When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Protect the Surface of Your Boat With the Best Boat Fenders
Last updated: 17 Jan 2023
If you love water, the chances are that boats are your favorite means of transportation. Boats are expensive assets that require ultimate care and protection to function perfectly. This is why you need a boat fender attached to the boat. Available in different sizes to find a suitable fit for your room, fenders are vital to protect your boat from scratches to enhance its life and durability.
A good-quality boat fender provides extra padding and lasts for a very long time. To assist your search, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide so you can make a successful purchase. Here are our favorite boat fenders of 2023!
Featuring one pair of fenders and fender lines, Extreme Max Boat Fenders are made from a durable, marine-grade tri-laminate cover and double thermal-bonded brushed exterior – allowing the fender to remain in place.
Made from a weather-resistant vinyl material, it is weather resistant and comes with corrosion-proof polycarbonate grommets. With its UV and tear-resistant body having the capability to tolerate all kinds of aquatic conditions, it is also available in blue color – allowing for a more versatile fit.
We selected this product as our top choice because of its exceptional durability.
The Goplus Boat Fenders are designed with a non-abrasive PVC material with all-around ribbing, ensuring a solid resistance to compression. It is molded from commercial strength marine vinyl, delivering maximum strength and durability. Featuring maximum UV resistance, it has an age-proof body and gas tightness – further ensuring you have a durable, longer-lasting product.
This boat fender highlights a 3mm wall thickness for maximum strength and extra padding. It also assists in preventing any damage to boats and other kinds of watercraft from scratching and resistance.
Attwood Boat Fenders protect your boat from damage and scratches. It features a rigid, lightweight polymeric material ensuring a soft-to-touch material that is easy on the hull. Resistant to UV degradation, its exterior deters discoloration and damage risks.
These fenders have simple one-piece construction, allowing for easy maintenance and zero leaking. Aside from its oval shape resisting rolling against the hull, it is available in a pack of three.
The Leader Accessories Boat Fender comes with twin eyes to help you achieve maximum stability. Featuring full-length ribs that work to minimize any chances of abrasion, it is available in multiple sizes – so you can rest assured you’ll have a perfect fit.
Equipped with four lines of different lengths, you can attach the fender to the desired position on the boat.
Providing you with a more suitable fit, Polyform’s boat fenders champion in allowing you to attach all kinds of fender lines. Available in 12 sizes, you won’t have to worry about encountering an imperfect fit.
Another plus? Because Polyform offers 10 color variations to choose from, those who long to express a hint of their personality in their boat can do so.
Boat fenders are an essential product that protects your boat from any damage when it’s tied. With our buying guide, you can find a top-quality boat fender that suits your boat and guarantees protection.
To pick a boat fender that meets your requirements, you must consider what you want. Here is a list of things that people think about before buying one.
The size of your boat’s fender is an essential component because not all of them are designed for every boat. In contrast to smaller fenders, large fenders are popular amongst boat owners because of their ultimate protection factors. Another benefit is how, unlike smaller fenders, larger fenders are more likely to fit your boat.
Installation and accessories
Boat fenders often come with essential accessories. Allowing you to improve the experience, additional padding and cushions can maximum enhance support and prevent your boat from any damage. Aside from this, you can also add additional lining to maximize support. The extra accessories are designed to improve your current experience and make the boat safer.
The configuration of your boat fenders determines the type of protection you are looking for. Horizontal and vertical hanging are the two ways to attach a fender to your boat. Just use a reliable line to ensure that it remains intact and in one place.
There are multiple styles of boat fenders available for use. Rounder ones are the most popular among all as they are designed for small to medium-sized boats. Some models are designed specifically for rafts, while others have a rough and tough body to accommodate larger boats and cruise ships.
This might seem like an unimportant factor, but boat enthusiasts focus on the color offenders. You can match your boat’s theme or go in a completely opposite color to make it look more prominent.
What Are the Cleaning and Maintenance Requirements for Boat Fenders?
Keeping your boat fenders in top shape is not an easy task. You must follow a couple of cleaning and maintenance requirements to achieve that.
Cleaning your boat fender is much easier than it sounds. You need a mild soap and water mixture for that. Avoid using any harsh and harmful cleaning agents like acetone, as it can damage the integrity of your product. Just scrub the affected section with water. Another thing you can do to keep your boat fenders clean is to cover them with washable covers.
