Bodies of water are very often unpredictable, and the best you can do is to protect yourself and your watercraft from incidents that you can foresee. With the use of the best dock bumpers, you’ll be able to protect your boat from damage in case it bumps against the edge, corner, or post of the dock.
Even when you moor your boat properly, the waves and the water’s movement can still push your boat up against the dock. Without dock bumpers, your boat can end up getting damaged, and you can end up shelling out a significant amount of money for repairs.
There are different kinds of dock bumpers, and they can be made of different materials. Therefore, it’s important to first figure out the exact kind of bumper you need, which can depend on how and where you moor your boat in relation to the dock. You’ll also want to look into the typical weather and wind conditions in your area.
Dock bumpers are certainly worth the purchase, especially if they’ll save you a lot of money in boat repairs in the long run. Even so, it’s best to make sure that the dock bumpers you purchase are of good quality. With that in mind, check out the top 10 dock bumpers you can order today.
Table of Contents
- Best Dock Bumper Reviews
- What is a Dock Bumper and How Does It Work
- Types of Dock Bumpers
- Benefits and Drawbacks of Using a Boat Dock Bumper
- Buyer’s Guide
- Care and Maintenance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Dock Bumper Reviews
1. Dock Edge PVC Dock Bumper
Ideally, dock edge bumpers should be very low-maintenance and should not need much of your time and attention. With the Dock Edge Premium PVC Dock Bumper, that’s exactly what you’ll get. It can take a lot of abuse and can still look as good as when you first bought it.
A good dock bumper should indeed be hardy and tough. However, it should also be able to have enough flex to avoid damaging your boat in case of collision. This dock bumper is made of strong PVC, but it has just enough flexibility so a boat can bump into it without any damage to the hull.
Installation is also easy and straightforward enough that it can be a one-man job. Drilling holes into the material for installation can be easily done, and you can also cut the dock bumper into smaller sections with a miter or hacksaw.
It’s also possible to have both vertical and horizontal boat dock bumpers with the help of this dock bumper. You can use it to line the edge of your dock, but you can also install it vertically on posts. It’s still possible for your boat to bump into your dock posts or piling, which can also cause damage.
Additionally, this bumper is made of marine-grade PVC with UV inhibitors and fungicides. With these features, the bumper’s material will be able to retain its quality over time. Thus, there will be no need for you to replace your dock bumper every few years.
2. Hull Hugr Marina Bumper
Commercial marinas and personal docks will undoubtedly benefit from the use of the Hull Hugr Marina Bumper. It won’t break the bank, but it will still be an upgrade from the run-off-the-mill rubber bumpers that typically line docks. This bumper will protect your boat and will not damage the hull even in case of a strong collision.
Whether you’re a seasoned boatman or a novice, these bumpers will make sure that you can moor your boat without putting it in danger of damage. It’s also similar to the Dockmate dock bumper fender. It has high-density closed-cell foam, which means that it’s solid but soft enough to absorb shock without scratching or denting the hull.
Additionally, the covering of the foam is made of UV and tear-resistant vinyl/polyester trilaminate. This material is highly durable and won’t sustain sun damage. It also won’t tear easily and can last for years of use. There won’t be any need to replace this bumper for a long time to come.
The vinyl covering also already comes with convenient grommets in regular intervals along the edge of the bumper. These grommets will help make the installation of the bumper easy and simple to do. You won’t need a drill to cut holes into the material, and this bumper already comes ready for installation.
Ease of installation is actually one of the best things about this product. If you’re not much of a handyman, it won’t be a problem. With the help of long screws and large washers, you’ll be able to secure this bumper on your dock.
3. Extreme Max Dock Bumper
Docking a boat can get tricky, even for the most experienced boatmen. With the Extreme Max BoatTector Dock Bumper, you’ll have a lot less worry when docking. It is made to be tough, hardwearing, and able to protect the hull of your boat from damage.
