Bumpers are at both ends of a vehicle. They are there to protect them from severe damage and shock that result from a collision. Similarly, the marine or boat dock bumpers extend the life of your dock and boat by protecting them from a resulting collision that although unintended can occur while slipping in your boat.
Even when you have moored and docked your boat carefully, they tend to jolt or shove against the docks. The jostling causes them to scratch in the process. Since the boats have structures of fiberglass, the constant dents and scratches can cost the owner a fortune in repairing the boat constantly. The dock bumpers, therefore, emerge on the scene as a night in the shining armor.
What Makes The Boat Dock Bumpers Important?
Dock hits have nothing to do with your skill level or professionalism. Ever sailor, whether seasoned or seasonal, hits the dock at some point. Dock bumpers are kind of safety that you erect to save yourself from costly repairs and embarrassing scenes at a busy marina.
You can end up smacking out from $75 to $400 on the unintended repairs. The Boat Dock Bumpers can prevent you from this damage and come in varying sizes to cushion your boat against the thumps and bangs.
Types of Boat Dock Bumpers
Dock bumpers or fenders come in varying designs and styles and are made of distinct materials. These include:
Foam-filled Dock Bumpers
The insulated or foam-filled dock fenders come in distinct configurations and angles. The most common ones are 90-degree and straight sections; however, you can find more arrangements as well. The dock bumpers reduce the impact on the boat and prevent rubbing that can peel of paint or result in scuffs.
Piling bumpers are rather complicated to use. There are a number of ways to handle pilings, such as using fender boards on the boat. In case, the piling is in your slip, you will need a more permanent bumper on the piling itself. For this, you can use the strap-on piling bumpers that cover the pilings to serve the purpose. You can also use recycled tires by dropping them over the top of piling and down to the dock. Stock up enough tires to create a bumper.
You will commonly find tires lining the marinas as they are considered super effective against impacts. Making use of tires does an environmental benefit as well by keeping them out of the landfills to make the most out of them. The one trouble you might come across is that they rub against the fibre glass and cause scuffing. The tires can be along the length of the dock or slip to safe keep the Center Console Boats or any boat.
The customizable dock edging is another way to form bumper at the dock. You can drill or nail them to the edge of the dock, which is a piece of cake! It is a great and effective way to protect your boat from repetitive bumps and thuds due to wave torrents. Make sure your sail to the dock is smooth and slow enough to cause minimum impact. Pulling in can be risky if you are coming fast despite the dock edging.
Dock feel are the best among all! They are multi-purpose as they not only fend your boat off the dock but also aid you while slipping in. They comprise two configurations, corner mount and side mount. You can cover up the corners and even line them along the sides. You will truly appreciate their presence on a windy day!
Installing the Dock Bumpers
Installing dock bumpers is not a difficult task. It will take a maximum of 30 minutes to put together the bumpers and that too, without any professional help.
The steps involved in the installation are:
Write down the dimensions of the area where you need to install the bumper. In addition, measure the distance between the dock and the water, this way the bumper remains visible from a distance. For the post dock bumpers, measure both the length and width of the post.
Preparing the Bumpers
Since the making of every dock is different, you will have to cut and shape your bumpers accordingly. Mark the holes or fittings so you can easily mount the bumpers.
Attaching the Bumpers
You can attach the bumpers using screws made of stainless steel. Although stainless steel is expensive, they can work well in marine conditions.
How to Choose the Right Dock Bumper
Ensuring the safety of your boat and the money spent are equally important. How to make sure which dock bumper is right for you? You can choose the right dock bumper by going for one that covers all the impact points. All the areas that are a potential hit need adequate protection and cushion. Size of your boat is another factor a larger vessel needs a thicker and larger protection material compared to smaller ones. Lastly, do not ignore the corners, as they are vulnerable spots.
Enjoy Stress-Free Docking
Why should your sailing end on a sad or panicky note! The dock bumpers take the hit instead to protect your boat so that you can fearlessly slip in your boat. They work alongside the dock edging for additional protection, covering the areas that are more susceptible to hits. Although the bumpers are quite resilient and last long, do check them for any flaws or loss of efficiency for timely replacements.