Near Shore and on Shore: Fendering

From MDOT Policy Manual
Jump to: navigation, search


Primary Guidance

For design elements:

  • Investigate:
  • Type and performance of existing fendering systems.
  • Vessel incident history in the vicinity.
  • Vessel class related to current and forecast terminal utilization.
  • Establish
  • Specific prevailing winds magnitude and orientation from NOAA data or other reliable sources.
  • Existing or required fascia strength and mounting surface.


Fender Type

  • Operational berthing criteria can be established for a facility such that inexpensive foam-filled fenders of adequate damping capacity may be used. Limiting operational criteria include restrictions on approach speed and angle, number of tugboat assists, and maximum berthing winds, and should be published when deploying new or replacement fender systems.
  • Where significant daily tidal variation, environmental factors (wind, wave, current, etc.), berth/dolphin structural capacity, breasting face geometry, tugboat assistance availability, energy absorption demands, and/or design vessel particulars (bow flare) dictate, panel fenders offer more durable configurations.

Prevailing Winds

  • Where possible, avoid orienting facilities such that prevailing winds drive vessels toward the berth. Where this is not possible, especially where a wind-related vessel incident history exists, it will be necessary to stabilize the fender panel.

Vessel Class

  • For terminals that are vulnerable to incident and accommodate ships with significant fender threats due to geometric configurations (esp. bow flare and bulbous bows), fender panel stabilization schemes should include chain systems that deflect panel hooking due to vessel rolling in under-controlled approaches.


  • Fascia must be designed to buttress and distribute berthing forces and provide sufficient mounting area for both the fender and all chaining, whether mounting chains for panel deflectors.