Dock bumpers and fenders are often subject to the elements, including sunlight, rain, snow, sleet, and more. Constantly environmental exposure can cause a lot of damage, but that won’t be a problem with this bumper. It’s made to withstand harsh conditions and be able to last for a long time to come.
Its padding is made of closed-cell foam that’s engineered to be resilient and resistant to collapse. It won’t deflate and will be able to easily and quickly bounce back after a collision with your boat.
The padding’s cover, meanwhile, is just as impressive. It’s made of marine-grade tri-laminate material that’s tear- and UV-resistant. It also has thermal-bonded seams that won’t come apart easily. Additionally, it has polycarbonate grommets that are corrosion-proof, perfect for marine environments.
Because of these ready-made grommets, installing this bumper can be quick and easy. It’s important to note that these grommets are quite large, so it’s best to be ready with large washers for secure installation.
Another thing you’ll appreciate is that this bumper is less expensive than other bumpers of similar quality. It can work just as well as a bumper that costs more, which means that this is a budget-friendly option that won’t let you down.
4. Taylor Made Dock Side Guard
Some dock bumpers will prevent extensive or significant damage to the hull of your boat, but will still leave some scratches and smaller signs of damage. The Taylor Made Comm Dock Side Guard, however, will effectively protect your boat while keeping its hull pristine and damage-free.
One thing that you may like about this product is that it’s made of 85% recycled double-molded PVC material. If you’re looking to be a bit more environmentally-friendly, this is a great product to use. The recycled material is soft, easy to cut and prevent damage to your boat’s hull.
This bumper comes in lengths of 10 feet per piece. You can easily cut into shorter pieces with the use of a miter or band saw, making this bumper very versatile and usable for docks with different dimensions. Simply leave it out in the sun for a few minutes after taking it out of the box for it to completely uncoil.
Installation is also quick and easy. You can securely attach the bumper to your dock using screws, which means that installing it is fairly simple and straightforward. It’s also not very heavy, so you can hold it up against the dock with no trouble.
If you have a high-speed boat, docking may get tricky at times, even at the slowest speed. Without pier bumpers, docking can be even more complicated and difficult because of the prospect of damaging your boat if it doesn’t slow down enough. This bumper, however, will allow you to dock high-speed boats with no worries at all.
5. Dimex EasyFlex Dock Edging
For a highly versatile dock bumper with a number of potential applications, look no further than the Dimex EasyFlex Plastic D-Profile Dock Edging. It’s flexible, durable, dependable, and can be used both in freshwater and seawater. Additionally, it’s easy to install and maintain.
The single-cavity D-profile design lends this dock bumper its versatility. Not all products on this list can function well as dock piling bumpers, but this one can work on dock pilings, dock edges, and dock corners.
This dock edging is made of flexible recycled PVC that won’t leave stains or scuffs on your boat. The material is pigmented plastic, which means that it doesn’t have a colored coating. Thus, there will be no color transfer from the plastic to the hull of your boat in case of collision.
Installation is also no trouble at all. This product can be either 16 or 25 feet long and will be coiled when you first receive it. Simply uncoil the product then leave it out in the sun for a while to let it straighten out. After this, you’ll easily be able to saw the edging in as many sections as you need.
You can also use this dock edging to create both horizontal and vertical dock bumpers. This offers better protection for your boat because it can bump into your dock’s edges, corners, pilings, or posts without sustaining even the slightest damage.
6. Vestil Dock Bumper
With its durable and innovative construction as well as convenient design, the Vestil Horizontal Laminated Dock Bumper is all and guaranteed to be a great addition to your dock. It has a lot to offer, not the least of which is strength, durability, and dependability.
Typically, dock bumpers for boats are made of PVC, rubber, or something similar. However, this bumper is set apart from its competition because it’s made of fabric-reinforced rubber padding. Aside from the fact that the padding is 4.5 inches thick, its construction also proves strength and stability.
The padding itself is also designed differently than other kinds of padding. It’s not a single piece of material; it’s actually made of layered pads of recycled tire rubber. Compared to just a single layer or piece of padding, this design offers better impact resistance.
