Boat fenders are one of the most overlooked parts of boating. They are not flashy or fun to use, but they are essential for keeping your boat’s ‘undinged’ and everybody on board dry and safe.
Boat fenders come in all shapes and sizes with various purposes.
Some boat fenders are designed to prevent waves from getting into the boat while others can be used for dampening impact when docking.
However, boat fenders should never be used for anything other than their intended purpose because they can be a hazard if used incorrectly.
Boat fenders are often called “boat bumpers” by novice or new boaters, but technically that isn’t true. Fenders act as a buffer between your boat (or any other boat) and a dock, or jetty.
All types of boats can use them, from small sailboats and motor yachts to smaller runabouts. They prevent paint, varnish, and hull damage.
Difference Between Fenders and Bumpers
While bumpers and fenders are two different tools, they both have the same purpose.
Both are cushioned objects that protect boats from damage or abrasion from other boats or fixed structures like docks or piers. There is one difference in theory:
- The fender is and attached to the boat.
- While the bumper is attached to a fixed structure.
The Five Best Boat Fenders
1. The Polyform G Series Boat Fenders
The Polyform G Series fenders are some of the most innovative and durable on the market today.
They feature a flexible plastic outer skin that absorbs impact without cracking or chipping, making them ideal for indoor and outdoor applications.
The hollow core construction uses less material while maintaining superior strength by absorbing energy through deformation rather than breaking under pressure.
These fenders are also UV stabilized to prevent fading, chalking, or cracking due to exposure to sunlight.
The Polyform G Series Boat Fenders Specifications
- Diameter: 30 to 35 inches;
- Length: 33 inches
- Weight: 13 lbs each
- The G Series Boat Fenders are available in six sizes, ranging from 18 inches to 36 inches in diameter.
- They are ideal for use with boats up to 25 feet in length.
- All seams are double-stitched with heavy-duty thread for extreme durability.
The Polyform G Series Boat Fender Buying Guide
Here’s a buying guide with everything you need to know before purchasing the Polyform G Series Boat Fender:
- Make sure that there is sufficient space between where you plan on installing them and other objects such as docks or rocks; otherwise, they could get damaged by impact when moving around close quarters
- Find a fender that is the same size or slightly larger than your boat hull; this will give you the most protection
Assembling the Polyform G Series Boat Fenders
- Remove the gray caps from both ends of each fender with a sharp knife or box cutter. Slide them off by holding them in place with one hand and pulling the end away with the other.
- Cut cord length for tying, about two feet long or until you can tie a secure knot in your fenders easily.
- To attach the cords cut a small hole in the center of the top cap and feed the cord through, tie off securely and trim excess.
- To inflate, hold the fender close to the mouth. Blow into the valve located on the side opposite the inflation cord. If you have an air compressor, attach a hose to the valve and inflate until desired firmness is achieved.
- Replace gray caps by pressing onto the inflated fender until it pops into place.
- Lightweight, extremely durable
- An enhanced shape that is 25% lighter than the original Polyform Standard model
- Increased buoyancy to reduce shock loading on boats of all sizes
- Flexible plastic outer skin which absorbs impact without cracking or chipping
- UV stabilized to prevent fading, chalking, or cracking due to exposure to sunlight
- They are constructed of premium vinyl and feature reinforced seams for extra durability.
- Have a price tag that is significantly higher than other brands on the market.
- Additionally, their size may be too large or bulky for some users’ needs.
2. The Extreme Max 3006.7204 BoatTector Fender
The Extreme Max 30061704 BoatTector Fender is the perfect way to protect your boat from damage. This heavy-duty fender is durable PVC material and features a reinforced eyelet for easy mounting.
The BoatTector Fender can be used in freshwater and saltwater environments, making it ideal for any boat.
The BoatTector Fender is designed to absorb the impact of boat collisions, preventing damage to your vessel.
It is also flexible enough to conform to the contours of your boat, providing maximum protection. This fender is a must-have for any boat owner looking to protect their investment.
