Thursday, September 3, 2009

Float protection at the dock

Floats are designed different from boats. Most boats are designed with the widest part about 2 feet above the waterline. Most docks are designed for boats with no attention paid to what is below the waterline. Floats are very fragile above the rub rail. A nail will go right through them. So we need to be carefull around docks.

One problem with floatplanes and docking is that fenders (boat bumpers) don't protect the floats. Why? Because the fenders float and the wide parts of the floats are actually below the water line. Here's a solution that actually will also keep the seaplane away from the dock and keep some light tension on the bow and stern ropes. Take a standard cylindrical boat fender and tie enough weight to the bottom of the float to just sink it. Attach a rope to the upper end of the fender and tie it or hook it to the wing tie down with enough length to set the fender next to the widest part of the float . The rope pulling on the tie down will actually pull the plane away from the dock thus providing a buffer zone.

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