Rubber is elastic, which is an important quality in materials that make up marine dock bumpers. The rubber can effectively absorb shock and protect both the dock and your boat from damage in case of collision.
These rubber pads are held together by corrosion-resistant steel tie rods. At each end are steel mounting angles that can allow for a sturdy installation. It’s possible to weld these bumpers right on your dock, though you can also mount these bumpers with the use of screws.
Additionally, these bumpers are quite hefty. You’ll need to make sure that they’re installed securely and carefully, but once they are, they’ll provide protections against significant or strong impact.
7. Hull Hugr Dock Bumper
Density is a good thing when it comes to dock bumper padding. However, the padding has to have just enough flexibility that it can cushion and absorb the force of impact. Fortunately, this is something that the Hull Hugr Dock Bumper can deliver without any problems.
This dock bumper is designed and built to protect your boat against damage with its high-density closed-cell polyethylene foam padding. It offers ample cushioning against impact, making sure that the hull of your boat won’t be scratched, dented, or sustain significant damage.
Just as important is the material that protects and covers the padding. This dock bumper boasts a polyester tri-laminate vinyl cover that’s both UV-resistant and tear-resistant. Thus, you won’t have to worry about leaving this bumper exposed to the elements because it is built to withstand a rugged environment.
You also won’t have to worry about the color of the vinyl cover transferring to the hull of your boat. Even in cases of significant impact, the bumper won’t leave any marks or any evidence that any impact occurred at all.
However, what you’ll probably like best is the fact that this bumper is easy to install. It comes with four rust-proof grommets that can easily accommodate mounting hardware. You can use hex cap screws with washers for secure installation.
Additionally, you can install multiple bumpers end to end to cover a larger area of the dock. It can also be possible to use this bumper on dock corners, but you’ll have to do the modification yourself.
8. Taylor Made Dock Corner Bumper
Taylor Made dock bumpers come in different shapes, ensuring that your boat is well-protected. The Taylor Made Dock Corner Bumper is made to keep your boat safe from getting into unfortunate accidental encounters with dock corners.
Dock corners can be difficult to avoid, especially for novice boaters. Thus, it’s important to make sure that you install effective and durable dock corner bumpers, like this product. This bumper is made of heavy-duty PVC with structural ribs on the interior for extra protection against impact and damage.
The PVC material is highly durable, but it’s also made with just enough flexibility to absorb shock upon impact. Additionally, it’s just soft enough that you won’t have trouble drilling into it for mounting.
It measures 6 inches by 6 inches, made to perfectly fit 90-degree corners. Thus, it can fit easily on different kinds of docks. You won’t have to worry about the installation; simply drill into the material and attach with stainless steel hardware.
Another thing that you’ll appreciate about this dock bumper is that it’s also suitable for larger boats. Other bumpers might not be able to handle heftier boats, but this one is made to be durable enough to withstand the impact.
Whether you’re a seasoned boater or you’ve only just started to take to the waters, this bumper will prove to be a great purchase. It will provide you and your boat with ample protection in unexpected or difficult-to-control circumstances.
9. Dock Edge Dock-Side Bumper
Provide year-round protection for your boat with the Dock Edge Dock-Side Bumper. It stays reliable even in turbulent waters, high tides, and big waves. No matter what the weather is, this dock bumper will make sure that your boat will be able to come out on the other side without even the slightest scratch.
Not only can this bumper work well even in rough weather, but it can also last for a long time. It can take on heavy impacts without buckling, and it will bounce right back so your boat remains protected.
Unlike other boat dock bumper solutions, this one doesn’t rely on padding. Instead, the bumper itself is made of air-filled molded PVC. It has an inflation valve that will allow you to fill it with air and make it ready for mounting. Even without padding, they are firm and sturdy but not too hard that they’ll be unable to absorb shock.
Installation is also unlikely to be a problem. It comes with pre-molded holes so you won’t have to worry about drilling into the material to accommodate screws. You can use lag screws to securely mount the bumper on the side of the dock.
