About Those Pudding Fenders

Mick Wiggins has sent in a splendidly informative report about those pudding fenders. Many thanks to him for this:

I will relate what little I know about these bulbous knotted affairs that deck hands would hang from the deck and bow in order to prevent damage to the hull from knocking about while the ship is at berth. While commonly used up until the early 20th century, the hand-made rope bumpers were eventually replaced with used auto tires and synthetic rubbers. 

Visually, they’re masterpieces of knot-craft, heavy and beautifully patterned. Lord knows how long it took to knit these things, but I hear sailors can have a lot of free time on their hands while at sea. I did come across a site that sells modern versions of Pudding Fenders, but I can’t really think why one would buy one except for the reason of being able to shout “Throw down the Pudding Fenders” to the first mate every so often.

Also known as Bow Pudding, they came in all kinds of different shapes, sausage-like mostly, and even one style that looks like a steroidal string mop hung from the bow like a great messy beard.  .  

Here’s a nice example, just like one of the fenders I saw on display – large and huggable even, it measured a meter+ in diameter.





On a side note, I was a little, well, a lot confused about the Pudding aspect, until tonight I remembered something about the English and their puddings.





Mystery solved! I think this Hack Pudding would serve very nicely as a fender.

As for Dismal Nitch, I did not make it down there, as it was raining and dismal out. I learned though, it was during a particularly fierce winter storm in the early 1800’s that had the famous explorers Lewis and Clark pinned down for days, that this spit of land near the mouth of the Columbia River earned its name, which is still in use by locals.

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