How to Make a Fender Board
If you value your GRP or wood, then a fender board is a must for a UK circumnavigation. On many occasions you will need to use it when mooring against a wall, pilings or when refuelling. Many of the cheapest refuelling points are designed primarily for fishing boats that are a little more robust. They are easy to make, but the key is not to make them too heavy, as they become difficult to hold and manoeuvre. Ours for our first boat Ituna ( 38ft) was made from pre treated timber, sanded to remove the rough edges. The dimensions were: 0.9in (2.2cm) thick, 5.4in (13.8cm) wide and 5ft 7in (1.6m) long.
The board hangs horizontally via 2 thin (10mm) ropes. The key is to ensure that one side is free from these ropes, it is this side that faces a wall. This will ensure that the rope will not get chaffed through by rough walls., We have two short lengths of 0.16in (4mm) cord which are permanently attached to the fender board, which makes it really easy to tie it to the boat to store it along the gunwales. If you have to moor against piles, it is very difficult to judge where the board needs to be located. Hang three fenders vertically, where the distance between each one is not less than the board. This gives you the chance to move the board relatively quickly to the right spot.
Ours has been a godsend on more than one occasion!