In ports, more and more, most of the nicer boats no longer use cylindrical fenders but flat fenders. The reasons are simple: compared with traditional models, they weigh less and are less bulky. Other advantages are that they remain adhered to the hull, reducing the risk of blows, they are not subject to volume changes at high temperatures, and under pressure they do not deform and mechanical properties remain unchanged.
THERE IS A NEED FOR A STOCKING
But they also have a flaw, easily solved. Because they adhere across the entire surface to the freeboard, they do not “roll” like cylindrical ones when in contact with a nearby boat or at a dock, posing a risk of abrasion to the gelcoat. It is therefore necessary for them to be coated with a nonabrasive high-strength sock or coating.
Prices have also become more affordable, such as for the Plastimo models (left) that you can find online at nauticplace.com starting at about 37 euros.
If you want something more “elaborate” (and therefore more expensive), there are also flat folding fenders, such as those designed by SeaEq. When folded in half as a package, they can be used as more cushioning fenders. The dimensions of this product are 1,050 x 400 x 54m (folded) and 2,100 x 400 x 27mm 8flat). You can find them starting at 146.90 euros at www.seaeq.de