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The Best Boat Fenders

When you compare a new boat’s price to that of protection like boat fenders, the gap is immense. Bear in mind that the hull should be shielded from pilings, docks, and other water vessels.

best boat fender

So it’s where the best boat fenders come into the picture. They are cooperative and useful in various mooring conditions. The shock and bumps from other objects are being absorbed if you have the right fenders.

You can depend on them any time, whether it’s a typical day or there’s a blast of hurricane-force winds. Rest assured that the painted surface stays in good shape. Your boat will be stationed at the dock or wharf undisturbed. To give you this bunch of welfare, here are the fenders that can provide you the said results.

Top 14 Boat Fender Reviews

1. Extreme Max 3006.7384 Fender

I’m glad that I found this product when I was looking for new fenders. One order gives me four pieces of fenders and four fender lines. They are in several colors like red, bright red, black, blue, cobalt blue, orange, white, forest green, teal, cranberry, sand, neon yellow, neon green.

These boating fenders are not only attractive because of color varieties. The material and quality are both outstanding. Each fender is built to adapt to any climate. It’s UV ray and chemical resistant. Damages and discoloration from saltwater, sunlight, and boat cleaners don’t easily affect these fenders.

With these qualities, it promises durability as it can take any beating. Waves and winds can’t take these fenders down in an instant. I think I don’t need the limited two-year warranty that is offered by the manufacturer.

A needle value is available for the adjustment of the internal pressure. However, I need to buy the pump separately. With this tiny tool, I can make the set up that works best for me. So that’s why I’m happy about these inflatable boat bumpers.

These fenders give me an easy time connecting them to my boat, thanks to its eyelet. I appreciate how the designers consider this detail as it’s convenient for the users. Ripping and tearing can’t break it apart as the eyelet is molded on both sides of 6.5-inch wide and 22-inch long fenders.

The fender lines are made of MFP or multifilament polypropylene. Its toughness is on the same level as the fender itself. The entire length of 5 feet is solid, round, smooth, and flexible. There are stitched eye loops, too, for uncomplicated connection.
Pros
  • Available in several colors and unique tones (cobalt blue, forest green, etc.)
  • Made of durable UV ray/chemical-resistant materials to fend waves and winds
  • Has a two-year warranty
  • Inflatable fender for adjustment of the internal pressure (Needle value included)
  • Has molded eyelet on both sides and comes with MFP fender lines
Cons
  • The needle valve pump needs to be bought separately.
This set of fenders has everything you need, so your boat is well-protected from any force and element. I would never look for another brand for the years to come as.

2. VINGLI Ribbed Boat Fender

Why are these the right boat bumpers for me? They’re great in protecting the hull of my 30-feet sailboat, and using them is a piece of cake. The package has everything you need, so buyers like me are satisfied.

No splitting can happen with this one-piece fender. This design is inclined to its length of service, and it can prevent bumping or clashing on the dock and with other watercraft. The body is made of high-quality PVS, and it builds up durability.

Though its body is soft, it’s still resilient. It is UV resistant, anti-corrosion, and it remains undisturbed with speed. The size is wisely designed with a width of 6.5 inches and a length of 23 inches. These exceptional fenders are suitable for boats within the size of 20 feet to 30 feet.

You may also use it on a cuddy cabin, ski boat, small sailboat, and bowrider. There are four fenders, lines, and inflating needles in the package. It also comes with one inflator. Thus, inflating and deflating is done with no sweat.

It’s not complicated to obtain the setting that I want. The inflator or pump is fine, but I prefer using a compressor to provide gas effortlessly. On the other hand, I love how these fenders can hold air inside, even with all the surrounding heat.

Its sidewall and eyelet are additional reinforcements. Thus, the collision comes down to zero occurrences. Expect it to last long, like how confident the manufacturer is about this product. Therefore, there’s a one-year warranty. You may avail these fenders in black, white, and cobalt blue.
Pros
  • A complete package with everything you might need for a 20 – 30 ft. sailboat
  • Its durability is attributed to the one-piece fender design and high-quality PVS.
  • Prevents bumping or clashing, and collision
  • UV resistant, anti-corrosion, resilient to exterior elements
  • Holds air inside despite the heat
  • Also usable for a cuddy cabin, ski boat, small sailboat, and bowrider.
  • One year warranty
Cons
  • Needs a compressor for easy pumping
I don’t have to worry about collision and clashing as these fenders do their job excellently.

