Traditional fenders have remained much the same for decades. The experience of lugging big lumps of vulcanised rubber across the deck and over the side is an experience many sailors are familiar with. Big, heavy, cumbersome rubber tubes, which take up valuable storage space; they do an important job but there must be a better solution? Sure enough, new materials and technology are penetrating all areas of the sport and bringing real benefits. Here we discuss one new manufacturer to look out for – Fendertex, and their inflatable textile fenders.
Fendertex inflatable textile fenders are made from a high frequency welded, high-pressure, Polyurethane bladder, with 500% elasticity and a 100% Polyester textile sock which is incredibly tough and abrasion plus UV resistant. They can be pumped up using a manual kite / SUP pump or a range of small electrical pumps. They are not pumped to a high pressure, so they are safe and quick / simple to both inflate and deflate.
Fendertex fenders are different because they have some key benefits:
- Light weight
- Easy to handle
- Quick and simple to Inflate / deflate
.........which makes them incredible versatile.
These fenders are up to 5 times lighter than the rubber alternatives. This makes these fenders not only much easier to handle but also make a significant contribution to reducing all-up boat weight. Imagine, on a standard 40ft boat you might want x6 fenders for adequate protection. The C73 Fendertex weighs 770g. An equivalent sized, moulded rubber fender would be in the region of 3000g, which means an all-up weight saving on x6 fenders of 13.4kg
They are also far easier to store. A deflated fender can easily fit in to any trunk or compartment. The textile fender folds easily or can be rolled up to fit wherever is most convenient.
Going back to our 40ft sailboat example, a traditional 750x250mm fender takes up approx 0.1875m2 which for x6 fenders = 1.125m2. The equivalent Fendertex Fender, on the other hand, when it is deflated might take up approx. 250x200mm = 0.05m2 with total space for x6 fenders 0.3m2. This is a 73% space saving on the traditional fenders, and we all know how valuable locker space is onboard!
The elasticity of the polyester cover gives the Fendertex fenders extreme resistance to compression and abrasion, meaning there’s very little chance of your fender being damaged or slipping when protecting your boat. Don’t believe us? Just watch this video - impressive!
The Fendertex range includes 3 shapes of fender, each with their own applications.
The most commonly used shape is the cylindrical fender. These fenders can be positioned either vertically or horizontally on the side of the hull. They are the go-to for many sailors and are suitable for a wide range of boats.
Spherical fenders are used primarily to protect the stern and bow of the boat as they have a bigger distance between the boat and the dock. These lightweight and versatile fenders are also useful to have on hand during manoeuvres to ensure the boat does not collide at any point with other boats or obstacles.
Finally, the tubular fenders are flatter and connected at the centre. This ensures that the fender does not roll on itself and is able to protect a larger area.
All Fendertex fenders feature stainless-steel D rings at the top and a strap at the bottom to allow them to be used in a number of scenarios either vertically or horizontally.
Top Tip: A good rule of thumb when choosing the size of your fenders is 70% of your freeboard height.
How your fenders look is a very important aspect of your fender choice! All Fendertex fenders come in a range of 9 colours - from the classic black to bright greens and oranges. Custom embroidery, to show off your team/boat logo is also available
While the benefits of the Fendertex inflatable textile fenders are clear, they do come with a price premium over traditional rubber fenders. But for sailors looking to optimise their overall sailing experience, then Fendertex fenders are a great investment.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com