Owning a boat is definitely fantastic; however, you should also expect dealing with some sort of damages and some costly repairs specifically when you frequently use your boat ruggedly for a longer period of time. Indeed, one of the most practical means on how to solve this problem is by investing in the best boat fenders.
Many boaters are fully aware of the fact that there are times when a boat is tough to completely control when anchoring, particularly in troublesome conditions. Vessels are more likely to come in contact with pilings, dock and other kinds of vessels and this may cause damage to other boats, which is perceived as not that infrequent.
It is essential to understand that boat fenders are must-have because they serve as an effective blockade between your boat and the surroundings; so that means you can successfully avoid possible damages. Take note that these are available in distinct sizes and kinds. If you have no idea what to look for when buying one, then this article can be your guide.
Hence, for you to get the right type and size of a boat fender, carefully go over the product reviews and shopping guides tackled in this post.
Table of Contents
Best Boat Fender Reviews
1. Extreme Max 3006.7204 BoatTector Fender
This vessel bumper comes as a set and it already consist of 2 fender lines and 2 bumpers. This is made with a sturdy rubber needle valve that is meant for deflation and inflation purposes. In the same way, it is furnished with eyelets that boost the strength of the fender and extend its lifespan.
You can utilize this all summer long without any serious problems for you to deal with. It is significant to note that this has been proven to be reliable in terms of providing the required protection on wavy and windy days. Also, it can be instantly affixed and is capable of holding up quite well. And, since it comes with a slightly larger size, this won’t be easily knocked against the dock regardless of the condition or elements in your surroundings.
Basically, these fenders execute an exceptional job; they are well-designed and already contain top quality ropes once bought. The selling price is a little high, but considering its stunning and practical features, it is actually an economical cost in the long run.
2. Polyform G Series Boat Fenders
This fender from Polyform is of very good quality. It is built to be thicker and heavier which evidently add more shield to your most cherished vessel. As a matter of fact, many boaters prefer this brand because it is ideal for tying up to docks. This is superb at holding air and you won’t have issues with them going flat.
Most importantly, even when this bumper is been beaten up, it will still and always be capable of holding air excellently. It’s certainly the solution to provide the best possible protection for your vessel. You’ll be amazed of its heavy rubber material that allows it to hold air superbly.
If you have this with you, you could be in charge of the pressure you prefer. For the money, this is a great deal. It remains inflated and can also serve as nice pillows for little ones on the long journey back. Its colors do not fade, don’t rub off or run.
3. VIVOHOME Vinyl Ribbed Marine Boat Fender
These sailboat fenders look sturdy and well-designed. They are quite effortless to inflate to your preferred pressure. Since these are manufactured using only sturdy construction materials, they can efficiently impede collision and attrition so that only proves that they can combat long period of usage.
Moreover, these inflatable bumpers come with reliable buffer effect that makes them dependable in terms of shielding docks and vessels from damage which are typically compelled by intense collision between hard surfaces.
This is highly convenient and beneficial to use for row boats, docks, sailboats, boats and yachts. It is straightforward to set up and take off as well. So, even if it is your first time to use it, you have no worries.
4. Polyform A-Series Buoy
There is no denying that looking for round boat fenders can be daunting at times. But, the case does not need to be so if you’ll give this product a try. It is plain sailing to set up and once you have it blown in full size, all you need to do is to solidly screw the plug back on by using a flat head screwdriver and you can get started.
Also, this is made with top-drawer construction materials that enable it to withstand too much sun exposure and other causes of damage. This is not a pain in the neck to inflate so it is user-friendly even for newbies. This is highly recommended for those hunting for an out-of-the-ordinary aqua bag alternative.
5. Shoreline Marine Ribbed Inflatable Fender
These inflatable boat bumpers come in distinct colors as well as sizes. It is manufactured with premium quality vinyl material and is capable of ensuring superb shield on the docks. What is more, it is furnished with durable eyelets that are especially intended to hold the rope securely. You can pick the suitable one that shall suit your needs and preference.