3. Hull Hugr Contour Fender

I’m happy to let go of my traditional, round boat fenders. This fender doesn’t take much space on my storage as it’s foldable and can be placed under the seat. It provides sufficient protection for my 18-footer boat. It’s just a low profile item that you can stow with so much ease.

The money you would spend won’t be put to waste as it’s of good quality. You can trust its durability as it’s composed of sturdy marine-grade covering. It’s a tri-laminate material that can’t be easily ripped apart. In this aspect, it indeed works well in secluding the boat from the collision.

The entire length of this fender is 24 inches, while the width is 7 inches. The longer padded section is 14.5-inch long. The shorter part has a length of 6.5 inches. Both of them have a width of 6.25 inches.

You can purchase it in a single unit. I bought two for my boat. Other quantity options are 3, 4, and 5 pieces of these contour fenders.

As for attaching it to your hull, there are polycarbonate grommets on both sides. I easily hang each fender on the left and rights sides of my boat with the available ropes. However, I bought the straps to secure the fender on the boat’s surface. The ropes can be tied, but I bought some straps to be sure of how it holds.

These fenders with pads are well-balanced. They hang well and set for making the bumps bounce away from your boat. Effects are best applied on a low level of water or in a normal condition. You may also rely on them as large boat fenders.
Pros
  • Foldable boat fender that can be stowed with ease
  • Covering of sturdy marine-grade tri-laminate to prevents rippings and collision.
  • Polycarbonate grommets for hanging on both sides of the boat with ropes
  • Well-balanced on the boat’s hull
  • Can be in any boat, recommended to use on a low level of water or in a normal condition
Cons
  • Need to buy straps for securing the rope
I don’t go boating far from the shore where the water is not too deep. But still, I need protection from this shoreline marine fender.

4. A-Haibei Pair of Boat Fenders

Based on their appearance, they’re like boat balls, and they are a terrific alternative to the usual type of fenders. They kept my boat secured while being docked. Yes, it’s an inflatable fender with many functions like a mooring buoy, navigation buoy, water safety buoy, and even a floater.

It’s an inflatable boat fender made of PVC or polymerizing vinyl chloride. This material is known to be of the best quality and environmentally friendly. Amazingly, it doesn’t fade and deflate quickly as long as you inflate it in the right way. So you can use a couple of this as large boat buoys.

When I received these boat fender bumpers, they were deflated. There are available specialized inflating needles, and I used a hand pump. You can even blow it yourself to inflate. But make sure that you don’t inject too much air in it. You must leave some space.

The recommendation for its inflation is 2 psi, which is similar to 0.013Mpa. The amount of air depends on the boat ball’s size as there are various sizes like A25, A30, and A38. Naturally, each of them has a different fender diameter.

A25 has 12.2 inches, while A30 has 13.8 inches. The biggest among them is the A38 that is 17.8 inches in diameter. These round fenders are in various colors such as red, orange, white, yellow, and blue.

Besides adding it to a small boat, you may also use it in different vessels like a yacht. A pair of these inflatable boat fenders will keep the surface of your boat protected from the attack of any metal surface.
Pros
  • Keeps the docked boat secured
  • Has many functions (a mooring buoy, navigation buoy, water safety buoy, floater)
  • Made of the best quality and environment-friendly PVC
  • Doesn’t deflate and fade over time if inflated correctly
  • In various sizes (A25, A30, A38) and colors (red, orange, white, yellow, blue)
  • Can be used in any vessel
Cons
  • Too much air is not good for these fenders.
You don’t always need to conform with the conventional fenders. An alternative like this one can protect your boat too.

5. Go-plus Ribbed Marine Boat Fender

I want hardy large boat bumpers, and I’m not mistaken to choose this product. Just a single look tells me that they’re reliable when it comes to protecting my boat from collision and damage.

These fenders look good with its gloss finish because of PVC, a non-abrasive material. The sides are designed as ribs to boost friction and improve strength. I vertically hang them, but it’s also acceptable to position them horizontally.

Since the body is composed of marine-grade vinyl, you can rely on its strength and sturdiness. The fenders are resilient to aging and UV rays. They won’t succumb to gas tightness as well. Collisions won’t take them down easily due to the curved styles of the edges.

The durability of this boat fender is impressive. The maximum strength is established by the 3mm wall thickness. The available colors are blue, black, and white, which will remain bright and stain-free. Aside from being functional, it’s also good-looking.

There are holes on both ends to insert the rope and attach the fenders to your boat. In my case, I tied them on the guardrail of my vessel.

