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dalepetrie's avatar

What did they use as a buffer for docking boats before there were tires?

Asked by dalepetrie (17918 points ) February 20th, 2011

I don’t know what it’s called, if there is indeed a name for it, but almost every dock has tires fastened to it in some manner, presumably to keep the boats that dock from getting damaged. I was on a fishing vessel in the San Diego harbor earlier today and I even saw a boat which was flanked all the way around with tires. It got me wondering, what was used before there were tires?

I’m not exactly sure when boats were first used, but I am certain it was many centuries ago, and it seems to me that rubber came about around 1 century ago (give or take). Did they just let the boats get messed up, or did they have some more “natural” buffering material.

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7 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

They used elaborately knotted thick ropes to make fenders.

downtide's avatar

Sacks filled with straw or horsehair would have been common, but would need to be regularly replaced because of the damp.

WasCy's avatar

After a rope has seen hard use in standing or running rigging (or as part of an anchor rode or dock line) and is no longer serviceable for that purpose, then as @zenvelo said they can be formed into various forms of portable or semi-permanent rope fenders.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Ropes.
I have seen thump mats to protect the decks of the tall ships : that visit my area.I love the way they look and have painted them on large platters that I make on the potter’s wheel.:)

blueiiznh's avatar

unruly deckhands

dalepetrie's avatar

I knew you guys would have answers for me. Thanks!

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