Inflatable fenders

Salty John

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How good an idea are inflatable fenders? When I saw them advertised my immediate reaction was that they are an excellent idea; fenders are notoriously difficult to stow, here is a simple solution.
Thinking about it, though, I wonder when you would actually use them?
I suppose you could have a couple stowed away for when you dock 'away from home' so you don't need to carry a full compliment of standard fenders.
I can't see a crew pumping up fenders as they approach a dock so they can only be used as supplementary fenders.
I see you can get really big inflatable fenders - 5' long. These would make good water toys but would they be of much use to your average boater?

Does anyone own inflatable fenders and, if so, do you find them useful?
 

Woodlouse

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They work fine. It can be a bit of a hassle inflating and deflating them but they certainly do the job if you lack storage space.

I don't think you'd want to buy big ones as water toys though. They're quite expensive are they not? And intended for the super yacht industry.
 

Gordonmc

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With my boat on a swinging mooring most of the time traditional fenders are a pain, taking up mucho space in cockpit lockers, but I need them for the odd occasion I go alongside for diesel or posh beers.
On the other hand if I was leaving the boat against a pontoon for an extended period I would not rely on inflatable fenders, unless someone could assure me they would live up to the punishment.
I guess it would come down to price: in other words if I could get robust inflatables for roughly the same cost I would go for them.
 

Ex-SolentBoy

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I am just about to order some.

We carry 5 biggish fenders for everyday use, but for special occasions we have two monsters that go at bow and stern ends of the row. These take up so much space in the laz so there are going on eBay to by replaced by inflatables from Avon or Tidel, unless someone can tell me of a better make.

I don't see it as a problem in terms of mooring up. We will come alongside with the normal fenders and then inflate and deploy the big ones once we are settled.
 

Salty John

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They seem to be expensive; a 10" x 36" for £103 from one supplier! I'm sure there are cheaper versions about.
They seem to be very robust. There are pictures of cars driving over them, and some brands have an abrasion resistant outer cover.
 

Salty John

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I am just about to order some.

We carry 5 biggish fenders for everyday use, but for special occasions we have two monsters that go at bow and stern ends of the row. These take up so much space in the laz so there are going on eBay to by replaced by inflatables from Avon or Tidel, unless someone can tell me of a better make.

I don't see it as a problem in terms of mooring up. We will come alongside with the normal fenders and then inflate and deploy the big ones once we are settled.

Look at Stowaway fenders and Easystowe fenders. The latter name is used by a US manufacturer and a European manufacturer, but there is no connection between them. Fendequip is another name that crops up.
I like the look of Stowaway - like big pillows, and they have a separate exterior cover.
 

Clyde_Wanderer

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My mate has a set of grey coloured inflatables aprox 10x36", he swears by them and has not had any problems with them in the two-three years he has been using them, they also seem to be a little kinder to his painted topsides than ordinary fenders.
I dont think he paid anything like the prices mentioned below.
Gordon you can see them in use if you are at the Clyde Scuttlebutt meet in april, a good excuse for ensuring you turn up.:D
C_W
 

bluedragon

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We might get a few of these this summer. I never put conventional fenders into lockers (no room!) so end up having them hanging off the pushpit like bunches of elongated grapes! This year I'd like to leave a good number of my winter fenders at home and have some deflatable ones available for when needed. SaltyJohn's Stowaway suggestion looks affordable for a try.
 

Ex-SolentBoy

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After a little web investigation it seems that ones about a 100cm long and 30 or 40 cm diameter will do the job for me.

Here's the shock though.

PVC ones are around £100
Hypalon (my preferred material) are £300
 

bluedragon

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That's the problem! But I have to say I think I'd rather have say two big inflatables rather than a row of little conventional ones that when it comes to the "crunch" prove next to useless. Nothing cheap about this boating lark, is there...:D
 

barnaclephill

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need for inflatable fenders

I have 4 ordinary fenders plus the fenderboard (on a 26' yacht). I find that enough for what I do. In the Gippsland Lakes with only a 20cm tide, 2 fenders and a fore and an aft line were sufficient in most weathers. Spring lines occasionally.

Now that I'm on a swing mooring closer to an unfriendlier metropolis, in a bay with a 3 metre tide, I don't use them much at all. If I tie up to a floating jetty it's only for a short time or overnight (the unfriendlier public can be a problem/security risk). The bigger jetties are really only for commercial craft with these tides.

I'd be lazy or reluctant to inflate inflatable fenders on a regular basis, and not at ease if they cover material was iffy.

Having said that, I'm getting inflatable fenders on the new Seahopper dinghy, whenever it arrives. Paid a deposit on 10 December. Not happy Jan.
 
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Tom Price

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Salty John: "How good an idea are inflatable fenders? Do you find them useful?[/QUOTE said:
Hang on! Just how useful are ordinary fenders? Mine get soggier every day; salvaging them is near impossible and the cost of replacement is comparable with these toys.

Any bright ideas out there?
 

Sequoiah1

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I am just about to order some.

We carry 5 biggish fenders for everyday use, but for special occasions we have two monsters that go at bow and stern ends of the row. These take up so much space in the laz so there are going on eBay to by replaced by inflatables from Avon or Tidel, unless someone can tell me of a better make.

I don't see it as a problem in terms of mooring up. We will come alongside with the normal fenders and then inflate and deploy the big ones once we are settled.

Try compass marine in dartmouth...............
 

Fr J Hackett

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I bought 2 Avon Hyperlon at a boat jumble years ago they were brand new in their wrappers paid £50 each for them they have been worth every penny on the odd occaison I have needed them usually when some other bugger rafts up in poor conditions and hasn't got enough fenders of his own, I guess I use them about twice a year. As replacement for standard ones they would do the job but would be a pain.
 

ianat182

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I wonder if the closed cell foam pads would be an alternative to the inflatable ones; flat stowing and about 8cms thick X 65cmx31cms the ones I've seen, they are priced at £32.95
so could be doubled if required for a thicker still fenderingand easily stowed flat.

ianat182
 

Juniperskip

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I have one mid size Avon which we use when rafting to someone else or them to us. Brilliant for that. I do not use them to a pontoon and when I deploy we use a fender skirt to prevent scratching. Problem is the price so shop around and e-bay
 
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