A fender-bender? It exists, they invented it in France

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Fender FS 45
Fender FS 45

What if fenders did more than just…fenders? That’s the question asked by those at Fendsea, a company in Lorient (in France) that decided to find an additional use for this accessory, which as useful as it is at berthing is often an unwanted encumbrance on board. However, if it is given a secondary function, such as a garbage rack, it can come in handy even when we are not docked.

A thousand forms but few uses

Fenders are probably the segment of marine accessories where manufacturers have indulged the most over the years. Let’s start with the shape and material. Fenders can be spherical, cylindrical, or flat, but they can be air-inflated, made of solid rubber, coated with silicone, or made of foam or even a soft sponge-like material. All kinds have been seen: from hollow ones (like “donut”) to be used as a climbing ladder, to those to be used as pillows when they are hospitalized on board. Indeed, if we think about it for a moment, the principle behind fender construction is to have a fairly soft and attutive object that is able to limit damage in case of impact with boats or other nearby objects. Therefore they are usually made with a plastic outer surface and a fairly soft and malleable “filling” (air, rubber…).

The idea: let’s fill the fenders with trash.

Here comes the idea in Fendsea: why not use part of the inside of the fender as a stowage area? Obviously, you won’t be able to keep delicate items there-despite the fact that there is a protective layer between the hollow part and the outside-but the space available is there, and it never hurts on a boat. The primary use envisioned by Fendsea for its fenders-as well as the practical reason the founder decided to create them-is as “storage” for waste. When the garbage bag is full but we are far from stopping at a port, just close it tightly and place it inside the fender. The closure is in every way similar to that of a watertight bag, so it keeps water and insects out, and prevents foul odor from permeating the boat.

There are two models currently in production, both rectangular in shape. The former has a storage capacity of 20 liters and measures 45 x 60 x 25 cm, the latter with a storage capacity of 30 liters measures 60 x 60 x 25 cm. You can choose from four colors (blue, white, gray, black) and customize the exterior surfaces with logos or lettering, such as adding the boat’s name. The price ranges from 249 euros for the smaller model to 299 euros for the larger one.

Other possible uses of these fender-bearers include shelter for mooring lines or shoes, which, thanks to a handy inner pouch, remain tidy and do not shed. However, the company plans-if its fenders are successful-to make other models with multiple uses: from a cooler bag to a backpack, complete with shoulder straps, to carry everything you need ashore when going down with your dinghy or SUP.

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