Life's been a bit busy this week with one thing or another and have got little building done on my lifeboats....but what I have doen is ( with the help of my lovely wife) finished and moulded the fenders for my boats.
The Mary Stanford required just the one fender at the bow, because she has a rudder steering box at the stern, but the two Watsons, because of their rudders built into the deadwood of the stern keel, have exposed stern posts and as such have rear fenders to guard from accidental damage to the stern.
The majority of knitted/crochet'd fenders that I have seen for sail, (and this is in the eyes of my wife who is a professional knitter) have used pins(knitting needles) thaty are too large in diameter and use cord that is too thick to give a scale apperance.
When I built the Anne Lettitia Russel those many years ago my wife actually experimented for a few days with different size needles and different cords and thicknesses until with the help of photo's of the real fenders, we came to the conclusion that she would knit the fender covers in "reverse stocking stitch" using 2mm "pins" and a guage of thread that gave a cordage of approximately 0.8 - 1.0 mm diameter, and this gave the best results for a scale looking fender.
Any smaller pins and the thread wouldn't be possible to knit, and any thinner thread,, and the desired effect of the nobbled surface just wouldn't show.
So we stuck to it and have knitted the fenders to that pattern ever since, and were always knitted around a blank made from polyester resin.
However, and sadly that polyester is brittle and on one or two occassions on customer's boats, this has snapped when the boat hit the bank leaving the fender mis shaped.
So this time I was determined to improve on that, and decided to make the moulds (blanks) for the fenders from polyurethane resin that doesn't split or crack.
My first task was to mount the fender brackets on the two Watsons (as I had done it earlier to the Barnett) and then mould the bow and stern fenders for ONE Watson only, as both Watsons would use the same blank, being built on the same hull
I made the blanks from Milliput placing them in position on the boat set into the brackets, and when cured and hardened I then sanded them down to a nice even surface.