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Jeffyjeff

Boat getting battered by pontoon!

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Hello, 

 

I'm current moored up in a marina and the boat will be kept here for the rest of the winter. 

 

It's fairly windy and I've just noticed my rope fenders are rubbing against the side of my boat and causing paint damage, so I'm hoping for advice please! 

 

- any pro tips from you experienced boaters on tying onto a pontoon to avoid damage? Keep the ropes a bit lose or tighten them? 

- I use rope fenders, should I get some little rubber ones? 

- how should I best care for the exposed metal where the paint damage has occurred? It's a good few inches above the waterline so maybe I can just move the fenders and repaint? 

 

If anyone knows any existing forums on this topic I'd appreciate a link to that too! 

 

Many thanks, 

Bex

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Its life. much of my boat has the blacking missing, it was blacked 18 months ago and will be blacked again in the early summer. some is now back to the steel. It will do zero damage. Bin the fenders and moor alongside the pontoon it will  be more stable. Paint on narrowboats is a consumable just like diesel and batteries ?

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Work on the principle that as the paint would need to be rubbed down before the boat is next repainted, you are just getting there ahead of time and saving the painter some work. 

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Any paint below gunnel level is sacrificial, to keep on top of it is an annual job.

Wind happens, so does boat movement, either go and find a marina without wind and moving water (lift it out for Winter), or expect to fix it in Spring.

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28 minutes ago, Jeffyjeff said:

It's fairly windy and I've just noticed my rope fenders are rubbing against the side of my boat and causing paint damage,

'Sea Going' boats use a product called 'fender socks', they slide over the fender and reduce the paint damage.

 

They are a 'knotted' material that allows the fender to move inside the 'bag' without 'rubbing' the paint.

 

Just an example - many different sizes / types available. Do a google search for "Fender Socks"

 

https://www.marinescene.co.uk/category/292/fender-socks/

 

 

Fender Covers For Majoni, polyform & Anchor Marine

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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18 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

Its life. much of my boat has the blacking missing, it was blacked 18 months ago and will be blacked again in the early summer. some is now back to the steel. It will do zero damage. Bin the fenders and moor alongside the pontoon it will  be more stable. Paint on narrowboats is a consumable just like diesel and batteries ?

OK great thanks for the advice! 

8 minutes ago, Keeping Up said:

Work on the principle that as the paint would need to be rubbed down before the boat is next repainted, you are just getting there ahead of time and saving the painter some work. 

Haha nice, thanks, puts my mind at ease

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19 minutes ago, Jeffyjeff said:

Hello, 

 

I'm current moored up in a marina and the boat will be kept here for the rest of the winter. 

 

It's fairly windy and I've just noticed my rope fenders are rubbing against the side of my boat and causing paint damage, so I'm hoping for advice please! 

 

- any pro tips from you experienced boaters on tying onto a pontoon to avoid damage? Keep the ropes a bit lose or tighten them? 

- I use rope fenders, should I get some little rubber ones? 

- how should I best care for the exposed metal where the paint damage has occurred? It's a good few inches above the waterline so maybe I can just move the fenders and repaint? 

 

If anyone knows any existing forums on this topic I'd appreciate a link to that too! 

 

Many thanks, 

Bex

On my sailing yacht, in a previous life, I would sometimes hang a big sheet of canvassy plasticcy stuff over the side, between the fenders and the boat. This seemed to prevent, or minimise, any damage.

 

On my narrowboat I use some big foam sheet fenders that seem to spread the load and minimise damage:

 

Like these:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FLAT-BOAT-FENDER-950mm-x-300mm-x-70mm-DURABLE-CANNOT-PUNCTURE-yacht-DP3/161914295810?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

 

There are also a couple of small go-cart tyres hanging from the bank in the water on the mooring. These also seems to cause little/no damage, as the boat moves about.

 

Like Smelly suggests, in his own inimitable way :), if your boat is steel, it is unlikely to come to any harm over a short period of time, even if it gets a bit rusty, and small fenders are only going to remove the paint in a small area, so you could live with it, and touch it up from time to time.

 

Again, if your boat is steel, does it have a rubbing strake a bit above the waterline? If so, if you set your fenders so they rub on the strake, rather than the body of the hull, less paint will be worn off.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

'Sea Going' boats use a product called 'fender socks', they slide over the fender and reduce the paint damage.

