…open a massive box full of fenders!
When I bought Elizmor, she came with a scrappy assortment of fenders; they had been stored outside for what I’m guessing is at least 10 years (Elizmor has been in the boatyard for 10 years) so they are well past their safe useful life. And they were far too small – especially considering I am going to be the one having to park this ship!
After my success with gaining sponsorship from Garmin, I contacted BoatFendersDirect‘s Managing Director Gregg the other week to ask if they would like to sponsor my journey on Elizmor and help me out with a set of new fenders, in return for some publicity and photography that they can use for their own marketing and website. It was wonderful to chat with Gregg and he was very keen to get involved, and we both saw this as a great opportunity to work together and help each other out.
BoatFendersDirect stock an amazing range of fenders in all shapes and sizes from the very well-known Norwegian fender manufacturer Polyform. The choice was slightly overwhelming, but they offer really helpful user guides and information on their product range. So, I used their chart and had a chat with Gregg to work out what I needed. It is recommended that 46-60ft boats choose either the F7 or F8 sized fenders, so we settled on six fenders in the F7 size. I chose to go for an all-black colour scheme, which will look really smart against Elizmor’s white topsides and match her new black gloss boot-top, and is also a nod towards old tyres that fishing boats commonly use as fenders. I asked Gregg if the black fenders were likely to leave marks on Elizmor’s white paint (tyres definitely would), but he said that Polyform are renowned for being the highest quality fenders and in all their years as their distributor, BoatFendersDirect have never had a instance where the fenders rub.
All I had to do was wait for the package to arrive… and yesterday was that lucky day. Not so lucky was the fact that the massive box of massive fenders wouldn’t fit in my car – an MX5 is hardly the most practical of vehicles – I had to drop the roof down (freeeeeezing cold!) and just managed to squeeze it in the passenger seat.
The box of fenders was far too big and heavy to carry up the stairs onto Elizmor, so I unpacked it at the bottom of her steps. The fenders are absolutely AMAZING. I am so impressed with the quality, and I definitely picked the right size for Elizmor with the help of Gregg and the guidance on his website. Gregg was also kind enough to send me a pump, and a BoatFendersDirect t’shirt which will be great when it warms up a bit or when I work up a sweat pumping up the fenders!
I spent the next hour or two doing just that, pumping up four out of the six fenders, before watching a beautiful sunset over the water and deciding that was enough pumping for one day. They really are huge, they took a while, but they will be absolutely perfect for Elizmor.
Now I need to decide on some fender lines to splice onto the fenders, and look forward to launch day when they will have their first real test.
Watch this space – once they are all inflated and tied on to Elizmor, there will be more photos proudly showing off my new fenders! I wouldn’t have believed it’s possible to get so excited about new fenders… that’s what boats do to you…