Essentially, the maximum weight of these fenders can be roughly 4 pounds and this commonly relies on what size you will pick. It comes inflated but it does not come with a rope. Take note that the bumper has identical holes at the top and bottom section.
6. X-Haibei Boat Fenders Ball Round Anchor Buoy
This boat bumper can be inflated in a snap with the aid of a tiny electric pump. You can utilize them as markers too and it has the capability to maneuver power vessels slightly further out from the waters. If you prefer, you can possibly hang them on a stainless steel cable and from there it can stay in place without any issue.
What makes this a wise deal is that it is supported by a 1 year warranty. Once purchased, it already includes specialized inflating needle valves. But, please be guided that it is not highly suggested to inflate them excessively and be sure to reserve some space for it. You can carefully press the surface using your finger. Take in mind that the directed inflation is 2 psi which is approximately 0.013Mpa.
In like manner, this fender can serve a number of helpful purposes and you can utilize it for yacht dock, small boat, water safety buoy, yacht, navigation buoy, boat dock, mooring buoy and it can also be used as a floater when necessary. As you can see, its uses don’t seem to be limited.
7. GOPLUS 4-Pack Ribbed Marine Boat Fender
This marine boat bumper is molded out of reinforced vinyl material that makes it highly acclaimed for being one of the most robust boat fenders sold on the market nowadays. Its material can guarantee ultimate protection against ultraviolet light exposure. You can rely on this brand if you are serious in combatting aging-related concerns and gas tightness.
And, since this bumper comes with curved design on the side, users can rely on a collision resistance feature. The bolstered rope holes on both edges and the bumper’s ribbed design are also manufactured to ensure all-around resilient shield to your vessel and sailing experience.
This product is especially meant to inhibit any damage to your watercraft or vessel particularly when you’re speeding into the berth or wharf. And, this can be your best shield during unfortunate scenarios such as colliding with other vessels.
8. Extreme Max 3006.7225 BoatTector
If you want a fender that can work quite well on the river, then this can be the perfect partner for you. It is comparatively narrow that makes it considerably effortless to board and get off the vessel than the conventional 10 inch boat fenders. There’s not just sufficient impact absorption for heavier and bigger boats. Indeed, it is not difficult to store as compared to other versions.
This is also utilized against a floating dock. You can easily tie it off to cleats on the vessel’s cleats and from there it can start executing a nice job of keeping the vessel from banging up against the berth. It is possible to fold and bend on the gunnel as compared to rubber fenders; and most importantly, this is reliable for trailering boats as well.
9. Taylor Made Products Low Freeboard Boat Fender
If you would like to buy a boat fender that is quite excellent at safeguarding the sides and top of your vessel, then this could satisfy your needs and preferences. The walls are thick and the bumper could actually be squeezed hard and you’ll be surprised that it could still hold up quite properly. Its unique curved design is not merely for aesthetic purposes since this is meant to save the vessel from gouges and scratches that emerge if the water is choppy.
Withal, this product is constructed to safeguard the top of the edges of the vessel and is known to be adept at staying in place. It cannot be denied that this is highly practical for the types of vessels that sit low in the water.
10. Mission Boat Gear Sentry Boat Fender Bumper
If you want a boat fender that is especially made to offer ultimate protection for your most treasured vessel, then you have found the one. This is built with ingenious hanging system that allows easy placement on a dock or vessel providing protection both underneath and above the rub rail which is surely distinct than conventional bumpers.
Further, this is shaped in cross-linked closed cell foam which is definitely solid. In fact, this is recognized for its patented material that does not take in water and combats fading brought about by too much sun exposure. This is equipped with integrated strap that rapidly affixes to the vessel cleats and docks that guarantees quick installation.
This fender’s strap is quite long. Hence, if your cleats are in an ideal place for hanging sentry, then it becomes a lot easier to trim the strap to keep things clean and organized.
