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Boat Fenders & Bumpers

Common Questions about Boat Fenders

Find the right Fender for your boat.

Choosing a Boat Fender

Boat fenders come in a variety of colors, styles, designs and hanging options. Wading through these choices can be daunting to a new boat owner. Remember, the primary reason for a fender is to fend your boat off of an object.

Fenders should maintain the distance from the dock while cushioning the boat from any chance of making unintentional contact. You will need to have fenders of sufficient number and size to protect your boat in the conditions it is exposed to.

Sizing the Fender to the Boat:

The chart is accurate for most boats (power and sail) in most marina circumstances. If your boat is particularly heavy, has additional windage or is docked in rougher water; go up one size in the fender you would choose from the chart. If your boat is left for long periods without visitation or is not checked often, choose one size up and add an extra fender to the boat. (Measurements represent Diameter of Fender)

Boat Length cylindrical boat fenders
Cylindrical Fenders
round fenders
Round Fenders
cylindrical fenders
Hybrid
Cylindrical/Round
low freeboard boat Fenders
Low Freeboard
Fenders
Rafting Cushions
Rafting Cushions
Pontoon Fenders
Pontoon Fenders
Up to 15' 3-1/2" 8" 6" 5" - -
10' to 20' 4-1/2" 8" 6" 7" - 9"
15' to 25' 5-1/2" 9" 6" 7" 6-1/2" 9"
20' to 30' 6 to 6-1/2" 9" 6" - 6-1/2" 9"
25' to 40' 8 to 8-1/2" 11-1/2" to 12" 8" - 7-5/8" 9"
35' to 50' 10 to 10-1/2" 15" to 15-1/2" 10" - 9-5/8" -
45' to 60' 12" 18" to 18-1/2" 12" - 9-5/8" -
55' to 70' 12" 21" to 21-1/2" 15" - - -
65' to 80' - 27" - 27-1/2" 19" - - -
80' - 100' - 34" 24" - - -
Over 100' - 34" 32" - - -

 

How many Fenders do I need?

Docking with Fenders

As a general rule, you should carry enough fenders to safely keep one side of the boat off a dock or wall. While some smaller boats can get away with 2 fenders, a good minimum would be 3 fenders. If leaving the boat for more than a day at dock, use 3 or more; if one fender goes flat or is lost while the boat is unattended, the boat will rub the dock or wall.

If rafting is common, carry extra fenders to accommodate both sides of the boat.


Using your Fender at the dock:

Three Fenders is a Minimum

Tie your fenders to something solid like a cleat or stanchion; there can be a lot of pressure applied to the fender line as the boat pinches the fender against the dock. Keep the mounting location of the fenders as low as possible on the boat to prevent the fender from swinging up out of the way, where it no longer protects the hull from the dock. The fender should be hung just off the water (to prevent marine growth on the fender) and low enough so that it can’t be squeezed out from between the boat and the dock. Position your fenders vertically or horizontally to provide the greatest amount of surface contact. Avoid high point load situations where the fender can be squeezed nearly flat. Fenders can also be hung from the dock to help protect the boat.

 

Which shape of Fender is right for my boat?

Powerboats & Sailboats:

Boats vary in displacement and windage, both of which are a factor in choosing fender sizes. If you have lots of riging, a pilothouse / cabin house or are a heavy displacement boat, you will need larger fenders. A mix of fender types that you can hang horizontally / vertically, as well as a couple round fenders will allow for most docking, rafting and unintentional contact situations. For boats with a low freeboard, use 'Low Freeboard Fenders' to protect the gunwales and rubrail against high docks.

Commercial Boats:

Hands down the choice is round fenders for these vessels. Commercial boats typically have a spray or splash rail running along the side that prevents round fenders from really crawling up and into the boat!

Trailerable Boats:

Fenders for these types of boats tend to be used far less than on a docked boat. To add to the difference, most trailered boats are lighter than their dockside counterparts of the same length. For a boat tied to the dock during the day, under ideal weather conditions (the boat is put on a trailer when there is any threat of weather) you may choose to go down one size to save on room.

What are the different types of boat Fenders?

Cylindrical Fenders: These elongated fenders will either have an eye to attach a rope to, or a center rope tube for a rope to pass through the fender. Most are commonly hung vertically, but fenders with eyes at both ends or a center rope tube will allow it to be hung horizontally as well. Hanging horizontally can protect against pilings and walls. These fenders are easily stored in lockers or racks (which are designed to fit a variety of sizes). This style of fender is useful for most docking situations.

Round Fenders: Are most commonly used in commercial applications. Round fenders offer the most amount of room between the boat and the offending dock, wall or other vessel. Pleasure boaters who wish extra protection for their vessel may also choose to use these. They are particularly effective when rafting against other boats. These fenders only offer an eye at one end for tying and will not roll up and down a wall. Due to their size and shape, round fenders will be more cumbersome to store.

Hybrid Fenders: A cross between a cylindrical and a round fender, these fenders offer great protection with the ability to hang them either horizontally or vertically. This design is a great fender choice that will still store with some ease.

Specialty Fenders: Rafting cushions, PWC fenders, pontoon boat fenders are all specialty fenders. There are Hull Huggers for protecting your boat against a tender or PWC brought alongside. Low profile fenders offer less protection, but are easier to store. Transome fenders uniquely shaped to fit the stern of a sailboat or edge of most swim platforms. Mermaid fenders are also very popular, they provide protection as well as a decorative touch to the vessel.

How do I secure my boat Fender?