Storage may take up a lot of space as each can be 23 inches long and 6.5 inches wide or 27 inches long and 8.5 inches wide. It’s nothing compared to the protection that it renders. Two sizing options are available. Assembly is so simple with the guidance of the instruction manual.

I don’t need to be on the lookout for any bumping and clash when hovering the dock. These marine fenders protect my boat from possible damages caused by the collision.
Pros
  • Reliable fenders protect your vessels from damage and collision.
  • Glossy-finish, non-abrasive PVS material, and marine-grade vinyl body
  • Can be placed horizontally or vertically
  • Resilient to stain, aging, UV rays, gas tightness
  • Impressive durability thanks to the 3mm wall thickness
  • A simple way of assembling with the included instruction manual
Cons
  • Storage may take up a lot of space.
All in all, the strength of this fender is in its structure, looks, and size.

6. MISSION Boat Dock Fender

Most people want something quick and easy in this modern time. This sausage fender bumper is an excellent example, so every boat owner likes it. Fenders are usually hanging on the sides of the vessel for protection. So that’s why it has an innovative hanging feature.

I like using this fender as I can hang it with no issue. It can protect the lower and upper parts of the rub rails. It’s so easy and convenient to use. These qualities can’t be found in conventional fenders. In my opinion, they are way better than cylindrical fenders too.

I can position it well as it’s like hugging the hull of the boat. It has the flexibility to adapt to the shape of the surface. I’m impressed with its perfect fit with the measurement of 22-inch long and 9-inch wide. Its wall thickness is 5.5 inches made out of closed-cell foam that promotes durability.

I don’t need to worry that it might get stuck on the top part of the dock. This fender’s face has a huge opening so the dock line can pass while it covers the boat cleat.

It’s a bonus that it adds up to the aesthetic appeal of my boat. Since it’s a product of modern innovation, it will look tidy with its extra-long strap. There will be no disorder of tying, tangles, and molds because of this accessory.

All you need to do is create a loop over high attachment. It’s so simple as you only need to grab the rail. I’m lucky that my cleat is in the appropriate spot; therefore, I just need to trim the strap a bit so it would look pretty neat. Everything will be fine as you’ll be able to make adjustments in different boats and docks.
Pros
  • An innovative hanging feature that can’t be found in conventional fenders
  • Has the flexibility to adapt to the shape of the surface
  • Made of fit cell foam to promote durability
  • Allows the dock line to pass through the huge opening
  • The modern design with an extra-long strap adds up to the aesthetic appeal.
  • Possible adjustments in different boats and docks
Cons
  • Trimming the long strap is necessary for a neat look.
I like how these sentry fenders cling on my boat hull. It looks so cool and pretty neat.

7. Polyform G Series Boat Fenders

When it comes to quality, this series of boat fenders will be at the top. I’ve witnessed how it remains invincible amid harsh weather or surroundings. The color stays the same as well.

Most mariners trust this product as this company has been operating for four decades. These Polyform boat fenders meet the global standards. Thus, all people in different parts of the world can use it.

There are numerous color choices: blue, cobalt blue, black, classic red, burgundy, lime, forest green, teal, white, and sand. It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? But it’s to please everyone. Sizes come in six forms too. Boat fender sizes are being coded as G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, G-5, and G-6.

There will be a guide for you to check the measurements of each fender. The lengths range from one foot to 2.5 feet. Thus, you can get small boat fenders for a 10-feet boat. The right choice for this case is the G-1 fender. I love the size selection as the fenders I get are not undersized or oversized.

When your boat is 21 feet or smaller, you would need two G-4. Each will be situated on the stern and in the middle. Only one of the same size for a 19.5-feet bowrider in its middle part. You must know that these fenders are designed for recreational trailered boats within guarded moorings.

I don’t have to put much effort into preparing these fenders before using them, as they’re already inflated. So they don’t have an inflation valve. It doesn’t require much work, but you can’t make any adjustments. But it’s fine as these boat fenders serve their purpose well as they are when they arrived.

They are buoyant, so it’s fine in case you drop them in the water. You just need extra rope or string to tie them on your boat.
Pros
  • Remains invincible from harsh factors
  • A wide selection of colors (blue, cobalt blue, burgundy, lime, forest green, etc.)
  • Available in six different sizes (coded as G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, G-5, G-6)
  • Designed for recreational trailered boats
  • Comes readily inflated, doesn’t require much effort to prepare before using.
  • Buoyant fenders can stay on the water without issues.
Cons
  • No inflation valve
I can find the right size for my boat because of the various sizes. This fender covers my boat well, so damages won’t persist.