You can also opt to buy dock corner bumpers from this same brand, made of the same material, with the same construction. You can buy multiples of this bumper to install in regular intervals along the side of your dock. This will provide your boat with ample protection from the effects of unpredictable tides.
10. Dock Edge Torpedo Post Bumper
Your dock comes with parts and protrusions that can cause accidental damage to your boat. With the help of the Dock Edge Torpedo Post Bumper, you can cover all bases and make sure that your boat won’t even sustain a scratch if it collides against the dock.
This bumper is similar to the dockmate straight dock bumper. It’s designed to go around dock posts or leg pipes to protect boats against damage in case of collision or impact.
Boat owners use dock bumpers to line the edges and corners of their docks, but posts and leg pipes can cause some damage as well. Fortunately, this bumper’s construction and design will give you peace of mind.
Like the previous bumper on this list, this one is also made of molded PVC. It has to be inflated in order to work, and it has an air valve for convenient inflation and deflation. The PVC material is durable and high-quality, and it has enough flexibility to bounce right back after impact.
Additionally, this bumper can also cover up protruding bolts when it’s installed over mounting brackets. Bolts and other similar hardware can scratch or even gouge holes in the hull of your boat. When positioned just right, this bumper can protect your boat against things other than a dock post or leg pipe.
Installing aluminum dock bumpers is also easier than you might think. You can securely mount them onto your dock’s posts without the need to use tools. The bumpers will fit snugly over the posts with hardly any effort on your part.
What is a Dock Bumper and How Does It Work
A dock bumper, simply put, is something that can protect your boat against damage in the event that it hits your dock.
There are several situations in which your boat can collide with your dock. Inexperienced boaters, for example, may find it difficult to maneuver their boats and may end up hitting dock edges or posts. Waves, wind, and tides can also push your boat up against the dock, which can subsequently cause damage.
However, with the help of a dock bumper, you won’t have to stress yourself out over the potential damage to your boat if it ever hits any part of the dock. Good-quality dock bumpers are made to absorb the shock of impact as well as prevent your boat from directly making contact with the dock.
Typically, dock bumpers are constructed with a sort of durable and high-density padding that’s sturdy but soft enough to have a bit more flexibility. Some also come with a sturdy covering, typically made of some sort of marine-grade, UV-resistant, and tear-resistant vinyl.
From the design to the materials used, dock bumpers are built to be durable, reliable, and capable of absorbing shock.
Types of Dock Bumpers
Dock bumpers come in different shapes, sizes, colors, designs, and materials. Some are also made specifically to line dock edges, corners, or posts. Others are versatile and can be used to line the different parts of a dock.
Dock edge bumpers
This kind of bumper is made specifically to line the sides and edges of a dock. Typically, their design will not allow them to be used on other parts of the dock. Many have padding, but others can also be air-filled.
Dock corner bumpers
As the name suggests, dock corner bumpers are designed specifically to protect boats against sharp dock corners. These bumpers typically come at a 90-degree angle and can easily be fitted right over the corners of the dock.
This kind of dock bumper is more versatile and can be installed horizontally or vertically. They can also be cut into shorter sections, especially the ones that come in lengths of about 25 or feet.
Dock post bumpers
Dock posts and legs can damage your boat as well. Dock edging and certain dock edge bumpers can be installed on posts. However, there are also bumpers specifically designed to fit snugly around dock posts and legs.
It’s also important to note that some dock bumpers are suitable for smaller and lighter boats, while others can handle larger and heavier boats. It’s important to buy a bumper that will be able to handle your boat’s weight and size.
Some bumpers are also suitable for low-traffic lakes or rivers, so make sure to avoid those if you’re boating in a high-traffic area.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Using a Boat Dock Bumper
A dock bumper’s most important job is to protect your boat against damage in the event that it bumps into the dock. However, its benefits can go beyond just that.
