Picture of Boat Fender, DIY
Boat fenders are one of the many great arts in seamanship.  They are designed to protect the boat from hitting the dock, other moorings, and other boats.  In this modern, disposable culture, there are many fenders that are cheap and readily available, usually made from plastic.  Far from being a way to enhance your sea-going vessel, these cheap, plastic fenders are offensive to traditional seamanship.  

This instructable will show you how to make a nice fender, that if treated with a preservative, such as Stockholm tar, could conceivably last a lifetime, and look really nice in the process.

There are many complex ways to make a fender to protect your boat, but this one is simple and low-cost.  Based on the crown knot, all that is really needed is a few basic tools, some decent rope, and a little whipping twine, and pride.

This is my first instructable, so please let me know how to improve!  Thanks!
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Step 1: What you will need

Picture of What you will need
1.  Rope.  3/4" hemp or manilla rope should work fine.  Other ropes will work, but these are most authentic and hold up well to sunlight.

2.  Sharp knife to cut the rope.

3.  Whipping twine.  If this is not available, it's OK.  Some sort of strong twine will work fine, because it will be buried inside the fender anyway.

4.  Fid or marline spike.  If either of these is unavailable, then you can use a large tent stake, the rigid plastic kind will do perfectly.
dwittschutte6 months ago

This is a small scale fender, but works just the same way. Enjoy

RingoWild1 year ago
This is stunning! Hey, do you know if there is a YouTube video showing this technique? Sometimes watching the actual process makes it easier. I would love to try it, but I feel a little overwhelmed with the process. Thanks! -- Lori
RangerJ1 year ago
Wow - that is a great Instructable!
cwith6c4810 (author)  RangerJ1 year ago
cwith6c4810 (author) 1 year ago
I am sorry that I have not responded to a few posts. I've been inactive here for a while. If there are questions, now, please let me know.
mharris173 years ago
I made this fender out of 1/2 inch poly rope. I used three 15 foot pieces folded in half. I kept one piece one hands width above the others and tied them off and then followed your directions until I got to the end. Where you said to tuck it under previous coils, I did. I also did this all the way back to the bottom. It took out any excess slack I had. Poly rope is hard to keep taut. It looks great. Thanks.
Rope Bumper.jpg
cwith6c4810 (author)  mharris171 year ago
That looks really, really nice. Great work!
Sappl21 year ago
Hi, the fender looks fabulous. I am trying to make some for daughters narrow boat. I cannot get the initial crown knots correct. I have looked on other sites but their crown knots seem to use 4 strands and all of the illustrations use the same colour for each strand. I am sure I am being really stupid but could someone show me the method for this fender's crown knot in more detail please. I am a beginner at knots !!
Many thanks
awhitecat4 years ago
Did you get an answer, zedzed? Like you, the description wasn't full enough for me!

Anybody like to elaborate?

sjb3214 years ago
what kin of rope did you use for your fender
The rope shown looks like a natural fibre called HEMP.
Ferrite4 years ago
Nice knotwork! I like the turk's heads on the handle of the pliers and on the fid too.
Heringhaus4 years ago
you lost me on this step can you expand your pictures here like form a loop then whats next do you put the next cord into the loop you just made???
sjb3214 years ago
Just finished mine it looks really good. awsome instructable!!!
how do you perserve it in stockholm tar? do you just dip it in there... and what is stockholm tar (pardon my ignorence)
cwith6c4810 (author)  naruto the ninja134 years ago
Yes. It's some messy stuff, but yes. You might even let it soak for a little while, too. As long as you keep the fender out of direct light, rinse it out with fresh water from time to time, and use good, quality rope, it should still last for a long time. Let me know if you have any other questions :-D
I've been thinking about building a small sail boat or catamaran using only tools and stuff that it would have when the art of shipmaking was first refined but do you know what would be the best way to go about doing this?
Oak, big screws and no powertools.