8. Taylor Made 31005 Fender

I wondered about the shape of these Taylor Made boat fenders at first. I read the description but for me, to see is to believe. I began to understand the purpose of the design when I started using them.

To my surprise, they hold much better than the traditional tube type. The design is intended for the protection of the rub rail and gunwales.

I now feel at ease with these fenders on my new bass boat. When going camping, I stationed my vessel at the dock for almost a week. A storm came along with strong winds, but this instrument kept my boat untouched, thankfully.

Tying this fender or bumper on the cleat is the way to add it to your boat. I attached it to the higher section to lay down the needed protection. The shape is not prone to roll down. The ones that I have on my boat stay in their place.

Some users tried to bolt on the fenders. It’s also a great way of attachment. They can hold, but you have to figure out the right size to fit the holes. It’s fine to do it if you are willing to spend more time finishing everything. Getting the right size of the rope and tying it worked for me.

The body of these boat fenders for bass boats is made of sturdy marine-grade vinyl. It’s reliable as it is specially formulated to last. A needle valve created from rubber football is an addition. It’s for effortless inflation and longevity that every boat owner wants.

They come in metallic black, red, and white colors. Two sizes are available. The first one is 14-inch long and 5-inch wide, while the second is 7-inch wide and 23-inch wide.
Pros
  • Protects the rub rail and gunwales better than the traditional tube type
  • Stays in place, untouched against harsh weather conditions
  • Tied or bolt-on attachment, not prone to roll down when secured in the right way
  • Made of sturdy marine-grade vinyl that attributes to longevity
  • A needle valve created from rubber football for effortless inflation and longevity
  • Color and size choices are diverse.
Cons
  • Finding the right size of bolts
They’re the best candidate when you need fenders for bass boats. Based on my experience, nothing could go wrong with it.

9. Extreme Max 3006.7231 Fender

Extreme Max BoatTector is committed to providing quality outdoor gear. This fender is one of the excellent products. It is the commonly used boat fender for small boats. With its efficiency and price, it’s a fantastic buy! It’s handy, and it conforms with the boat’s body.

I like the easy stowage, a quality that round boat bumpers don’t have. The folding part of this fender is simply awesome. You can fold it, and it fits into a small amount of space. They come in blue, black, and white colors. The length is 24 inches, while the width is 6.5 inches. They are 2.5 inches thick.

What will truly impress everyone is its component. The body of these flat fenders is made of three layers of marine-grade covering. There are double thermal-bonded seams for sealing.

With the parts mentioned above, it implies that the fenders can hold up well. Despite frequent use and beating, they can resist tearing and sunlight. To show that the product is of high quality, the manufacturer offers a two-year replacement.

In connecting these contour fenders, there are non-corrosive polycarbonate grommets. The good thing is that it comes with fender lines that are solid and braided, and there are two pieces. They are both five-feet long and with a diameter of 3/8 inch.

The design of this fender is made for the protection of the boat’s hull and gunwale. I also noticed that it could absorb much impact, but unfortunately, it won’t happen when you use it on bigger boats.
Pros
  • Works well with small boats
  • Conforms with the boat’s body
  • Easy stowage due to its convenient foldability
  • Has three layers of marine-grade covering and double thermal sealing
  • Guaranteed with a two-year replacement
  • Absorbs impact well on small boats, can resist tearing and sunlight
Cons
  • Not recommended for bigger boats
Impact absorption and ease of stowage and attachment are the things that made me like this product a lot. It’s worth the money indeed!

10. VIVOHOME Marine Boat Fender

These marine boat fenders are the protector of water vessels. They secure my boat when being docked and still accompany me when there’s a storm. As long as you hang them properly, they will serve you well.

Many users like me admire this product for its durability. As marine grade PVC is used to create these marine fenders, they can resist sun rays and other harmful elements. I’ve been using it for three years, and I can say that it doesn’t yield to abrasion and collision.

They are inflatable with a feature of buffer protection. It prevents the damages that can occur to boats and docks when solid surfaces collide. This unwanted circumstance will likely happen when you’re approaching the shore or when docking.

Connecting these fenders on your boat is a breeze as there is a reinforced eyelet. They are on both ends of the fender, so you can hang it either horizontally or vertically. The ribbed vertical lines add more strength to it. I don’t have to worry that it may roll down or be torn apart.

