Fenders for Tenders

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Top Photo:  Acrylic paint may help ease abrasions, but it also helps owners identify a dinghy and shields it from harmful UV rays. This Photo:  Even Captain Crunch cannot harm an old fender that has been split open and secured to the bow (or anywhere else around the dinghy).
Top Photo: Acrylic paint may help ease abrasions, but it also helps owners identify a dinghy and shields it from harmful UV rays.
This Photo: Even Captain Crunch cannot harm an old fender that has been split open and secured to the bow (or anywhere else around the dinghy).

Strategies for extending the life of your smallest vessel  (photo essay published July 2012)

Inflatable dinghies may look rough and tough, but their skin is thin.

Any material secured to the front with small fenders over the side will soften the chafe.
Any material secured to the front with small fenders over the side will soften the chafe.

Adding protective armor to a tender will ease chafing and help prevent the little boat from developing an odd list when least expected.

Stowed upside down on deck, the nonskid would sand and grind at the rubber. As a solution, indoor-outdoor carpet was secured with contact cement to the wear areas.
Stowed upside down on deck, the nonskid would sand and grind at the rubber. As a solution, indoor-outdoor carpet was secured with contact cement to the wear areas.

The good news? Fenders don’t have to be expensive to be effective

Straight out of a 1970s home center, this shag carpet was put to good use and glued to high-chafe areas.
Straight out of a 1970s home center, this shag carpet was put to good use and glued to high-chafe areas.

. As shown here, nearly anything can shield the skin from sun and scrapes.

 Putting all of the armor ideas together, this dinghy looks like it’s ready for a bullfight!
Putting all of the armor ideas together, this dinghy looks like it’s ready for a bullfight!

Author: Patrick Childress

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