The Extreme Max 3006.7204 BoatTector Fender Specifications
- Diameter: 12 inches
- Thickness: 0.75 inches
- Material: PVC
- Reinforced eyelet for easy mounting
- Width: 30.25 inches
- Made of PVC material
- It fits boats up to 55 feet long, with a beamwidth of six feet wide.
- It measures 30 inches by 11 inches by six inches.
The Extreme Max 3006.7204 BoatTector Fender Buying Guide
- For maximum protection, the fender should be at least six inches wider than your boat’s beam.
- Consider purchasing more than one fender to distribute weight and impact. Adding extra fenders will also provide extra cushioning in case of multiple collisions.
- The fenders should be able to withstand a load of at least twice that required by OSHA, without breaking or tearing.
Assembling Extreme Max 30061704 BoatTector Fender
Place the fender over the pylon post on the boat. Ensure the strap of the fender is on top. Ensure there are no twists in the strap; – Connect both ends of the pylon strap at your desired location with a double fisherman’s knot or similar connection method to ensure maximum strength and durability.
- The fender is made of durable PVC material and can be used in both freshwater and saltwater environments;
- The eyelet is reinforced for easy mounting.
- Flexible enough to conform to the contours of your boat, providing maximum protection.
- You can use it in freshwater and saltwater environments.
- Protects your boat from collisions, scratches and dents.
- Might be too small for some boats
- Should be used with caution in high winds
3. The Shoreline Marine Inflatable Fender
This inflatable fender is made from heavy-duty PVC and has a tear strength of about 500 lbs. It comes in five different colors, so you can pick your favorite one or mix it up to match the color of your boat.
These are extra durable because they reinforce double stitching around all sides, not just along the seams.
The product weight is about 12 lbs, and it can be inflated up to 22 psi which means that they are sturdy enough to withstand the waves in most circumstances.
The design of this fender makes them safe for use on your boat because when they inflate, their shape becomes triangular with pointed edges, so there will not be any sharp points sticking out that could potentially harm someone.
The Shoreline Marine Inflatable Fender 6.5 Specifications
- Product weight: 12 lbs
- Inflated size: 72″L x 24″W x 18″H
- Tear strength: 500 lbs
- Colors: Blue, Gray, Green, Orange, Red
- Comes with a storage bag and pump
- It is made from high-quality materials, has a strong tear resistance, and comes with its storage bag and pump.
- Plus, the triangular shape makes them safe for use on your boat.
Shoreline Marine Inflatable Fender 6.5 Buying Guide
Check the size of the fender. This Shoreline Marine Inflatable Fender is available in six different sizes, so be sure to pick the right one for your boat.
You will also want to consider the material. Plastic and rubber fenders will be less expensive than those made from PVC, but they will not last as long and may be more prone to damage from the sun or other elements.
It would be best to think about whether you want an inflatable fender or a solid foam one.
Inflatable models are lighter weight and more compact, making them easier to store on your boat. However, solid fenders do not need any upkeep and usually come with a ten-year warranty, so there is no chance that they will deflate unexpectedly in an inconvenient situation.
Assembling The Shoreline Marine Inflatable Fender 6.5.
- Open the storage bag.
- Unroll the fender and remove all air from it.
- Push out any remaining air by squeezing it with your hands. If your hand is too big to get into the smaller parts of the fender, you can use a piece of driftwood or a large stick that won’t hurt the material of the fender.
- Fold it in half, so no sharp edges are sticking out, then inflate it again with 10 – 15 pumps. The air will quickly go back inside and push out any water hiding inside.
- Perfect for boats with hardtops or side rails
- Made from highly visible material
- Comes with storage bag, pump, and repair kit included in the purchase price
- Not long enough to fender large boats properly
4. The Super Gard Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender
The Super Gard Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender is an excellent option for those looking for a fender to provide protection and stability to their boat.
The fender is designed to withstand the wear and tear of regular use. It also features an inflation valve that allows you to easily adjust the level of firmness, ensuring a snug fit.