These fenders are suitable for boats from 19 feet to 29 feet. The usage, storage, installation, and taking off are all done in a breeze. Since they’re compact, you can store them easily in small crafts. They can be arranged well on fender racks as well.

These can be fenders for wakeboard boats, yachts, sailboats, rowboats, docks, and more. Just be mindful of the sizes. One inflator pump and four inflating needles come for free. It only takes a minute to completely inflate a fender. Then it’s in its robust state and ready to use.
Pros
  • Highly durable boat fender created from UV-resistant marine grade PVC
  • Has buffer protection against damages from collisions
  • Reinforced eyelet on both sides and ribbed vertical lines for more strength
  • Effortless to use, store, install
  • Has a compact size to fit in small crafts from 19 – 29 ft.
  • Comes with inflator and needles
Cons
  • Only suitable for boats from 19 feet to 29 feet
I’m content with these fenders as my boat is secured. You may also use them as dock fenders. I know they will stay with me and my boat for years.

11. Polyform A Series Buoy

I’ve been continuously following Polyform, and its products always meet the satisfaction of the buyers. This A series buoy is one of them. It’s versatile as it can be a marker buoy or a rafting fender even when moorings are unprotected.

It can also be an anchor buoy. Protection from damages is enhanced in acting as boat fenders or sailboat fenders. I like the unique features which make this fender deserving to be praised. There are 0.6-inch reinforced rope holds or eyelets at the fenders’ top part to establish superior durability.

When it comes to durability, the vinyl valve system is another component. It contributes extra strength to this fender.

Boat owners will find what they need from this A series as there are different sizes. They are labeled as A-0 to A-7. The numbering starts with the smallest. You may find what you need if you’re looking for 10 inch boat fenders. It’s not the exact size but close enough. A-0, the smallest has an 11.5-inch length.

They are colorful too as you can get white, black, orange, Saturn yellow, red, or blue ones. You may choose different shades and spice up your vessel’s appearance with colors.

Users have the chance to inflate and deflate these round fenders to their liking. A Polyform inflation adapter is available for this necessary process. It goes with a standard pump connection. A tapered blowgun that’s similar to a nozzle or some special hand pumps can finish this job.

You may be surprised, but some people use these buoys as a punching bag or aqua. The Polyform A Series Buoy can take punches, which is proof of its durability. The one thing that puts me off is a bit of chemical smell if you open it for the first time.
Pros
  • Able to be used for many different purposes
  • Protect vessels from damages
  • Has superior durability thanks to 0.6-inch reinforced rope holds, eyelets, vinyl valve
  • Different sizes from A-0 to A-7
  • Has a colorful appearance with different shades to choose from
  • Has the ability to inflate and deflate
Cons
  • The chemical smell when opened for the first time.
It’s a combination of versatility and is heavy-duty. The colors are attractive too.

12. Attwood Boat Fender

What sets this boat fender apart from other brands is that it doesn’t give me a hard time of inflation. I received these softside fenders in their inflated form, which makes them ready to use. Instead of spending time inflating, I searched for reliable fender lines for attaching them to my boat.

I don’t have to be in a dilemma whether I put less or excessive air inside the fender. I find inflation complex, and if I didn’t do it right, it might not work to its maximum ability. Another advantage is there’s no need for maintenance of air valves and being conscious of possible leakage.

This fender is also great for pontoons and fishing boats. It’s efficient in protecting water vessels from damages. I don’t need to be scared that my boat will crash onto the dock or other crafts. It provides security whether my boat is on the move or immobilized at a dock.

The effects of this equipment imply toughness. But once you touch it, you will know how soft it is. The texture goes easy on the hull. The whole fender is lightweight, but it is constructed with the quality polymeric material. So this boat protector is resistant to UV degradation.

You may get three pieces of softside fenders in a single purchase. They come in an oval shape and white color. Ribbed sides are great in stopping the fenders from rolling off against the hull.

The whole body is seamless in the length of 23 inches. The eyelets on both sides are molded for extra strength. They work well with boats in any condition as Attwood made extensive tests to make sure it creates superb marine products.
Pros
  • Inflated and ready to use, no need for maintenance of air valves
  • Protects vessels in any condition, leakage-free
  • Soft and lightweight despite the UV-resistant polymeric material
  • With ribbed sides to stop the fenders from rolling off against the hull
  • Have molded eyelets for extra strength
Cons
  • Necessary rope not included
No more mess with inflation and deflation; these ready-to-use fenders work wonderfully in any condition.

