I have boated for over 25 years, mainly on the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri. My boating life started when I visited a friend whose parents had a cabin and a boat. I'd go down for the week-end, and we'd spend the time riding on his boat. At an early age, I "took note" of things to do and not to do on the boat. My friend's dad, Hamm, was very strict on how to tie the boat to the dock and the proper knot to use on the cleat when docking. That was my job--to make sure we were tied up correctly, and I definitely took notes on how, when, and where to do my job.
Hamm also taught us about fenders. He was always telling us when to put the fenders out and when to bring them in. To this day I "take note" of how boaters use their fenders. It has been my observation that there are a lot of boaters that leave their fenders out all of the time. I see pontoon boats with their fenders dangling over the side of the boat running up and down the lake. I don't know why this bothers me, but it does. I would like to share part of a quote that I saved from West Marine's catalog several years ago. Read it and see if you agree:
"What to look for: 'Can we speak frankly? Fenders protect your boat and that can be a good thing, except that every one of us risks ridicule every boating weekend for one reason. Never, never operate your boat more than a boat length away from your slip with your fenders over the side. This is like wearing a Kick Me sign on your boat's transom. This is a sign of a landlubber, a neophyte, a novice. Blue-blooded yachtspersons have been kicked out of posh yacht clubs for much less." West Marine 1995 Master Catalog
Now, I don't know if I agree with the severity of all of this statement, but it sure is something to think about. The quote certainly made an impression on me! Please feel free to comment; we would love to hear from you!