 

They are a 'knotted' material that allows the fender to move inside the 'bag' without 'rubbing' the paint.

 

Just an example - many different sizes / types available. Do a google search for "Fender Socks"

 

Fender Covers For Majoni, polyform & Anchor Marine

I'll look into it, thank you! 

1 minute ago, Richard10002 said:

On my sailing yacht, in a previous life, I would sometimes hang a big sheet of canvassy plasticcy stuff over the side, between the fenders and the boat. This seemed to prevent, or minimise, any damage.

 

On my narrowboat I use some big foam sheet fenders that seem to spread the load and minimise damage:

 

Like these:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FLAT-BOAT-FENDER-950mm-x-300mm-x-70mm-DURABLE-CANNOT-PUNCTURE-yacht-DP3/161914295810?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

 

There are also a couple of small go-cart tyres hanging from the bank in the water on the mooring. These also seems to cause little/no damage, as the boat moves about.

 

Like Smelly suggests, in his own inimitable way :), if your boat is steel, it is unlikely to come to any harm over a short period of time, even if it gets a bit rusty, and small fenders are only going to remove the paint in a small area, so you could live with it, and touch it up from time to time.

 

Again, if your boat is steel, does it have a rubbing strake a bit above the waterline? If so, if you set your fenders so they rub on the strake, rather than the body of the hull, less paint will be worn off.

 

 

Great stuff thanks, yep, it's steel so it's sounding like it should be alright! 

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If you live aboard it's nice to have some fenders down against the pontoon to reduce the impact in high winds, but since you're not then you may as well not bother with them. For anyone who is using fenders it makes sense to lift them above the waterline. At least that way come springtime you can paint over the bits where the fenders have worn away the paint without having to get the boat out of the water.

Edited by blackrose

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Get the boat to batter the pontoon rather than the pontoon battering the boat so they have to paint that instead. :giggles:

Edited by bizzard
  • Greenie 2
  • Haha 1

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13 minutes ago, bizzard said:

Get the boat to batter the pontoon rather than the pontoon battering the boat so they have to paint that instead. :giggles:

can you not smear oil/gease on fenders...to reduce friction?

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5 hours ago, restlessnomad said:

can you not smear oil/gease on fenders...to reduce friction?

 

No, you already suggested painting the fenders and I'm afraid that was another idea that won't work. All that oil or grease will do is attack the boat's blacking (assuming it's blacked) before getting washed off itself by the rain.

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Fender socks are a waste of money.

A pontoon may saw through them .

A wall will leave grit in them ,which then scratches the boat.

Inflatable fenders look a bit odd on a narrowboat .... but may be purchased in black .   

 

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Couple of car tyres well spaced then secure the boat with 50mm ratchet straps to the pontoon cleats and pull tight against the tyres. Really tight. If you use the front well deck drain hole for the front strap hook instead of the tee stud it won't tip the boat over too much. 

Tie up as usual as a backup. 

 

If it's strapped tight it won't move much if at all. 

 

It does have the effect of making the boat feel a bit odd as if doesn't move about but it appears from the description that preventing the boat moving about is a Good Thing. 

 

You have to be careful you don't just lift the pontoon up. It depends on at what height you can fix the straps to the boat. That's why the deck drain hole can be useful but don't block it.. the hook should clip over the edge of the steel at the front of the hole.

 

 

 

 

Edited by magnetman

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Had that on my last boat.

Bought a small tin of bitumen paint and every now and then,touched up the hull with a long roller.(The sort that you use for painting behind radiators)

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1 hour ago, magnetman said:

Couple of car tyres well spaced then secure the boat with 50mm ratchet straps to the pontoon cleats and pull tight against the tyres. Really tight. If you use the front well deck drain hole for the front strap hook instead of the tee stud it won't tip the boat over too much. 

Tie up as usual as a backup. 

 

If it's strapped tight it won't move much if at all. 

 

It does have the effect of making the boat feel a bit odd as if doesn't move about but it appears from the description that preventing the boat moving about is a Good Thing. 

 

You have to be careful you don't just lift the pontoon up. It depends on at what height you can fix the straps to the boat. That's why the deck drain hole can be useful but don't block it.. the hook should clip over the edge of the steel at the front of the hole.


This kind of assumes no significant changes in level hwilst the boat is unattended.

I agree it will probably by OK on 90% of moorings, but there will certainly be locations where lashing a boat really tight to a pontoon is not such a great idea.

