How To Make a Fender Board to Protect Your Boat | BoatUS

October 25, 2019 posted by

[WAVES CRASHING] Fenders are great when you’re
coming alongside and for protecting your boat against the dock, but if you’ve got to tie
up against pilings, they’re pretty much useless. For that you need a fender board. Hi, I’m Mark Corke from BoatUS Magazine, and
today I’m going to walk you through the steps necessary to make your own board. It’s simple, straightforward, and it won’t
take you long at all. I have an 8 foot board of pressure-treated
lumber. It’s an inch thick and 6 inches wide, and
it’s perfect for this. But before I do that, I’ve got to trim it
to length. But I’m also going to round off the end to
make it (a) look neater and (b) to make sure there are no sharp corners that could damage
my boat or anything else. Now here’s a handy tip: Because the board
is supposed to be 6 inches wide but it’s been planed, it’s actually less. If you need to find the center of anything,
if you just put your ruler across at an angle — in this case it’s 6 inches — you get
something that’s easily divisible. You put a mark there. You don’t even have to worry about what the
actual measurement is. And then we can use that … put our compasses
on there and then use that to saw the radius. [SAW CUTTING] Next thing is to drill the holes,
and they need to be a decent size hole because we’re going to be using half inch line for
this. I’m going to come in about 8 inches from either
end, and then I’m going to come down an inch and a half. Now, obviously, you might wonder why the center
of the hole is off center. Well there’s a good reason for that: That
is that by having it off center, there’s more weight below the line than there is above,
so it will hang nice and vertically. These spade bits are great for cutting a hole
quickly, but they do tend to tear out the surface of the wood. What you need to do with this is drill through
[DRILLING NOISE] until we just start to come through the back side like that. Flip it over and then drill from the other
side, and that prevents breakout. So, we’re almost done. After we’ve drilled the holes, I’m going to
use a piece of half-inch line. I’m using about 10 feet. It depends on your boat. And there are two pieces — one on each end. You poke it through the hole, and then we
just make it off with a bowline. If you want to be really fancy, you could
splice this on there, but it’s not necessary. So there we go. We’ll put one on the other end and we’re all
ready to hang it on the boat. There you have it. It took me about half an hour to make that
board. I’m just going to tie it off to the handrail,
and as you can see, it protects me against this piling. A fender would not do that. Thanks for watching, and if you’ve learned
something here today, hit “like” and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Also, don’t forget to comment and let us know
what projects you’ve been working on and if there’s anything you’d like us to do. Thanks for watching, and we hope to see you
on the water. [WAVES CRASHING]


10 Replies to “How To Make a Fender Board to Protect Your Boat | BoatUS”

  1. Dal Adams says:

    Great info thanks

  2. Davlyn Freitas says:

    Great video, very poor audio.

  3. Mark Maugle says:

    What is a good length? Can it be to short?

  4. Robert Sherer says:

    You've bot to be kidding, a 1" thick board? If there are no waves and no wind, it will do fine. Try adding some wave action from the marina entrance and a little breeze (>15 kts with gust) and that board will find pieces of the board left when you return to your boat.

  5. Philippe Candelier says:

    Having the rope going across the section of the board is not good: as soon as it will hit a hard wall such as in a lock, it will quickly chafe. Rather, drill though the plank edges.

  6. Steve D says:

    Sorry it didn’t show the whole completed board; how to position it against fenders so that it doesn’t come off of pole. Thought board was too weak ( thickness ) for task and line through the board was subject to chafe. Could use a version 2 of this video

  7. webbwebs says:

    Maybe I’m missing something in your video… but I only see ONE fender beneath the board. If the boat should move relative to the piling (imagine that) then the board could pivot on the fender, in which case the end of the board could cause even more damage to the hull than the piling would have caused to the rubrail. Put a second fender under the board and you’ve got something to do the job. That is, after all, the way a commercial vender board is made.

    When I do this for hurricane prep, I use a 2”x6”. But I would agree with you that a 1”x6” pressure treated board is plenty for normal situations. I really don’t have enough free space to store larger lumber on my sailboat. But I could surely find space for a couple of 1”x2” boards for this purpose, when heading to the Bahamas for 6 mo. I never stay in a marina on these trips, but the fuel docks in the Bahamas are frequently sub-par. Thanks for the idea.

  8. Peter Michaels says:

    Good idea, but the video is terrible – the caption obscures the most important part at the end – you can't see how it is deployed.

  9. Paul Paterson says:

    That's a great tip. I've been boating a good while now and watched a good few info videos but I've never seen this tip. Could also double up as a paddle in dire straits.

  10. zoffinger says:

    Seldom do you see Youtube videos so concise and helpful. Very well done, thanks. I'll be using this for sure.

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