Boat dock bumpers are one of the most important boat docking supplies and must not be ignored. They are an investment that will enable you to cast off with confidence, save your boat from damage, and extend the lifespan of your dock.
What are the Dock Bumpers?
A dock fender or dock bumper is a device that can absorb shock and can be attached to your dock. Whether the damage is caused by inclement weather jostling a vessel at anchor or by cruising into the dock too quickly, bumpers help to protect boats. While this guide concentrates on their marine application, dock bumpers may also be used to safeguard loading docks from the tractor-trailer, accidental impacts.
What are Dock Bumpers Important?
Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a beginner boater, everyone hits the dock at a single point or another. By preparing for the inevitable, you’ll avoid embarrassing yourself at a busy marina, or worse, having to pay for expensive boat repairs.
The repair cost is dependent on the vessel, but a gash or hole in a fiberglass boat may cost anywhere from $100 to $400, with larger repairs easily costing over a thousand dollars. In order to prevent this type of damage, boat dock bumpers are perceived as affordable by many. They are available in a variety of materials and sizes, allowing you to create a tailored solution that works best for the location of your dock and your boat.
Duck Bumper Materials
The outer protective layer of a bumper may be made out of PVC, vinyl, foam, or rubber. Based on your needs, specific material may work better for you than others – here are their pros and cons:
- Foam: This is one of the least expensive dock bumper options and may not fare well as other materials over time. While it may succeed in protecting your dock and boat, it may discolor or chip over time.
- Rubber: Recycled rubber tires are inexpensive, UV resistant, low friction, and may absorb high impacts. If you have a fiberglass boat, be careful – rubber will scuff the hull.
- PVC: PVC is designed to withstand ice, UV rays, sea salt, or any other climate.
- Vinyl: Vinyl can last for many years and will not discolor. It is also designed to withstand variable climates.
Selecting the Right Dock Bumpers
You don’t want to waste money on excess bumpers you don’t want, but you also want to ensure your boat is protected. So, where should you place them, and what type should you purchase?
- First, take into consideration the potential impact points. You have three points of contact to think about if you have a boat slip. The area where your boat may collide with the slip head-on should be covered with additional cushioning.
- Also, you should determine the size of your boat and the potential impact it may have on the dock. You could use corner bumpers or foam dock siding if you have a small motorboat. If you have a large vessel, you may want to consider a more heavy-duty piling bumper protection or PVC dock siding.
- Lastly, you’ll want to protect the pilings and corners of your dock. You can use mountable dock wheels or corner bumpers for corners to ensure a safe docking experience. If your dock has pilings, feel free to mount traditional dock bumpers vertically to protect them.
If you’re looking for quick boat supplies for your center console boats, let Quick Boat Fender know. Our team will do everything in its capacity to get you the supplies you’ve requested for.