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Posted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:29am

Post Subject: fenders

Simple question but I am new to this When cruising on narrowboat do i have my fenders down or up? is it the same when entering locks?


Posted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:16am

Post Subject: fenders

I get absolutely fed up with the "purists" who try to foist their ideas on the rest of us. Much will depend upon what type of fenders and where they are fixed to the boat. For instance if you have thin round fenders fixed just below the gunwales then you will have problems stopping them rolling off the gunwale back down whilst under way. Flat ones would stay there. Then you have to consider how often you walk down the gunwale and if fenders stowed there are likely to trip you up. If you hang the from the handrail then they will stow on the roof but again you have to consider if them obstructing hand holds will cause a safety issue. Those who "know" say it is bad form to leave them down when under way but my view is do whatever you feel happiest with. Narrowboats do/should have substantial rubbing bands so apart from when mooring side fender are not strictly necessary and even then its more to do with your comfort than damage to the boat. Sometimes they are useful to buffer against projecting bolts or masonry. The lock question is also not so clear cut. Some locks are so narrow that leaving them down will cause the boat to jamb with possible fatal consequences but others are wide enough for the fenders to be deployed perfectly safely so I suppose the best answer is that if you know the lock is safe to leave them down the you can but in all other cases it is VITAL that fenders are not left down in locks. One of the wide locks at the top of the Devises flight will jamb the boats if even one leaves its fenders down and there is an exceptionally narrow lock at the start to the Llangothlen Canal. There are others that I do not know about so if in doubt leave the fenders up in locks. Tony Brooks

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