DOCK-TIONARY: MARINE FENDERS
Welcome to Dock-tionary, a new series where we help ferry fans learn how to speak boat. First up: learn about marine fenders.
‘Fenders’ or marine fenders are an important part of vessel safety on the water. Fenders are comprised of buoyant material systems used to absorb energy of a moving vessel resulting in damage to the vessel or adjacent docks or pilings. Essentially, you can think of marine fenders as bumpers for the ferry vessel.
Because fendering is used in some way on all vessels, they come in all shapes and sizes from tires (often found on tugboats or smaller vessels) or pneumatic or foam fenders often found at docks and marinas. These and have evolved over the years to provide the maximum protection for specific vessel types and their jobs. These useful devices can be attached to the ship, or they are often already secured at dock in a manner custom to the size and needs of the vessel. This is the case with our ferries.
When fenders are stored onboard, the large fenders are secured with heavy chains (lashings) and smaller fenders stored in cradles on deck. Often all types of equipment related to mooring operations is typically found in dedicated storerooms known as the forecastle (foc’sle) near the bow of the ship. As the vessel approaches a dock or another boat, a crew members will deploy the fenders as needed and pass mooring lines to secure the vessel safely.
The next time you are onboard a ferry and arriving at your destination, notice how the fenders are used for the protection of your ferry as these are used at every one of our terminals and onboard ferry vessels.