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Even the best sailors make mistakes when docking or coming up alongside another boat. You can sustain serious damage to a sailboat hull if you don't equip your boat with fenders. Having your sailboat equipped with adequate fenders is as important as having the right types of rope and sails. Fenders must be of a sufficient diameter to withstand the pressure of your boat coming up against a dock. Fenders also protect your boat from wind and storms that cause it to hit the dock.
A sailing store should be able to help you determine if you have proper fenders on your sailboat. Additionally, carry spare fenders in case someone in another watercraft berths alongside your sailboat without proper fender protection. Fenders do not need to be positioned alongside your sailboat at equal intervals. Concentrate them along the point of maximum width and adjust your mooring lines to accommodate them.
Do not tie a fender to a lifeline, as damage will occur. At a store that sells sailing supplies, you can also purchase a skirt that hangs between the hull and fenders. Another option is buying a long cylindrical fender to hang horizontally or vertically, and that is easy to store. A sailboat equipment store can also show you this type of fender.