11. Leader Accessories Ribbed Twin Eyes Boat Fender
This boat bumper seems to be the best set of everything that you will ever require to safeguard your vessel from the dock. You can’t find anything negative about its workmanship; it is durable and looks appealing on a pontoon vessel. Unquestionably, this appears to be the color and size that you prefer for shielding the edges of the boat when launching or turning back to the slip.
This is constructed with superior quality marine-grade vinyl and can protect your vessel from the harmful rays of the sun. And, it is designed with full-length ribs that help in maximizing strength, reduce roll and provide the shield needed against abrasions. You can freely select the size and color because this product comes in a total of 4 distinct colors and sizes. Take into consideration that the distinct size of boat bumper is furnished with 4 fender lines that come in distinct lengths.
12. Best Choice Products Ribbed Vinyl Boat Fender
If you go for large boat fenders, then you won’t go wrong with this product. It is made with all-around ribbed design that makes it capable of providing strong protection, warding off any damages to your vessel when positioned beside other boats or when at berth.
To boot, when you purchase this kit, it already contains a total of 4 bumpers which could be utilized either horizontally or vertically, hinging on your water boat’s requirements. The best of all, this can be effortlessly paired with as several sets as you necessitate.
What to Look For When Buying a Boat Fender
Buying high quality boat fender can make a huge difference. Hence, the following purchasing options and features will certainly be your great guide in making the right choice.
Here are the factors to consider when shopping for top quality boat fender:
Type. There are so many boat fenders that are made with distinct designs and each of them is especially built for a specific purpose. In general, round fenders, center hole cylindrical fenders, and hybrids are regarded as ideal choices for heavy and large vessels.
On the other hand, there are specifically-designed fenders wherein their design enables users to affix them on a specific part of the vessel, the position users prefer or at times these are designed for particular vessel.
Accessories. Boat fenders are designed with a number of accessories that could make using these gears more convenient and a lot easier. Some are made with storage racks, cover, some are inflatable, others are built with different valves and call for the use of a specialized kind of pump adapter while others make use of regular hand pump.
Size. In order to determine the right size for a boat fender, you need to consider its length, weight and anchoring conditions. If you purchase a boat fender that is quite small, this would only be instantly get flattened by the boat’s weight and it won’t function efficiently. Meanwhile, a fender that is quite big for your vessel could be irking to affix and to store on-board while you are on the water.
Storage. Fenders need to be stored so you could maneuver around. While it is true that there are many spots where you could place them, this shall rely on their size and the size of your vessel. Some bumpers can be tucked away below the seat while other are put in a storage bin. Alternatively, you could tie the bumpers to internal railing. You can also refer to special bumper racks. These come in distinct sizes and can be foldable or permanent.
Cleaning. Bumpers are prone to getting filthy. So, opt for the one that does not make cleaning task a very exhausting job to handle. Use clean water, mild detergent or a regular soap when cleaning it.
As much as possible, avoid using abrasive cleaners. These could damage the material and make the bumper easier to rupture or deflate. Also, consider buying a cover that you could pull over the bumper. Luckily, these are a piece of cake to remove and wash.
Color. Go for the one that would complement your vessel. This has nothing to do with practicality aspects; but a fender with visually appealing color is a good catch.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is a boat fender?
Boat fenders are known as very valuable piece of kit on any vessel. These are prominent for being air-filled cushions that are protective enough and can be positioned along the side of the vessel. And, as boaters anchor against other vessels or a dock, these bumpers are the ones that provide a shielded blockade and assist in keeping the vessel from getting damaged.
How does it work?
Boat fenders generally work by serving as a cushion between your vessel and the pier, dock or other boats. The main purpose of this gear is to take in the shock that’s commonly brought about by the impact. Moreover, this wards it off from transmitting to the vessel’s hull, or any other component of it. Most importantly, this is a great means of insulating your vessel from various objects that surround it.
What are the different types of boat fenders?
Long Fender. This is also called walking fender and is the most typical type of boat fenders. It is easy to handle and comes with the capability to be positioned either horizontally or vertically, from lifelines, railings or cleats. Take note that this shall rely on the boat’s size.
