Fender-Kadi products are the result of one boat owner’s frustration with the traditional stainless-steel fender baskets he had been using. John Silbermann, like many of us, found the baskets expensive and difficult to install, and they took up a lot of space, even while the fenders were being used. And they always seemed to provide sharp edges and corners to get hung up on.
Silbermann’s solution was to design and manufacture a simple, space-saving fender holder that can be quickly put to use and just as quickly stored out of sight. Once the Fender-Kadi was developed, Silbermann added to the product line with piling-mounted dock line holders, rail-mounted line holders for both round and square rails, and utility hangers.
In use, I found each product to have well-rounded edges that go a long way toward eliminating snags and abrasions should you brush up against them. The bends are nicely formed without notches. With a material width of 5/8 inch, they even work with off-brand fenders that tend to have smaller holes than quality U.S.-made fenders.
Silbermann says all Fender-Kadi products are manufactured in the United States from domestic 316 marine grade stainless steel. “They are formed by using progressive dies, followed by drilling, tapping and then final bending,” he says. The parts are then electro-polished, providing a lasting shine Silbermann says will not rust. “We have put our products through a 250-hour salt test, with no effects to the polished surface.”
Silbermann’s original product — the Fender-Kadi — consists of two identical pieces of formed stainless steel that are hooked at both ends. Simply hang each over the rail using the upper hook, and the lower hook goes through the eye of the fender. Nothing fancy, but they work. Fenders hang horizontally as opposed to the vertical orientation when using traditional fender baskets.
The Fender-Kadi holds fenders up to 10 inches in diameter. For added security, tie a fender line over one of the hooks to prevent losing the fender. To use the Fender-Kadi with HTM (hole through middle) fenders, simply make a loop in both ends of the line and hang the fender from the loops.
The inside of the upper hook — the one that goes over the rail — is lined with non-abrasive, non-skid tape to help prevent the assembly from swinging while under way. With the fenders removed and doing their jobs, the holders can either remain on the rail or be easily removed and stored.
When heading out with my center console, there have been times when I’ve needed to bring larger-than-normal or just additional fenders for a raft-up. The Fender-Kadi allows those fenders to be carried out of the way while still remaining accessible. The fender holders are available to fit rails with diameters of 7/8, 1, 1-1/8 and 1-1/4 inches. At $21.95 per set of two (for one fender), they are an inexpensive and welcome addition to both my center console and trawler.
The Line-Kadi functions in the same way and is available for either conventional round rails or 1-1/4-inch square rails. It also can be screwed directly to a bulkhead. The lower hook is a bit more than 2-1/2 inches in diameter and is strong enough to hold coiled lines, shore power cords and the like. It also incorporates a machine screw through the upper hook, enabling it to be tightened to the rail to eliminate movement. The Line-Kadi sells for $9.50 each. The Dock-Kadi has no upper hook and is designed to be screwed directly to a dock piling or bulkhead. It also retails for $9.50.
All of the products retain the simple, efficient and cost-effective principle that Silbermann was looking for when he started Fender-Kadi in 2001. The company is located in Fort Pierce, Fla., and products can be purchased directly online or by calling (888) 343-2249. www.fender-kadi.com