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We are nearly finished building our new plywood stitch and glue nesting dinghy designed by our friend Ed Davis and slightly modified by Nev.  Do any of you have any economical ideas for fendering which would be light weight and easy to make?  We know this dinghy will fit assembled on our swim platform and it will easily plane with a two horse outboard one person.  It sails well, rows well, is stable, and we know we will like it because we have seen and used the original one for several years now.  Ed nests his dinghy on deck and assembles it in the water by himself.  But it has no fendering and we must have some.  In the past we have built a dinghy as an island gift to kids and used dock fendering which is super safe for beginning sailors in a crowded anchorage but it is expensive and heavy.  We put it on the last dinghy but we hope for something light weight and inexpensive for this new dinghy we are building for Peace IV.  We will appreciate any ideas you might have.  Ann

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Inexpensive means local. If you have to have it posted or you have to travel to collect then it is no longer so cheap.One suggestion is re-inforced water-hose. This is available here in a selection of colours also clear. You can fix it neatly as follows -
Whan you drill for the screwholes drill the outer hole 1/4" or so in size. Slide a washer up the centre of the tube to this position. When you tighten the screw the head will pass through the outer wall and neatly out of sight.

I have seen used out of date fire hose used as a cover and a closed cell foam sausage used by kids  as a float aid split and used as the filler.

How about using old line? I have seen some lovely fenders made of line from northern Europe.

Either old warps or canvas covered pipe insulation. In both cases attached to the gunwhale all round the dinghy. I am planning to ues a mixture of the two with the heavier warps (possibly woven together to give more depth) at the corners

Are you looking something like this : http://www.instructables.com/id/Boat-Fender-DIY/ ? Here someone have old car tire and rounded that with old rope, but it's big and heavy unless you have very small tire woodring etc...Can you share some pics of your dinghy?



     This website is awesome. 

     We have not decided if we will go with the fire hose filled with the foam swim noodles or if we might stitch on some  light weight rope along the gunwhales.  Our Tiki 46 likes to be kept light weight and the dink will be carried on the swim platform when we are sailing, so that will be an important consideration.   I do have that wonderful Ashley Book of Knots and can suggest it as a grand resource for learning all about knots and ropes and fun things to do on rain days aboard your boat.  But rope is heavy too (not to mention the weight of that book!).

     The dinghy will hopefully be finished in the spring and I will ask friends to take and post the pics.  I have a smart phone now but don't yet know how to get the pics outa the camera on to the computer.  Old dogs and new tricks syndrome....    But I can tell you that the dink is almost 11 feet long, made of 1/4 inch ply stitch and glue Wharram style for low maintainence and it has a dagger board and the mast is well forward and sprit sail rigged with the snotter cleated either low on the mast or led aft to the helm and cleated there for adjustment when sailing solo as wind increases.  We are making this dinghy to plans our friend created when he built his own dinghy which we have used many times. It is steady and planes with one person if there is a 2hp outboard.  It rows well and nests on the foredeck if making a long passage, but goes up the swim platform easily for short sails or at night to keep growth off the bottom.  It is actually lighter than our inflatable and has more room.  WE can both climb over the side from the wooden dinghy easier than we did in the inflatable.  But usually we can nose the pram bow of the dinghy to the swim platform and just walk up that way.  WE like both options in case we have lots of visitors (normal) and need to put our dink along the side of Peace IV to make it easier for guests to get aboard.  Now we will be three on Peace with the boy joining us, so the extra space will be real nice.  He can learn to sail in the small boat starting with rowing and then sailing and finally with the outboard in the usual way.   He is mad about boats already.

     If you want very small tires, go where there are golf carts being disposed of (Green Turtle Cay dump in Bahamas is our favorite dump) and the tires are very small.  Also tires for wheel barrows are small.  Weight is a problem with tires but if they are used, they are free and that is nice.  You gotta cover them or they make a black mess on everything they touch.  Rope work looks great on them though.  We had them on the bow and stern of our canal barge which we lived on when we were building Peace IV.

     Thanks,  Ann

Ann, a guy took Greens nesting dinghy and shortened it. The original is called chameleon. He called his gekko. you can google it and hit the images tab and you will see how he used the surplus fire hose for the fender.  http://yachtvalhalla.net/gecko/gecko.html


I see Chuck allready mentioned swim noodles, they are also good for 'jugfishin' floats.

I've used foam pipe insulation for fendering on a dinghy, fixed with cable ties.  It only lasts a year before the sun affects it, but it costs and weighs next to nothing.  You could make it last longer by covering with acrylic canvas, but that means more cost and work.

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