Rolling Dock and Pole Fender. The other name for this type of fender is pile fender which is generally recommended to have on board while preferring to save some space. This usually comes with numerous distinct versions; for instance, as a rolling fender that rolls harmoniously with the movement of the ship.
Ball Fender. This comes with spherical shape and is commonly inflated with air and made out of very solid PVC material with a solidly braced single eyelet. This can ensure superb point of impact shield and can be instantly rolled to maneuver the point of contact along with the frame.
This is usually utilized while going in and out of locks or moving through narrow spaces. Additionally, it is quite versatile and can be utilized to float a transient pick-up line or point out an anchor location. The other name for this type of fender is standby fender.
Flat Fenders and Cushion Fender. This is renowned for its sterling storability, it can be multi-purpose and there is low potentiality for slippage. It is generally manufactured with foam and relying on the model, this could also be suited with nylon coating. It is frequently utilized on cranes, locks and slipways. This is lightweight that makes it more likely to fly away when there’s strong wind.
Aside from the various types of boat fenders discussed above, there are also other practical fender types like those that could be utilized as ladders or steps.
Why do you need a boat bumper? (Benefits)
If you own a boat, then you need to realize the significance of investing in a high quality and reliable boat fender. This is a less pricey means to shield your vessel against bumps, knocks and other potential damages caused by extreme impact. Luckily, boat bumpers are instantly replaced if get damaged, while fixing your vessel could absolutely be a very expensive problem to deal with and repair.
Boat fenders are a must-have for sailors precisely because these serve as great gears to keep your vessel safe and avoid the pricey cost of damage.
Here are the perks of owning boat fenders:
- Fenders and boards allow a vessel to ride practically and comfortably against a berth.
- These ensure that the vessel is safeguarded from bumping and other sorts of impact, or rubbing against anchoring poles, quayside and other forms of obstructions.
- Boat bumpers help sailors to be better prepared for all kinds of mooring conditions, from more severe instances like berthing in hurricane force winds to the more common conditions your vessel will be in on a daily basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted boat fender brands?
Are you having a tough time deciding which boat fender brand to invest in? It is true that being exposed with innumerable number of options can sometimes be more perplexing to handle. And, to help you reduce the stress of picking the right choice for a boat fender, the following brands are trustworthy enough for you to reflect on:
- Extreme Max
- Shoreline Marine
What size boat fenders do I need? How many?
The size and the amount of fenders necessary rely on the weight, size and conditions of your boat. Generally speaking, it is asserted that a single bumper goes per every 10-feet of vessel length, and this comes with at least 3 fenders.
Be that as it may, a number of boat bumpers come in pairs and boaters typically utilize the two, positioning them on the side at proportionate length from the center. Keep in mind that this might not be ideal if the bow is too embossed, which is why you need to be careful. Furthermore, it is not bad to add two more; however, they could consume bigger space on-board.
Do boat fenders come with a rope?
Boat fenders are used to be constructed with used ropes; nevertheless, these are not utilized anymore due to wearing away. And, rather than ditching the rope, boaters figured out some ways on how to put it in practical use.
Even though sailors cannot fully depend on the rope to take huge loads, they can hook a rope in their knot work and utilize it as a cushioning that will serve as a shield for the boat. Fundamentally, a valuable means of reusing the old rope was through securing old and used ropes into boat bumpers.
How to install and use?
When using boat bumpers, it is critical to position them properly. You need to hang them in order for the bumpers’ bottoms to easily skim on the surface of water and from there, carefully elevate them for about 1 by up to 2 inches. In so doing, this shall impede the dock from pushing the bumper up and out of place while restricting marine growth on the bumper.
Meanwhile, when tying the bumpers, tie them to a secure anchor point, for example a cleat or a station rather than lifelines- note that these are not built to manage the stress. In line with this, tie the bumpers as low as feasible on the vessel. This aids in curbing the swing arc so it could guarantee that the boat bumper will be capable of sustaining its prearranged position.