Dock bumpers are definitely an additional expense, but they’re certainly necessary and can save you a lot of money in the long run. Damage to a boat’s hull can cost you a bit of money in repairs, and this kind of damage can happen again as long as your dock doesn’t have bumpers.
Furthermore, if other parts of your boat get damaged, you might end up having to go on a long waitlist for repairs. You can end up missing important seasons and events that only come once a year because you weren’t able to get your boat repaired on time.
If you encounter drawbacks when it comes to a dock bumper, it might be because it’s not suitable for the size of the boat you have. It’s also possible that the bumper is not made well or is made of low-quality materials.
As long as you choose a good dock bumper that can accommodate your needs, it will prove to be a good purchase.
There are many dock bumper options on the market, and it’s not always easy to figure out which one will work best for you. Whether you’re new to boating or you’re a seasoned veteran, it can be easy to end up with a dock bumper that might not work well for you.
However, this guide can help you make the right choice. Here are some things that can help you navigate the options you have:
Your boat size
Some dock bumpers are more suitable for smaller boats, while others can handle bigger and heftier boats. If you have a larger boat, it’s significant to make sure that the dock bumper you use will be able to easily handle things if the boat bumps into it.
Dock bumpers aren’t an ongoing expense, and there are affordable options out there. However, if you find very nice dock bumpers but they cost a bit more money, they might be worth the expense if they’re well-made and effective.
Typically, well-made bumpers will last a long time and it could be years before you end up needing a new one. Thus, a high-quality product is worth the expense, especially if it will prevent costly boat repairs.
Where you keep your boat
What are the water and weather conditions where you live or where your boat is kept? Do the waters tend to be calm? Does the wind tend to be rough?
Your neighbors and their boating habits can play a role as well. Are there a lot of powerboat users in the area that aren’t considerate about creating strong wakes? If so, you’ll likely need a stronger and sturdier dock bumper.
What your neighbors use
If you’re still not sure about what dock bumper to use, you can ask your boat-owning neighbors if they have recommendations. They might have valuable suggestions, especially since they live in the same area and their boats deal with the same water and weather conditions like yours.
Care and Maintenance
Typically, dock bumpers don’t need much maintenance. The best boat dock bumpers are built to be long-lasting and durable. However, there are some things that you can check now and then to see how your dock bumpers are holding up.
If the dock bumpers have metal grommets, check for any signs of corrosion now and then. Do the same for any mounting hardware as well. You should make sure to use corrosion-resistant hardware, but it’s still wise to see how the hardware is doing now and then.
You should also check for other signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, holes, tearing, and the like. Damage like this can affect the dock bumper’s effectiveness. If the damage is extensive or unrepairable, it might be time to buy new bumpers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dock bumpers may be easy to take for granted, but they do serve an important purpose. Additionally, they help make sure that your boat is protected from costly damages. Thus, it’s essential to learn all you can about which dock bumpers to buy so you can make a wise and informed choice.
Who makes the best dock bumpers?
Dock Edge and Hull Hugr offer various dock bumpers that are well-made, reliable, and have shown how well they perform in real-life situations. However, dock bumpers by brands like Taylor Made are also worth a try.
While these are reliable brands that boaters typically trust, it’s also good to try something different if you think it would be better. There are other lesser-known brands, like Vestil and Extreme Max. These brands can also work well for you, but make sure to thoroughly vet their products first before purchasing.
Asking around for recommendations can also be helpful. You likely know other boaters, and they might have some helpful thoughts that they can share with you.
You can also come up with DIY dock bumpers, though this can be tricky, especially if you haven’t been boating long. It can be possible to craft dock bumpers yourself if you know which materials will provide the best protection for your boat. Of course, you’ll also need to be able to have access to those materials.
Also, make sure to go over the costs first if you do decide to make your own dock bumpers. You might end up spending more money on a DIY bumper, but it could be worth it if it’s sturdier than ready-made bumpers.
How do you install dock bumpers?
Typically, dock bumpers have to be mounted with the use of screws and washers. Some bumpers come with ready-made grommets or holes. Others don’t have grommets, so you’ll have to drill into them to accommodate screws.
