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Fendering: Which Products Work Where?

Transom fenders, as they are commonly known, are now being introduced to other areas of superyachts where they were once not needed, or those spaces even existed. As described in our previous article, transom fenders are designed to protect the edge of the swim platform or transom edge whilst adding an aesthetically pleasing look to the yachts watersports area. They are also the final resting place for tenders coming alongside during berthing operations. SSCo has supplied all types of transom fender listed below to a huge variety of superyachts from small 80ft power boats to the largest yacht in the industry (currently in build).

But which type of fender works where?

Vertical Pillar Fender

Vertical pillar fenders are normally used in conjunction with the solid core foam fender, as described in our previous article. However, we are seeing more and more yachts use them on their own usually as pairs or quads. Once seen at home on the swim platform or transom, they are now venturing further afield as yachts are starting to really open up the ‘beach club’ experience with fold down shell doors. The addition of vertical pillar fenders to the shell doors of the beach club provides numerous options for tender operations, especially if some guests are using the swim platform for water sports and other guests want to depart ashore.

Unlike the solid core foam fenders, the vertical pillar fenders are very easy to install and require very few modifications or design work. Due to their shape and the way they are designed, the vertical pillar fender can be used in a variety of locations on board (deck socket dependant). The vertical pillar fender is an all-round great product for all sizes of motor and sail yachts.

Aesthetics: 9/10
Compatibility: 10/10
Protection to the yacht: 7/10
Swim platform: 9/10
Beach club/ shell doors: 9/10

SSCo vertical pillar fender and tender fender pole 1200x630

Vertical pillar fender (left); tender fender pole (right)

Tender Fender Pole

The tender fender pole is the new kid on the block when it comes to transom fenders. The actual use of a tender fender pole has been around for some time, but the new SSCo design is revolutionary. Imagine a boarding pole, a vertical pillar fender and an inflatable fender all integrated into one system, and then add the SSCo touch, this is our tender fender pole.

This product has been designed specifically for areas where tender operations are the number one priority (usually side platforms). Constructed either from composites or stainless steel with an inflatable detachable fender, the tender fender pole is the ultimate multi-purpose product. With a boarding handle incorporated into the top section, this enables guests to safely embark/ disembark the tender.  A key feature of the tender fender pole is that it can be stored with the inflatable fender removed further increasing its usability and storage options on board.

A unique piece of this product is the curved bottom section, an unusual design with one purpose, to prevent the tender from going under the platform in choppy sea states where the yacht has a tendency to roll.

Aesthetics: 6/10
Compatibility: 8/10
Protection to the overall platform edge: 7/10
Swim platform: 10/10
Beach club/ shell doors: 10/10

Solid Core Transom Fender

The solid core transom fender is a different ball game altogether compared to the vertical pillar fender. They are more common on large yachts and even serve as a temporary transom extension when installed with faux teak, blending the fenders into the swim platform.

As the market changes, we are seeing an influx of large tenders/ chase boats and small motor yachts integrate the solid core foam fenders onboard as the water sports activities expand. The solid core foam fenders are unique to the yacht and the specific area where they are to be installed which is why the manufacturing process for the solid core foam fenders tends take longer.

Solid core transom fender SSCo 1200x630

Solid core transom fender

However, this does not mean that the product is inferior to the vertical pillar fender. As with the vertical pillar fender, we are commissioning more solid core foam fenders for the large ‘beach club’ set ups where the client is after an additional temporary extension whilst offering maximum protection to the shell door edge. Solid core transom fenders are a great addition to the guest set up in the ‘beach club’ area or swim platform. Once installed you will never look back!

Aesthetics: 9/10
Compatibility: 5/10
Protection to the yacht: 10/10
Swim platform: 10/10
Beach club/ shell doors: 8/10

Drop Stitch Transom Fenders

Drop stitch transom fenders are a relatively new product on the market. This product came about as a result of smaller yachts still requiring transom fenders but lack the storage space for the vertical pillar or solid core foam fenders. The drop stitch transom fenders are a hybrid of the two products mentioned above with a composite top plate, but with an inflatable drop stitch fender pad hanging over the transom either to the  waterline or into the water.

Drop stitch transom fenders SSCo 1200x630

Drop stitch transom fenders

They are a fantastic addition to the swim platform and beach club if the yacht lacks storage space. However, due to their design, they do not perform as well as the other products mentioned with high freeboard tenders. We strongly recommend this product if you are after a minimalist designed transom fender that is easy to stow, easy to install and offers great protection to the swim platform or shell door edge.

Aesthetics: 6/10
Compatibility: 6/10
Protection to the overall platform edge: 8/10
Swim platform: 8/10
Beach club/ shell doors: 8/10

To read SSCo's article on how fenders transform the guest experience, click here

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