They can be removed easily, washed in the machine, or dry cleaned and then put back on as long as they’re waterproof and resistant to damage.
Also, make sure to put the covers back on once they are completely dried.
When people buy boat fenders, they always opt for additionals. If you carry extra fenders, the tip here’s to find an appropriate place to store them. Most boat owners prefer keeping them under the seats or in a storage locker. If by chance you have other stuff in the current storage, opt for racks. Available in either a folding or permanent version, non-folding racks are also available but are generally not suitable for compact, smaller boats.
Pick something that matches your boat’s size and your personal space requirements.
Accessories and add-ons
Multiple accessories help you maintain boat fenders more conveniently. The top thing you can buy along with your boat fenders is a ball pump. In case of deflation, they quickly add air to the fender when needed. Additionally, a height adjuster lets you adjust height without tying knots.
The final accessory used to protect the quality of your boat fenders is the lines. Keeping the fenders in place, although optional these products bring tremendous value to your overall boating experience.
What Styles Can I Buy?
Knowing what’s on the market can help you protect the sides of your boat.
Round boat fenders
One of the most popular options for larger boats, round fenders are known for their concave bows and large commercial vessels. Mostly used by commercial fishermen, a round boat fender is suitable for boats that have to stay in place longer as they provide maximum insulation.
Cylindrical boat fenders
These boat fenders come with an adjusted tab at each end. You can tie a line on one end to hang the fenders vertically, and they can be adjusted for horizontal deployment.
As their name suggests, rafting cushions are intended for rafting boats together. They can be attached to pilings via the two rows of center holes, and due to their larger surface area, they are not designed for larger boats and cruises.
Low freeboard boat fenders
These fenders are located high on the hull and face inward over the gunwale. Ideal for protecting boats that sit low in the water, low freeboard boat fenders are suitable for vessels like jetski and bass boats.
Tuff end boat fenders
These fenders are rugged and large to cover big water beasts with ease. They have a heavy-duty body that protects flared hulls and is a popular choice amongst large boats. Capable of being used for commercial purposes, despite their heavy-duty body they can be inflated easily without any professional pump.
How Can I Hang My Boat Fenders?
The most appropriate way to hang your boat fenders depends on their adjustment. Let’s discuss both ways to position your boat fenders.
Center rope tube fenders
With these fender tubes, you can vertically or horizontally hang the fender. One line runs across the centerline after you position it according to the requirements. This requires you to tie an eight-shaped knot at each connected end of the fender to help keep the fender from sliding or moving from the desired position.
Flat boat fenders
Flatboat fenders can be vinyl-covered or modular. To help create a custom-fitted boat fender for your boat, you need to string together the modular style. A vinyl-covered flat fender is hinged, allowing you optimal wrapping around smaller boats. The topsides are bent inwards, providing maximum coverage on the recommended boat size.
Boats are an expensive asset, so it is essential to look for boat fenders that protect their surface. Available in different styles and colors, you must consider how you want to hang your fender before picking one.
We’ve reviewed the leading boat fenders of 2023 so you can protect your boat from any unwanted damage. To promote longevity, it’s essential to consider your boat fender’s size, shape, and configuration before buying one.
People Also Asked
Q: How can I inflate a boat fender?
A: The inflation requirements of a boat fender depend on its size. Some versions can be inflated with a simple bicycle pump, while larger ones might need a motorized pump. If you’re concerned about the fit, consider checking the original instruction manual for a customer service number for further support. If you don’t have this, you can also search apps like YouTube for a visual tutorial.
Q: What is the life of your boat fender?
A: The life of your boat fender depends on how well you maintain it. A standard boat fender with regular maintenance can last up to 20 years. Some signs your boat fender needs replacement includes but is not limited to premature cracking, holes, or a general discoloration throughout the product.
Q: What are boat fenders made of?
A: Boat fenders are designed to provide the surface of your boat with extra padding and protection. They are made from flexible long-lasting rubber, foam, and plastic materials. If your goal is to purchase a boat fender that will deter early deterioration, then foam may be your best bet. Due to its ability to withstand the harsh rays of the sun, in comparison to its counterparts foam is less likely to experience cracking.
Q: How many fenders does my boat need?
A: As a general rule of thumb, a smaller boat will call for two fenders. Medium and larger-sized boats will need three to four.
SAIL Magazine Review Team reports on best-selling products in sailing and boating. The SAIL Magazine editorial staff is not involved in the creation of this content. SAIL Magazine is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.