It is hard to moor a narrow boat up tight to any pontoon that is markedly shorter than the boat.  We have a 72 foot boat against a fairly rickety 40 foot pontoon, and with over 30 feet of boat projecting beyond it, there really are no realistic options other than to let it wallow about a bit!

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1 hour ago, magnetman said:

Couple of car tyres well spaced then secure the boat with 50mm ratchet straps to the pontoon cleats and pull tight against the tyres. Really tight. If you use the front well deck drain hole for the front strap hook instead of the tee stud it won't tip the boat over too much. 

Great idea thank you!

19 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

I agree it will probably by OK on 90% of moorings, but there will certainly be locations where lashing a boat really tight to a pontoon is not such a great idea.
 

Good point, I can leave it alone for up to weeks so wouldn't want to run the risk

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12 hours ago, Jeffyjeff said:

Hello, 

 

I'm current moored up in a marina and the boat will be kept here for the rest of the winter. 

 

It's fairly windy and I've just noticed my rope fenders are rubbing against the side of my boat and causing paint damage, so I'm hoping for advice please! 

 

- any pro tips from you experienced boaters on tying onto a pontoon to avoid damage? Keep the ropes a bit lose or tighten them? 

- I use rope fenders, should I get some little rubber ones? 

- how should I best care for the exposed metal where the paint damage has occurred? It's a good few inches above the waterline so maybe I can just move the fenders and repaint? 

 

If anyone knows any existing forums on this topic I'd appreciate a link to that too! 

 

Many thanks, 

Bex

As an example of being over zealous : I once went on a long trip from Burton to Llangollen and back with an old French friend and as he had been a yachtsman on a steel ketch for most of his life, he had an obsession with covering up any bare metal as soon as it was seen.

He didn’t do the repainting, he just nagged me in to doing it, almost daily, it was easier to do it than to argue with him. This attention to bare metal is way OTT, it can be done as often or as seldom as you like. One way to make it easier is to keep an old paintbrush in a part full tin of blacking, with the lid tightly on. Then you have a brush and blacking ready for when you feel like it.

Just try and avoid what my friend got me to do, which was to pull into Trevor basin, moor up, repaint one side, then wind the boat to do the other side, then finally relax. Or locking uphill, middle of nowhere, full lock, take a few minutes to reblack....

yes of course the blacking came off rather fast. He is still a good friend, by the way.

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Sometimes, you can be moored in a position where the prevailing wind will keep you off the pontoon most of the time.

 

 

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Be wary of tying tight to the pontoon, the canal level can change quite a bit especially in these extremely wet conditions. Some years ago in Lower Heyford [was for a time Mr Smelly's patch] the canal was overtopped by the Cherwell and overnight we had an alarming list!  All boats bar one were loosened off - this one had to have its ropes chopped with a machete.

 

Which is another point - some owners tie up so ridiculously as if it was the Queen Mary being berthed.  If on a "floating" river pontoon, yeah tie as tight as you can!!

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I should point out that I assume the term "Pontoon"  refers to a floating unit which moves up and down with water level changes.  One of my boats is moored to a Pontoon and I have secured it from flapping about by using ratchet straps. 

 

A fixed structure is called a Jetty. 

 

I would certainly not advocate strapping a boat to a Jetty with ratchet straps. 

 

However to be fair a lot of people may call a Jetty a Pontoon. Including marinas offering moorings. 

 

:)

 

By the very nature of a jetty and variable water heights it would be virtually impossible to secure a boat in such a way that it would not move. 

 

One possible option might be to strap it as I suggested but introduce very big cable ties as a weak link which would break if the boat did get pulled over. 

 

And tie up as usual as well. 

 

Being a but verbose here but another possibility if the structure of the jetty is suitable would be to hold the boat away with floating wheelbarrow wheels. 

Edited by magnetman

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It could be held tight to the pontoon with elastic bands, bungee cord or tension springs which would stretch if the water goes up and down.

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Bicycle  inner tubes might work. 

 

Say 3 at each end tightened up with ratchet straps. They would probably also fail if there was a silly level change which would be handy.

 

There is a rubber thing available which the rope goes through the ends of then is wrapped around. I think it is designed to fail and automatically extend the length of the rope because of the number of turns taken around the body of the rubber thing. 

 

Not sure what it is called. I've got one but not with me at the moment 

 

 

Edited by magnetman

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