13. TaylorMade Vinyl Boat Fender

This vinyl fender is like a cushion that protects your boat. The highest quality vinyl is utilized to produce this boat protector. It’s soft and gentle on the hull. I’m in awe of its high gloss finish, which makes this fender stand out among its counterparts.

This is a one-piece fender and seamless at the same time. There are ribbed sides to minimize the tendency to roll.

You’re free to choose from hues of black, cranberry, green, navy blue, blue, lime, green, sand, and white. I like how it also makes up for grooming. Another thing that is favorable to the user is its capacity for air intake.

You are allowed to inflate it reasonably so you can achieve the exact size for your boat. This vinyl fender is most suitable for vessels with a length of 15 to 20 feet. Inflating is done quickly because of the molded valve. This part also prolongs the life span of your fenders.

You don’t have to worry about splitting and bursting. Neither of them occurred in my years of use. Based on my observation, this fender can hold the air very well. There’s always room for variations when you have this thing as you can control the amount of air.

Fenders are inflated upon receiving. The black ends are double molded for sturdiness. The visibility of dirt build-ups is not too obvious on these parts. You may insert the rope in them to hang the fenders with a length of 30 inches and a width of 10.5 inches.
Pros
  • Made of the highest quality vinyl to ensure full protection
  • Has high gloss finish in various colors to choose from
  • No splitting or bursting
  • Holds air very well with a high capacity for air intake
  • The molded valve helps with inflation and prolong the lifespan of fenders
  • Sturdy black ends
Cons
  • Most suitable for boats with a length of 15 feet to 20 feet
It’s an excellent product as inflation won’t be an issue for users. You can expect nothing but the best from Taylormade.

14. Seachoice Inflatable Boat Fender

The structure of this boat fender is designed well. I can tell on its looks and functions. The size is a bit bigger than what’s meant for my 18-footer boat. But it’s large enough to restrain my boat from hitting the dock. This size is great to stow with no complications.

The length is 23 inches, while the width is 6.5 inches. This measurement is allotted for boats within the size of 20 feet to 25 feet. Although my boat is a few feet smaller, these fenders keep it protected from possible damages. The main objective is to shield the hull and the topsides.

Even though the material used for this fender is an extra-strong marine-grade vinyl, the body remains soft. Thus, no detrition will take place between this equipment and the hull.

The fenders are inflated when you receive them. The good thing is that I can make some adjustments with the help of a standard inflating needle. It is the type that you use for b-ball. Having control of your preferred level of inflation will be favorable for every user.

Both ends of the fender have a 3/4-inch eyelet. These are the parts that you need to insert the rope to hang the fenders on the boat. Unfortunately, you need to buy the necessary ropes as they’re not included in the package. It’s fine as long as I can get a reliable kind of rope.

White is the color of this fender, which has met my expectations. You can only expect the best from Seachoice as this company is committed to serve and satisfy buyers. They offer numerous marine products that attract water sports enthusiasts around the world.
Pros
  • Ideal for stowing 20-25 ft. boats with no complications
  • Protect your boat’s hull and topsides from damages
  • Made of extra-strong marine-grade vinyl
  • Inflation can be adjusted with the help of a standard inflating needle
  • Have 3.4-inch eyelets on both ends
Cons
  • No rope included
I like these neat-looking, white fenders to go with my boat. The protection provided to my boat is well-established.

What is Boat Fender and How Does It Work

best-boat-bumper

A boat fender is also called a bumper. It is a protective tool that can keep scratches and damages from coming up to boats or other water vessels, dock, wharf, or pier.

You must know that water navigation is way too different from driving a land vehicle. There’s no brake that you can step on to ward off danger. It’s possible to stop your boat, but the only quick way is to reverse then rev up the engine. These movements result in releasing the opposite force.

This explanation shows that a vessel may bump against the dock. It can also happen when you travel along with another watercraft. The invention of fenders came to existence because of these situations.

Fenders are reliable to avoid damages under challenging conditions. They are like cushions between your boat and other water vessels, dock, or pier. The shock from a collision is absorbed by the fenders instead of landing onto the hull. They can also be a tool for insulation from surrounding factors.

At first, the material used to make fenders is a woven rope. They were so thick and in different patterns. Evolving and changes happen naturally. So they are made of plastic, vinyl, rubber, or foam nowadays. The base can absorb even just a little force.

Types of Boat Fenders

These are the different fender types:

Long Fenders

It is the most common type of fender, and it is also termed as ‘walking fender.’ Users find it easy and convenient as it can be placed horizontally or vertically. You can put it on railings, lifelines, and cleats as location may vary based on the boat’s size.

