying half a dozen pairs of half hitches will take a bit longer.

Agree that a clove hitch is not secure on its own, which is why I back them up with a half-hitch each once all is settled.

Pete
 
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