Additionally, the Super Gard Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender comes with stainless steel mounting hardware, making it easy to install.
If you’re looking for an affordable and durable boat fender, the Super Gard Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender is a great option.
The Super Gard Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender Specifications
- Heavy-duty vinyl construction for both protection and durability
- Inflation valve allows you to adjust the level of firmness
- Stainless steel mounting hardware ensures a secure fit
- Can be easily adjusted in diameter or cut to size
The Super Gard Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender Buying Guide
- When looking for a boat fender, there are a few things you’ll want to consider:
- The size of your boat. Make sure you choose a fender designed to fit your boat’s size.
- The material of the fender. It will determine how much wear and tear the fender can handle before it begins to break down.
- Mounting points. Look for fenders with sturdy mounting rings or hooks so they can attach securely to your boat.
- Price. Boat fenders come in all shapes and sizes, so consider your budget when making this purchase, as well as what features are most important for you.
Assembling The Super Gard Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender
- Unpack the Super Gard Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender
- Remove any protective covering from the fenders’ inflation valve, and install valves on each end of your fender
- Cut off excess length if needed, so it doesn’t protrude past your boat
- Locate mounting ring or hook on boat’s gunwale, attach the ring to hook with included stainless steel screws and screws should include star washers.Customize diameter by adjusting deflated vinyl around mounting hooks, then inflate until desired firmness is achieved.
- Heavy-duty and durable
- Inflation valve allows you to adjust the firmness level easily
- Comes with stainless steel mounting hardware
- Not for use in high traffic areas
- Not the cheapest boat fenders on the market
5. The Extreme Max 3006.7231 BoatTector Contour Fender
The Extreme Max 3006.7231 BoatTector Contour Fender is a great option for those looking for a contoured fender.
It is designed to hug your boat and protect it from rubbing against docks or other boats. The BoatTector comes in three different sizes, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.
This fender is made from heavy-duty vinyl and has a stainless steel buckle and D-ring. It is also UV resistant so that it will hold up well in the sun. The BoatTector is easy to install and can be attached to most boats in just minutes.
The Extreme Max 3006.7231 BoatTector Contour Fender Specifications
- Dimension: 30’L x 6′
- Weight: 1.4 lbs / pair
- Material: heavy-duty vinyl
- UV resistant
- Stainless steel buckle and D-ring
- Three different sizes to choose from
Extreme Max 3006.7231 BoatTector Contour Fender Buying Guide
Before purchasing the Extreme Max 3006.7231 BoatTector Contour Fender, you will need to consider;
The size of your boat and the type of dock or boat you are attaching. This fender is available in three different sizes, so be sure to choose the right one for your needs.
It is also important to consider the weight of your boat. This fender only weighs 1.2 lb, perfect for smaller boats.
Assembling The Extreme Max 3006.7231 BoatTector Contour Fender
- Place the fender between your boat and dock, then secure it with two zip ties
- Feed the free end of the strap through one side of the buckle and out the other.
- Pull tight and attach D-ring to a fixed point on your boat or dock structure, ensuring that it is strong enough to hold weight.
- Repeat steps 1-3 for the second strap
- Place the two loose ends of webbing over the hook at the front of your boat, ensuring that no water can enter and allow you to drive away without getting wet feet.
- Cut off excess webbing using a knife or box cutters after fastening both straps together properly
- Designed to hug your boat and protect it from rubbing against docks or other boats.
- It is made from heavy-duty vinyl and has a stainless steel buckle and D-ring. -It is also UV resistant, so that it will hold up well in the sun.
- Easy to install and can be attached to most boats in just minutes.
- Do not use on a boat that is in motion
- Do not over tighten straps as it may damage your boat
Hi, I’m Ryan Nelson! I live in the Hamptons, out on Long Island, near Ponquogue Beach. The beach is a place where I can find peace and serenity. It’s a place where I can sit and clear my head. The waves crashing on the shore somehow helps me to relax, while also reminding me that I am far from the stressors of daily life.