Ball Fenders

As the name implies, it is spherical. The body is made from high-quality PVC with a single solid eyelet for hanging. Inflation is usually needed before usage. This type of fender guarantees its role of being an impact shield.

Rolling can be done in an instant because of its shape. It can go forward to the point of contact. It’s deemed useful when you pass narrow spaces and go in and out of locks. Moreover, it’s versatile as it can have other roles.

It can be utilized to identify an anchor’s location. Allowing the transient pick-up line to float is another job that it can do. It can also be found on fishing lines and mooring buoys.

You can get it for large recreational boats with a V-shaped concave hull. Since it’s a round fender, storage may be a struggle because of its shape.

Two-eye Cylindrical Fenders

Cylindrical fenders have a molded tab at each end. All you need to do is to tie one end when you place it vertically. It needs to be done on both sides if you intend to position it horizontally.

There are three kinds of cylindrical fender. A double hole will allow you to place it horizontally or vertically. The center hole or hole-through-middle can do the same thing. The single hole is not as versatile as its counterparts, so it’s only hung vertically.

Cushion or Flat Fenders

There are many reasons why users like this fender. Its sterling storability is awesome, while slippage is not likely to occur. A lot appreciate how multi-purpose it is. Foam is its primary material, and some of them have nylon covering. It’s usually attached to locks, slipways, and cranes.

Take note that it’s typically lightweight and would be easily gone with the wind.

Low Freeboard Fenders

It hangs inwards on the gunwale as it sits high over the hull. There are big and small sizes. The small one protects vessels that sit low in the water. Thus, it’s present on ski, bass, and fishing boats. The big fits large boats to stop them from riding up on the docks during high tide.

Rolling Dock and Pole Fenders

The other name for this fender is pile fender. It will be your choice if you want to save some space. This fender is always taken on board. You can find it in many versions, like a rolling fender, which rolls in tandem to the ship’s movement.

Transom Fenders

Because of its V-groove, it securely sits on the transom. It protects the swim step as well as docking Mediterranean style in a wharf.

These are distinct types of fenders, but you can use practical ones. For example, ladders or steps that can act as fenders.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Boating Fenders

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Getting a reliable fender is very important to prevent damaging your boat. It’s a less expensive way of combating impact. Fenders or bumpers can be replaced at any moment, while dealing with damaged parts of the boat needs more time and money.

Aside from saving time and money, here are other benefits of owning boat fenders:

  • This marine gear and fender boards pave the way for a comfortable and practical sailing experience.
  • Besides safeguarding your board from bumping and impact, rubbing against quayside, anchoring poles, and other existing obstructions is prevented.
  • Fenders are also the assistant of sailors when preparing for mooring. They are not only tenacious during normal conditions but even in the middle of hurricane-force winds.

Buyer’s Guide

It would make a difference when you buy high-quality fenders. To ensure that you get them, here are the factors that you have to pay attention to.

Type and Design

There are various types of fenders, and they are designed for a specific purpose. Generally, cylindrical hole fenders, round fenders, and hybrids are the ideal ones for large vessels. Designs are crafted based on which location or part of the boat the fender is placed.

Size

The fenders’ right size is distinguished based on the boat’s weight, length, and mooring conditions. If the fender is too small, the vessel’s weight will only flatten it. Thus, it won’t function properly. When it’s too big, storage may be an annoying part.

Accessories

Using fenders with accessories is a lot easier and more convenient. Inflatable fenders have built-in valves and a special pump, but some would be inflated with a regular pump. Some would come with fender covers or racks.

Color

It’s nice to go for the color that compliments your boat. It can make your boat more appealing.

Storage

When fenders are not in use, they should be placed on racks. However, you can also place them in some safe areas. Your decision relies on the size of the fenders and the vessel. Some are in the size that fits below a seat or a storage bin.

Some fenders give you an option to tie them on the internal railing. When you don’t have enough space in your boat, a foldable fender would be easy to tuck in.

Care and Maintenance

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When a season is over, it’s recommended to have a thorough cleaning of boat fenders. Don’t wait for winter to come to start cleaning up. Cleanliness should be maintained during boat sessions and before putting the fender in storage during the coldest time of the year.

Put on some gloves to protect your hands from the cleaning solution that you use. Aside from preventing it from getting on your hands, it won’t be taken to your eyes as well. Before applying any cleaning product, it’s best to wash your fenders first with soap and rinse the filth off them.

