An object used to protect the hull of a narrowboat or canal boat from impact damage. Traditionally made of rope but now also available in rubber or plastic forms.

Fenders protect a narrowboat hull from bumps & knocks
Narrowboat fenders are traditionally made from rope
Button fenders are used to protect the narrowboat stern

Fenders… Why Do We Need Them?

Fenders and buttons are a crucial piece of cruising equipment on your canal boat or narrowboat. Importantly the fenders and buttons will help to protect your paintwork, particularly going in to locks, mooring up and undertaking challenging maneuvers. Fenders and buttons will also protect you from knocks from other narrow boats and cushion the impact of any collision, thus protecting items inside your canal boat.

The traditional material used to make fenders is rope, which looks spectacular when first attached. However, rope will disintegrate over time with mould, algae and will quickly lose its appearance. An alternative is to use rubber fenders and buttons, which will survive the test of time better than rope.

A walk along the cut and you will often find narrowboats selling fender and button sets. You may be fortunate to witness the traditional craft of making rope fenders and buttons along the tow path.


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