Taylor Made offers fender adjuster kits that hang off the lifeline, railing or stanchion to adjust the height of the fender. A fender rack that mounts on a rail or station system is another option for fender storage.

 

Recreational Boat Fenders:

Hull Guard Inflatable Boat FenderHull Guard Boat Fenders - These Hull Gard Boat Fenders feature a unique oval design which prevent the fender from rolling out of position.

Hull Gard Boat Fenders combine softness and superior strength to provide boaters with the maximum protection available from a utility fender. All six sizes feature inflation valves to adjust the level of firmness to satisfy all applications.

  • For Boats up to 50 feet
Boat Fenders - Super Gard (Guard) Color Fenders Supergard Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fenders - Taylor Made Products has incorporated the latest in technology, design innovation, and attention to detail to bring you the finest looking, top performing protection for your dollar.

Super Gard boat fenders are in a class of their own. Made from the highest quality marine grade vinyl, Super Gards feature a HIGH GLOSS finish and double molded black ends for extra strength where you need it the most. Seamless one-piece construction with ribbed sides minimizes roll, and a molded-in valve ensures easy inflation and long life.

  • For Boats up to 50 feet
Big B Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fenders Big B Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fenders - The versatile Big B boat fender incorporates a Center Rope Tube that allows end-to-end line passage. It can be hung vertically or horizontally with a single line.

Horizontal hanging is useful protection against pilings, awkward docking situations, and tidal change areas. Big B inflatable vinyl fenders feature seamless construction, with molded ribs to minimize roll. Big B's are made from the highest quality marine grade vinyl with a high gloss finish. Available in four sizes to fit a full range of boat sizes.

  • For Boats up to 50 feet

Infusion Boat Fenders:

Survivor Twin-Eye Fender with Infusion PumpSurvivor Twin Eye Boat Fenders - Survivor Boat fenders provide a new level of protection for your boat. Lab-tested for durability and performance, these fenders feature an innovative reinforced design and heavy-duty construction so they absorb collision better and last longer than standard fenders.
In addition, with Taylor Mades' exclusive built-in Micro Pump, these fenders have the advantage of being able to be inflated anytime, anywhere, without removing the fender or having to use additional pumps, needles or adapters.

The Micro Pump is not only convenient, but helps keep your boat free from damage by keeping fenders properly inflated. Concealed pump pops out any time you need to add air, and locks in place when not in use. Choose from SurvivorTwin-Eye fenders with tough, reinforced eyelets on either end or Survivor CRT fenders, which are designed with a 3/4" diameter Center Rope-Tube for either horizontal or vertical deployment.

  • For Boats up to 50 feet
Survivor CRT Fender with Infusion PumpSurvivor CRT Boat Fenders - Survivor CRT (Center Rope Tube) boat fenders provide a new level of protection for your boat. Lab-tested for durability and performance, these fenders feature an innovative reinforced design and heavy-duty construction so they absorb collision better and last longer than standard fenders.
In addition, with Taylor Made's exclusive built-in Micro Pump, these fenders have the advantage of being able to be inflated anytime, anywhere, without removing the fender or having to use additional pumps, needles or adapters.

The Micro Pump is not only convenient, but helps keep your boat free from damage by keeping fenders properly inflated. Concealed pump pops out any time you need to add air, and locks in place when not in use. Choose from Survivor Twin-Eye fenders with tough, reinforced eyelets on either end or Survivor CRT fenders, which are designed with a 3/4" diameter Center Rope-Tube for either horizontal or vertical deployment.

  • For Boats up to 60 feet

Commercial Boating Fenders:

Boat Fenders - Tuff End Inflatable Vinyl Fender Tuff End Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fenders - Tuff End Boat fenders are for heavy duty marine applications. Constructed from the same flexible, resilient vinyl as Super Gard, Big B, and Hull Gard fenders, the end in each Tuff End is injection molded for extra strength and reliability. Tuff Ends are designed to perform under the most demanding conditions, featuring seamless construction, the strongest in the industry!

  • For Boats up to 50 feet
Boat Fenders - Tuff End Inflatable Vinyl Round Fenders - Buoys TuffEnd Inflatable Vinyl Buoys - Tuff End buoys feature heavy duty seamless construction to meet the punishing demands of the commercial marine industry. Tuff End fender ends are made from injection molded vinyl tested to 2,000 psi tensile strength, the strongest in the industry!  Tuff Ends feature large line holes that will accept standard shackles and allow rope as thick as 5/8" to be threaded through twice.  The curved design hole prevents chafing.

  • For Boating Vessels over 100 feet

Specialty Boat Fenders:

Freedom Boat Fenders Freedom Boat Fenders  - Rotationally molded from heavy gauge PVC, freedom fenders feature a needle valve for easy inflation. The patented V shape stays on pilings no matter which way the boat moves. The recessed line holders allow them to fit standard fender racks. Hang them vertically or horizontally for the ultimate in versatility whether docking on pilings, floating docks or mooring! Available in two sizes: 26" x 8.5" and 32" x 12".

  • For Boats up to 65 feet
Mega Boat FendersMega Boat Fenders - These boat fenders are made from 40 oz. PVC that is specially coated for oil resistance. Reinforced with heavy duty 60 oz. PVC to insure the ultimate protection. All seams are heat and pressure welded. Lightweight enough for any crew member to handle easily. These boat fenders can be relocated instantly by any one person! No more dragging huge fenders across the deck! Mega Boat Fenders stay on pilings no matter which way the boat moves.

  • For Boating Vessels over 100 feet

 

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