Observations & Options
Fenders: We use sausage fenders in several sizes. We have covered them in fleece. $9 of material has allowed me to sew black covers for all with enough left over for at least a second set. They are a storage problem, and I can see how inflatable fenders would be nice, but inflatable fenders pound-for-pound are almost as expensive as liferafts (sans supplies and gas cylinders), so we will continue to cope. We have also found the “Fender Step, “made in Denmark and available through SailorsSolutions.com has really helped with boarding the boat in tidal areas with fixed docks — to include our home slip. It also makes a stable fender.
Lifelines: For years we have had plastic covered lifelines. No more. We considered high-strength fiber, but we have the ability to swage fittings on board and decided to stick with bare wire. We do have pelican hooks on the forward ends of the lifelines to accommodate boarding at finger piers. The pelican hooks have a safety sleeve of tubing around the jaw to prevent opening should a pin spring fail or something catch on a pull.