The Polyform Buoy--a Buoy Like No Other
In today's world we are inundated with the word poly, but what does it really mean? According to the dictionary, it means many. And in the case of Polyform U.S., a company that produces many products manufactured from polymers, it is fitting in more ways than one, as virtually every boater at some time has come across one of their products such as a Polyform buoy. But what makes a boat buoy so special? Let's find out.
More Than Just a Simple Boat Buoy
A Polyform buoy is made from a high-grade plastic polymer that resists damage from ultraviolet rays for years, is tough enough to withstand the constant pounding against a dock, yet is easy on a boat's hull. If you're in the market for a good boat buoy, you need to look no further, as Polyform has five different series of buoys to cover everything, and multiple colors to choose from within each series. Here's a quick rundown.
A Series Buoys - Often called the "A Series Fender" although it isn't a fender at all. Even so, due to its all-purpose design, it's often used for rafting and is also very popular with fishermen. For boats up to 70' if being used as a fender.
LD Series Low Drag Buoys - These were the first patented low-drag buoys, introduced to the commercial fishing industry by Polyform in 1989. The LD commercial fishing buoy reduces drag by as much as 80% compared to standard round buoys, making for faster, safer pickups of those 700 lb. crab pots. It's the #1 buoy used in the commercial crabbing and fishing industries today, outselling all other dragged buoys combined. For boats 20-50'.
S Series Buoys - Another multi-purpose boat buoy, this works as a fender, mooring buoy for small boats and jet skis, or as a small marker buoy. Its elongated shape allows it to sit higher in the water than an ordinary round buoy. Great for small pot and trap fishing as a durable, distinctly visible marker buoy. Water sports associations often combine the S-1 "boat guide" with the Polyform WS-1 Slalom Buoy as a complete course-marker package. For 10-20' boats.
CC Series Buoys - Made shortly after the A Series, the CC has been a valuable commercial fishing buoy for over 50 years. It's often also used as a mooring buoy, fish farming, longline fishing, and more due to its strength and hole through middle design.
CM Series Buoys - A real workhorse, the CM is popular with boaters worldwide due to its strength and durability. Its mooring iron is available in galvanized steel or stainless steel, with the galvanized version having a protective vinyl-coated eye. Each version has a 1/2-inch central rod, a large 4-3/8 inch diameter eye, and a 1-1/2 inch wide swivel.
Whether you need a commercial fishing buoy, a boat buoy for mooring, a small marker buoy, or one you can use for rafting or other jobs, Polyform has you covered. But they don't stop with the buoys. Need a boat bumper? How about a boat bumper (or rather, fender) that comes in five to thirteen different colors, depending on the series?
Before we get too far into Polyform fenders, a couple of misconceptions should be cleared up. A lot of folks are under the impression that Polyform has an A Series line of fenders, as well as an H Series buoy and an HTM buoy. But as mentioned in the buoy series information listed above, the A series is a line of buoys, not fenders. The HTM series on the other hand is a line of fenders and as for the H Series, according to the Polyform U.S. site, those buoys don't exist. Perhaps people call them the H Series as a short form of HTM.
Polyform Boat Fenders
Hopefully, that wasn't too confusing and if so, this section on Polyform's fenders should help clear it up.
F Series Boat Fenders - These multi-purpose fenders feature a twin-eye design for vertical or horizontal use. For boats 20-70' and up.
G Series Boat Fenders - Features molded-in ribs for strength and abrasion resistance and reinforced ropeholds. For boats up to 40'.
HTM (Hole Through Middle) Series Boat Fenders - Those who need a serious yacht fender turn to Polyform's HTM series. In addition to molded-in ribs for more strength and abrasion resistance, the HTM fenders also boast extra wall thickness and reinforced tube ends to prevent lines from pulling through if the fender gets caught in a tight spot. For boats 20-50' in length.
NF Series Boat Fenders - The strongest fender in its class, this extra tough recreational-boating fender is made to last in the toughest conditions and comes in sizes for small boats, too. For 10-35' boats.
All Polyform buoys and fenders must be correctly filled with air to function correctly. It doesn't take a special pump or high pressure to fill a polyform product; although you certainly can use a portable air compressor or that of a gas station, a simple hand pump such as the Polyform Fender / Buoy Pump will do the job just as well. Care must be taken not to over-pressurize the product as this could damage it; on the other side of the coin, underinflation could result in under-protection for your boat and other unpleasant side effects. But don't worry, we have the solution for you right here in this printable PDF.
All Polyform bumpers come with inflation screw valves and if one should get lost or damaged, we can help you there as well, although it never hurts to grab a spare or two when buying a boat bumper or fender--you know, Murphy's Law and all that. You can also get a Buoy and Fender Inflation Adapter (or two, because...you know) here at Go2marine for a shockingly low price.
Polyform also has accessories for those fenders and for docks as well. Securely stow your fenders out of the way when not in use with their True Fit Fender Holders, available in several different sizes, as well as complete Fender Holder Kits. There are also different types of connectors to be had for those fender holders--the Swivel Connector which is designed to connect individual holders to the rail, and Parallel Connectors which will attach and hold individual True Fit holders together.
If it's Polyform buoys, fenders, or accessories you need, or even Polyform's special lacquer to permanently mark your buoys, you can get it here at Go2marine. Once you have your buoys and fenders squared away, if you own a dock and need some better protection you can pick up some of Polyform's Polyguard Dock Molding here as well. We're prepared so you can be, too.