One thing you’ll have to keep in mind about bumpers with ready-made grommets is that the grommets tend to be large. Thus, you’ll likely need bigger bolts or screws, and you’ll also make the installation more secure if you use washers as well.
Bumpers that are made specifically for dock posts or leg pipes, meanwhile, may not need hardware for mounting. You’ll simply have to secure the bumper around the post or leg, and the bumper will stay on by itself. However, make sure that you check the mounting instructions to see how to mount the bumper properly.
Typically, dock bumpers of any kind are easy to install. At most, you’ll need a drill, a saw for dock edging that needs to be cut into sections, and mounting hardware. Make sure to check out the way your dock is constructed to figure out how you can install the bumpers more easily and efficiently.
Safety is another thing to consider when installing dock bumpers. Some dock bumpers are lightweight, and their installation can be an easy one-person job. However, some bumpers can be quite heavy and you may need some help with installation.
How do I protect my boat from dock damage?
Using dock bumpers is an effective and reliable way to protect your boat against damage. Lakes, rivers, and other water bodies can be unpredictable, and the weather can be unpredictable as well. Strong waves, winds, and tides can push your boat up against the dock and subsequently cause damage to your boat.
Environmental conditions aren’t the only things that you need to think about. Some people also find it difficult to maneuver around the dock and may be more prone to hit parts of the dock. While it’s always possible to learn how to maneuver better, it’s also still a good idea to install dock bumpers.
However, with the help of dock bumpers, you can take steps to prevent costly and inconvenient damage. Dock bumpers provide cushioning against impact and prevent direct contact between your boat and dock. Your boat will be able to come away without scratches, marks, dents, or any other worse damage.
For better protection, don’t just line the sides or edges of your dock with dock bumpers. It’s best to install bumpers on the corners and posts or legs as well. This provides your boat with complete protection and drastically reduces the chances of damage.
How do you prevent dock rash?
The most effective way to prevent dock rash is to take the boat out of the water and in its trailer. However, in many situations, this will not always be possible. In these cases, your best bet is using dock bumpers.
Dock rash occurs when your boat rubs against the dock hard enough that the hull gets scratched or scuffed. If you’re unable to store your boat out of the water, dock bumpers can keep your boat safe from dock rash. They will be able to prevent your boat from coming into direct contact with the dock.
However, make sure that the dock bumper you use will not leave scuff marks as well. Some dock bumpers have coating or paint that can transfer to the boat’s hull when impact occurs. Thus, make sure that the dock bumpers you use will not scuff or mark your boat.
Dock rash and similar marks on the hull of your boat aren’t too bad and don’t actually lead to structural damage. Additionally, they’re easy to fix and you can take your boat to a body shop or handle the repair yourself. However, this is another expense that can easily be avoided with the help of dock bumpers.
Boats, just like any other vehicle, need a certain amount of care. Part of that care is the installation of suitable dock bumpers that will protect your boat against slight to severe damage. Thus, it’s important to choose the right bumpers for the size of your boat and the environmental conditions in your area.
There are many dock bumper options on the market, but not all of them will work for you. It’s important to figure out what your needs are and which bumpers will be able to take care of them. It’s also important to make sure that you choose long-lasting bumpers that will be able to take wear and tear in stride.
Among the many options for dock bumpers, you’ll also see ones that are made for specific parts of your dock. You’ll need to make sure that the sides or edges of your dock are covered, as well as the corners and posts. This way, your boat will be fully protected against direct impact with your dock.
Dock bumpers also come in different materials and designs. With experience, you’ll figure out which bumper materials and designs work best for you. However, by researching which dock bumpers are the best, you’ll have a better chance of finding the right choice sooner.
With a guide like this, the best dock bumpers will be easy to find. You’ll be able to see which brands are the best and what kinds of materials make the most durable dock bumpers. Thus, you’ll be able to make the right purchase that will benefit your boat for a long time to come.