With a passion for boating
At the end of a long haul out on the water, it's time to dock in at the berth and get home for dinner. Just one problem — the wind has picked up, the tide is going in the opposite direction and the chances of not smacking into the berth are almost NIL.
Risking the paintwork on the most precious thing in life (and the marriage) makes for an ugly end to an otherwise perfect day. The solution? A better-designed inflatable dock fender to make parking the beauty a breeze. This is how safe2dock was created. True story!
Purchasing a Bayliner 3288 in (2019), with twin shafts and a bow thruster. Prior to this vessel I had only just successfully mastered parallel parking a 6m power boat with an outboard at the dock, the same dock as detailed below.
I now faced the prospect of docking the new boat in the very tidal Tamaki River in Auckland. New Zealand. The current here is about 3 knots, without considering the wind that could come from any direction! On the very first attempt, the first day I scratched the port aft side of the hull. Not a good start, or a good end to the first try!
I researched what was available locally, mainly foam and vinyl-based products which didn’t give me great confidence given my lack of ability. Then when pondering, always at 3 am the solution sprung to mind. Dock-mounted inflatable fenders!
I drew a few designs on paper at 3 am, as you do. Contacted an offshore manufacturer and had a 450 mm x 3000 mm sample fabricated.
I originally floated these fenders in the water attached to the dockside. I was however very surprised to find after a week, mussel spat already growing on the bottom of them.
I then raised the fenders out of the water and fixed them to the side of the dock.