Your basic guide to selecting the right boat fenders

Fenders are one of the most important quick boat supplies, acting as a cushion between a dock (wood, metal, or concrete) and a boat, or another boat while preventing damage to the topsides of your boat.

How do fenders work?

Whether soft or inflated foam, flat, spherical, or cylindrical – fenders absorb the vessels’ shock when they bump into docks or other vessels. They not just insulate the boat from damage but also decelerate it as it surges and rolls about. Usually, boats tying up to floating docks set fenders a bit above the waterline to maintain a buffer zone between boat and dock. There is a challenge in docking next to pilings; the pilings can push the fenders aside, leading to severe consequences. However, this may be resolved by using a fender board that spans the distance between pilings. With the board and fenders, a boat may ride reasonably conveniently against a wharf.

Boats having permanent slips usually customize their space, installing cushions, dock wheels, dock guards, so that the dock does not carry the boat, but the protection only. Since these forms of padding may be placed right at the contact point, they won’t swing out of the way. When fenders are not lined up accurately, dock cushions may prevent damage. There are a plethora of padding configurations that you can use to defend any boat from docking damage – make sure they are creative.

What is the size of your Boat?

Roughly, we like 1” diameter for cylindrical fenders or 2” diameter for spherical fenders for every 4-5 feet of boat length. However, this recommendation isn’t firm because the size of the fender also depends on conditions, the weight of the boat, and location. Boats, in unsafe end ties on San Francisco, Lake Erie, or other locations with horrible tidal surge may need more protection than a vessel docked in a peaceful lake. We recommend using fender whips or proper lines to suspend the fenders at the right height.

Also, we advise you to use large diameter fenders since they offer the best protection. After all, the width of the fender is the only thing that separates the boat from the dock.

Do you want to hang them Vertically or Horizontally?

Big B fenders or center rope tube fenders enable you to hang the fender either vertically or horizontally using one line running through the center line. Two figure-eight at both ends of the fender or a figure-eight knot at the end of the line is used to keep the fender from sliding.

Flat fenders are either articulating or vinyl covered or modular. To produce a custom-fitted system, string together the modular style. The flat, vinyl-covered, hinged fenders vertically wrap around small boat gunwales and are brilliant for boats with tumble home.

What Style do you Prefer?

Some common styles that you may choose are:

  • Lee free board fenders
  • Pontoon fenders
  • Rafting cushions
  • Round fenders
  • Transom mounted fenders
  • Tuff end fenders
  • Two cylindrical eye fenders
  • V-shaped freedom fenders

Are you looking for a boat dock fender holder or other boat fender accessories? Give Quick Boat Finder a call; we’ve got you covered!