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Beneath the Surface: Determining the Optimum Material for Tender Mooring Whips

Tender Mooring Whips | Polaris Yacht Supply

For decades, Tender Mooring Whips have been manufactured out of glass fibre due to the flexibility and strength the material offers. More recently there has been a surge in the use of carbon fibre for Tender Mooring Whips for larger tenders and chase boats, but why? We'll uncover the characteristics of carbon fibre and glass fibre to determine the optimum material for their application.

"Must be flexible enough to bend, yet stiff enough to be linear when the whip line is slack."

Before we delve into the specifics of each material, we need to understand what the role of a Tender Mooring Whip is and how they operate. Tender Mooring Whips allow superyachts to moor their tenders alongside, freeing up the transom space for guest use, whilst preventing their tender from riding up against their topsides.

Tender Mooring Whips work by:

  • Tensioning the whip line (with which one end is attached to the tender). The now shortened whip line creates a constant flexure in the Tender Mooring Whip.

  • This induced flexure creates a dynamic force, constantly trying to straighten the Tender Mooring Whip, thus pushing the tender away from the yacht's topsides.

  • The Tender Mooring Whip must be flexible enough to bend, yet stiff enough to be linear when the whip line is slack. A well-balanced composite layup is required to combine these two elements into unison.

"Discover why glass fibre's flexibility exceeds carbon fibre's strength"

Tender Mooring Whips | Polaris Yacht Supply


Carbon fibre consists of thin yet strong crystalline filaments of carbon, providing the layup for carbon fibre. These fibres are extremely stiff, strong and lightweight, offering high tensile strength and high stiffness. Carbon fibre is five-time stronger and twice as stiff as steel, whilst offering significant weight reductions, which is why it is favoured for ultra strong, light-weight parts in manufacturing across all industries.


Glass fibre is extremely versatile with greater flexibility than carbon fibre and a lower price point. It is used across all industries, especially within the maritime industry, where the material has a long successful history in marine applications, including Tender Mooring Whips. With its proven performance in absorbing shocks and providing flexibility, glass fibre is an attractive option without compromising on essential properties.

"Would you like a product that looks great but could potentially fail at any moment?"

Broken Carbon Tender Mooring Whip

Given the specifics of each material above, carbon fibre's standout feature is its exceptional stiffness and tensile strength whilst glass fibre is renowned for its flexibility, making it an excellent shock absorber. Considering that Tender Mooring Whips need flexure and absorption to withstand the impacts from a tender moored alongside, glass fibre emerges as a favourable choice for Tender Mooring Whips.

Whilst you might be captivated by the eye-catching appearance of carbon fibre, its exceptional stiffness and strength, the rigidity and stiffness might not be the optimal choice for situations requiring significant flexure and shock absorption. Would you like a product that looks great but could potentially fail at any moment? Or a product that has similar aesthetics yet is reliable?

"Used in weather conditions too strong for them, it is likely that both a glass fibre or carbon fibre variant will break."


Carbon fibre might not be the supreme material of choice for Tender Mooring Whips however, it's worth noting that Tender Mooring Whips are not indestructible and that they do have their limitations. If they are over tensioned, or are used in weather conditions too strong for them (F4+), it is likely that both a glass fibre or carbon fibre variant will break. For a more in depth explanation of their limitations, we suggest you take a quick look at our article on Optimising Your Tender Mooring Whip Performance.


We offer a complete range of Tender Mooring Whips that are suitable for all sizes of superyacht tenders and chase boats. Manufactured from glass fibre with easy to use cleats with a variety of bases on offer, we're sure we have a solution for you. For further information please visit the link below or contact us via:

T: +44 (0) 7399 894622

Tender Mooring Whips | Polaris Yacht Supply

Any guidance, advice, recommendations, suggestions in this article are from Polaris Yacht Supply Ltd. Polaris Yacht Supply Ltd cannot be held liable for any damages caused by, using, interpreting any information written in this article.



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