Michelle makes a moustache
I was pleased to find a post including some nice photos of the making of a ropework moustache fender over at Scott B Williams’ weblog Scott’s Boat Pages.
There’s a lot of interest in old-fashioned rope fenders and moustaches, not least because modern plastic types look so out of place on an old-fashioned hull, but also because there aren’t too many suppliers around to make them up. What’s more, they look as if they could be a lot of fun to make during the winter. See the links to earlier intheboatshed.net posts on ropework fenders at the bottom of this post.
The story Scott tells is of how his ropework specialist girlfriend Michelle made a moustache fender for a rowing boat being built to Iain Oughtred’s Guillemot design. The new boat is to spend its life as a tender to a 1929 John Alden schooner, Summerwind, and its new owner wanted a fender that would was just right for the job.
Made from 1/2in manila, the fender has a protective section 36in long, with 3in eyes at each end. The central section is 5in thick, tapering down to 3in at the ends; the taper was achieved by adding varying lengths of the 1/2in manila, and binding them in position with smaller cord. Shorter lengths were bound into the aft side to create the bent shape.
Michelle covered the whole thing with a series of continuous half-hitches, using 1/4in manila. There are a lot of half-hitches and a lot of line in a fender like this – this small one swallowed up over 200 feet of the 1/4in stuff, and Scott says that it takes a lot of patience to pull all that through a half hitch hundreds of times over.
I’ll bet it does – and I’d guess that you need to physically quite fit to be able to do it from a cross-legged position and keep smiling!
Earlier posts about ropework fenders:
A question of puddings and moustaches
How a moustache is made
Almost certainly not the final word on puddings, fenders or whiskers…
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