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Tire Fender

Text and Photographs by Paul Clayton

As Handsome as Any.

Clifford Ashley noted in his book "The Ashley Book of Knots" - "An old truck tire fender, unfortunately, is about the most practical fender there is. Fishermen use them naked and they are far from handsome. But if they are ringbolt hitched with rope or large strands from a rope, they become as handsome as any".

Well, a truck tire might be disproportionately large for Terry Ann, but a wheelbarrow tire would be just right, and it so happened that I had one. I ordered a tube from ebay, and rummaged through a box of ground tackle to find a retired 1/2" three-strand anchor rode that would serve for the hitching.

Ringbolt hitching is cumbersome with heavy, stiff old anchor rode, so I decided to use the simpler alternate ring hitching for this project. I inserted the tube into the tire, inflated it lightly, and then middled the 120' anchor rode. I threw a cow hitch around the tire and proceeded to alternate hitch one end of the line all the way around the tire. I ended up with about 10' of line left from that half, and left a 5' tag for tying off to a stanchion. I cut the other half off and side-spliced the tag into the 5' length. Then I finished inflating the tube, which pulled all the hitches up nicely. Much easier than going around with a fid pulling each hitch tight.

I have friends who enjoy going to yard sales, flea markets and antique malls. If I need something like a used wheelbarrow tire, I tell them and they usually can find one before too long. So far they have brought me two. The second one might be a bit small for Terry Ann, but it would make a good dinghy fender. I usually have plenty of old rope in my stores. If I didn't have enough, I would replace a line on the boat with new rope and use the old rope for a fender.


As far as I am concerned, these fenders are as handsome as any, at a tiny fraction of the cost.

Text and Photographs by Paul Clayton.
Posted 12/31/21.

Copyright © 2021 Paul M. Clayton