by Christopher Cunningham
Fenders keep docks from chewing up the flanks of our boats, but when we cast off, those fenders can eat up a lot of space on board. Cabela’s has come up with a self-inflating fender that rolls up into a very compact bundle that is much easier to tuck away. The Moor n Stow is constructed like a self-inflating camping mattress, and rolled up it is just 7″ long and 5″ in diameter. A strap with a buckle keeps the roll tight; when it is released and the valve is open opened, the Moor n Stow inflates itself in about one minute and doesn’t need to be topped off by blowing into the valve.
The open-cell foam core has a 1,680-denier polyester oxford cover. The fabric seems quite tough—I could stand on the fender with my 200-plus pounds without damaging it—and even if the fender were punctured, the foam is dense enough to cushion the boat from the dock. While you’re away from the dock, the fender makes a nice pillow or a low-back support cushion, but is too narrow to provide comfortable seating.
Inflated, the Moor n Stow has an overall length of about 25″ and its foam-filled section measures 18″ x 6″ x 5″. That’s more than adequate for most small boats; if the fender is longer than the boat’s freeboard is high, the fender will float on a diagonal and still do its job of protecting the boat. A plastic grommet fused to the fabric provides a sturdy point for a line to hang the fender. The strap included with the fender could be used to hang the fender from a deck cleat or oarlock, but adding a short, light line would be more versatile.
The price for a Moor n Stow is quite reasonable, about $10 less than a similarly sized conventional plastic fender. My only complaint about the Moor n Stow is the bright yellow Cabela’s logo on one side. I’d rather not have any of my gear doing double duty as advertising. I’ve started coloring over the logo with a black permanent marker and will soon have a nice, anonymous fender.
Christopher Cunningham is the editor of Small Boats Monthly.
The Moor n Stow is available from Cabela’s for $19.99.
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