Acetone shouldn’t be used as a cleaner as it will only damage your fenders. When it comes to caring for and cleaning them, you don’t have to complicate things as simple ways are only required. In the first place, you should have measures to keep the dirt from getting onto the fenders.

In times that you don’t use them, stowing is easy peasy. Some boat owners would place them under a seat or a storage locker. But accessing them may be inconvenient. So it’s better to have fender racks that would allow you to arrange them in order and won’t be in the way.

There are two kinds of fender racks. They’re called permanent racks and folding racks. The permanent ones are not foldable, so they can take space even though they’re not in use. But they showcase sturdiness.

On the other hand, folding racks can be set aside when fenders are in use. So you can free up some space.

Some accessories can help you take care of your fenders. You can get hand pumps and height adjusters. They can also give you a smooth and easy sailing experience. When your fenders are exposed to extreme forces and loads, provide more security with a winch or clamp and a foot rail.

Although the fenders protect your boat, they also need protection. A fender board can do it for them. It’s to prolong its longevity.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Who makes the best boat fenders?

The ones who make the top-rated boat fenders are Extreme Max BoatTector, VINGLI, Hull Hugr, A-Haibei, Go-plus, MISSION, Polyform, Taylor Made, VIVOHOME, Attwood, and Seachoice.

What size boat fenders do I need?

The right size of the boat fender is based on the boat’s berthing energy. A large fender is what you need for a great berthing force. It has a direct connection to the boat’s weight and displacement. Another factor to consider is the mooring condition just like when you’re anchoring.

The length of the boat should also be taken into consideration. To sum it up, the berthing energy together with the boat’s weight and displacement, mooring condition, and length of the boat are the things involved in finding the right size of boat fenders.

It came out that a total of three fenders are necessarily based on the rule – that is, one fender for every 10 feet of water line. For example, a 20-f00t boat can have three fenders when docking. The minimum diameter is four inches. A 40-foot boat needs four fenders with a diameter of at least 8 inches.

Some rules give the precise sizes that you need. When it comes to cylindrical fenders, an inch diameter should be serving every five feet of boat’s length. You can increase the number of your boat in rough waters. Using round fenders need a 2-inch diameter for every 5-feet boat length.

Heavier watercraft like sailboats necessitate heavier fenders. There should be a wider diameter for every five-foot length. More weight means more berthing energy.

How do you measure a boat fender?

A boat fender is measured by length and diameter or thickness. The length is measured from tip to lip, which is done at the bottom part. Diameter or thickness refers to the width as it depends on the type of fender. To get the right measurement, use a yardstick or straight tape.

Where should a boat bumper be placed?

This question is on the critical side as the position of the bumpers shows the efficacy of these marine gears in protecting the vessel. A boat bumper is normally situated on the handrails and railings. It can also be clamped down. The common thought is to place it in an area that is likely to receive damages.

It’s recommended to make fenders more secured by adding a foot rail, a winch, or a clamp. The proper positioning should be practiced to avoid causing an abrasion on the hull. A single splice is best for fenders as it makes way for individual location and adjustment of position to attain the perfect spot.

What are boat bumpers called?

Boat bumpers are called fenders too. Some term them as marine bumpers.

How do you clean dirty fenders?

There are many ways of cleaning dirty fenders. You should choose the one that brings betterment rather than harm. Sticking with the traditional way is fine as it has proven its worth many times. Household soap and regular bleach are what you need.

These things will get rid of light scuff marks and sediment built-up. When the unwanted things are stubborn, use a slightly stiff brush or scrub. Cleaning will be easy with the help of mineral spirits. When rinsing, use a pressure washer so the grime and dirt can be wiped away with the strength coming from it.

A magic eraser can also eliminate marks and stains. It’s a good product as it doesn’t contain a corrosive ingredient. You must know that acetone and lacquer thinner are strong products and you shouldn’t use them. Some cleaning products are formulated especially for fenders and they’re harmless.

How do you polish boat fenders?

Cleaning your fenders would sometimes remove the protective coating. The next thing that you have to do after cleaning is polishing. It’s not only for the coating but it’s something that you need to do.

You can choose something like a UV protectant. Polishing provides a shield for elements that can harm the surface like sun rays. This step can make the fender remain clean for a more extended period and prolong the life span.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that the best boat fenders can make your boat free from damages. It will happen as long as you have the necessary size and quantity of fenders added to your vessel. With the help of this review, you can purchase the right set. You will no longer be confused about what to get.

In terms of installation, make sure that you place them the way they should be. So the fenders will function properly.