Take into account that boat fenders won’t function properly if you do not position them in a correct manner. It is important to be vigilant of the position and number of the units on your vessel.
What is the warranty?
Luckily, all the boat fender brands exhaustively reviewed in this post come with specific warranties that customers can delight in. Fundamentally, if you’re going to meticulously observe, each product differs when it comes to the kind of warranty it offers. Some of them are supported by “specific period of time” warranty; others offer refunds, 1 month money back guarantee, replacements for defective parts and the like.
You can check out the kind of warranty the product is offering by reading the product description. Alternatively, if the kind of warranty offered is not clearly indicated, then consider asking the manufacturer directly. In so doing, you will have an idea if the product you are eyeing to purchase is risk-free to invest in.
Where to buy?
You can come across lots of boat fender brands both in local marine supply stores and on the web. Truth is, you don’t even need to go to remote areas just to shop for them because these are readily available. Shopping on a local store can give you the opportunity to inspect the product first-hand and you can instantly check any defects at once. And, you can bring the product with you right away without the need to wait for shipping.
Meanwhile, if you shop online, you will most likely be provided with numerous options to check out. Sometimes, there are options that are not available in local stores but you can have a plenty of them if you search online. But, you need to ensure that you only shop at reputable online sites like Amazon so that you can avail of special promos, discounts, freebies and other surprises which are commonly offered to loyal online shoppers.
Making transactions with trusted online shopping sites offer more warranties that aim to protect their customers.
How to care and maintain?
Boat fenders especially require thorough cleaning after the season is over. It is not suggested to wait till winter is finished before you tidy your fender. Take into consideration that it is crucial to maintain the cleanliness of your fenders particularly during boating seasons or prior to putting them into storage for the coldest season of the year.
When cleaning fenders, it is highly advised to wear gloves when using a broad array of cleaning products. This is to inhibit any eye or hand contact with various cleaning solutions. It is highly suggested to use soap and water first prior to utilizing a cleaning solution in order for you to thoroughly tidy the filthy fenders.
As much as possible, never utilize harsh cleaning agents like acetone when cleaning your fender. The reason behind this is because these are known to be damaging to your boat bumpers. For a thorough cleaning not to be a serious requirement anymore, you should not allow your bumpers to get filthy in the first place. Alternatively, you can buy washable boat bumper covers as these could greatly aid in keeping your fenders tidy and safeguarded from various elements surrounding it.
Not to mention, it is necessary to keep your boat bumpers tidy so they will look better and capable of providing long-standing service. You may also look for some accessories like fender height adjusters and hand pumps to make your sailing experience easier and smoother. And, it is advantageous to come up with a stowage strategy as this shall enable instant accessibility and this shall keep boat bumpers from getting underfoot.
On the other hand, if your boat fenders will be exposed to excessive loads or forces, it is a must to secure them using a foot rail, winch or clamp.
As clearly detailed in this article, the best boat fenders are practical and advantageous gears that are intended to keep your vessel free from any sort of damage. This gear is believed to be quite a necessity particularly if you seriously care enough about your boat.
There are distinct kinds for distinct vessels and surroundings; they also range in size, shapes, colors and prices. So, if you aren’t that insightful about these gears, then for sure, this article could be a big help to you especially in terms of lessening the burden of the selection process.
With the comprehensive product reviews and shopping tips shared above, you can now confidently choose the one that you think can superbly serve you for a longer period of time. With the right choice, you can better enjoy a safe and smooth sailing experience. And, do not forget how valuable it is to keep your vessel protected when you return.
If you have this gear with you, you can avoid the pricey cost of dealing with damages and repairs. And, this will of course extend the lifespan of your most cherished vessel.
I am Dave, Marine Talk’s content creator. Boating experiences matter when planning a boat trip for your family or going by yourself. Therefore, I am here to tackle all things relevant to boating so even the inexperienced ones can start their boating safely.