Boat fenders protect your boat from damage and scratches when docking and against other sea vessels. So, you should invest in the best boat fenders.
Without a doubt, boat fenders are crucial tools for your boat, and every boat owner must purchase several for their boats. You must ensure that each side of your boat is fitted with a minimum of three fenders. And when buying, you must also consider the size and shape of your boat fender. These boats are made of high-quality, sturdy materials to offer protection upon collision. They are also UV rays and corrosion-resistant. This ensures that they serve you for a long time.
These are among the best boat fenders:
- Polyform G series
- TaylorMade Vinyl Boat Fender
- Norestar 4-Pack Ribbed
- Affordura Boat Fender
- Extreme Max Fender
- Go-Plus Ribbed Marine Boat Fender
- VINGLI Ribbed Boat Fender
- Mission Boat Gear Sentry
- Hull Hugr Contour Fender
- Attwood Boat Fender
The best boat fenders for your boat must be sturdy and high-quality, offer protection against extreme heat and corrosion, and cushion your boat from damage. So make sure to choose a boat fender depending on the size and weight of your boat. Don't forget to match the color of your fender to your boat.
So, if you have a boat, ensure it's protected from damage by getting boat fenders. With quality boat fenders, you are free of worries as you are assured that your boat is safe from external harm at the docks and against other vessels at sea. Consider using any of the best boat fenders below.
10 Best Boat Fenders
1. Polyform G series
If you are looking for top-quality boat fenders, the Polyform G series is your best bet. This brand of boat fenders has been around for decades; thus, boat owners trust it. It is made of thick and heavy material suitable for shielding your vessel against harsh weather conditions and surroundings.
There is a color for everyone as it's available in blue, black, lime, white, cobalt blue, forest green, and teal.
It comes in various sizes and forms, but don't worry; you'll have someone guide you when choosing the one fit for your boat. The sizes are measured as G1, G2, G3, G4, G5, and G6. Polyform G Series boat fenders are suitable for boats whose lengths range between 10 and 30 feet. They are already inflated when you buy them; you don't have much work cut out for you; you only need to place them in their respective places.
- Designed for recreational boats
- They do not have an inflation valve
- Variety of colors (blue, lime green, forest green, burgundy, black, cobalt blue)
- Available in different sizes (G1- G6)
- They are sturdy
- Their color does not fade with time
- They are pre-inflated
- No inflation valve
- When released from the packaging, they release an unpleasant chemical smell.
2. TaylorMade Vinyl Boat Fender
This boat fender is made of the highest quality vinyl, and it covers your boat like a cushion from all dangers. TaylorMade Vinyl is soft and gentle and has a glossy finish that makes it stand out against all other boat fenders. It is ribbed to prevent it from rolling.
This boat fender is suitable for boat owners who love bright colors as it comes in green, blue, lime, navy blue, cranberry, white, and sand. The best part is that it has a molded valve that allows you to inflate it to the size you want. It is suitable for boats ranging from 15 to 20 feet in length.
The vinyl material protects this boat fender from splitting and bursting, so you can be sure that it will serve you for several years
- Made in the USA:
- Made with vinyl: they are made with resilient and tough-marine-grade vinyl, which makes it possible for them to withstand all temperatures and corrosion
- Versatile: They offer the option of hanging horizontally or vertically, which helps you protect your boat's hull while docking and tidal change areas.
- It has a molded valve for air inflation
- They have a beautiful glossy exterior
- They have a center robe for connecting vertical and horizontal boat fenders
- You can inflate this boat fender to your preferred size
- The sturdy vinyl material protects the fender from splitting or bursting
- It has a molded valve that helps prolong its lifespan
3. Norestar 4-Pack Ribbed
Norestar has made our list of the best boat fenders as it is sturdy and protects your boat under all conditions. It comes in a pack of four inflatable black or blue fenders ideal for a 20 to 30 feet length boat. They have a double-eye design that allows boat owners to hang them horizontally or vertically.
Norestar is made of high-grade marine vinyl, which can withstand extreme salt, heat, and pressure.
- Double-eye design
- Made of tough-marine grade vinyl, making them sturdy and durable
- Ribbed to prevent rolling
- They have a valve for inflating
- Available in black and blue
- Available in three different sizes that are fit for a 20 feet, 25 feet, and 30 feet boat length.
- They have a nice touch as they have a glossy surface and are pretty durable.
- They have a double-eye design that allows boat owners to place them horizontally or vertically.
- They protect your boat on the docks or when rafting with other vessels.
- They are cost-friendly
- They have a smooth ribbed surface to prevent markings on the boat surface.
- The Norestar boat fenders are not inflated during shipping. You have to do it by yourself using pumps.
4. Affordura Boat Fender
Affordura Boat Fender is an excellent option for protecting your boat from damage while on the docks. This boat fender comes in a pack of four, an air pump, needle, storage bag, and a two-year warranty. They come in five colors, black, blue, gray, red, white, and purple.
The fenders have a valve that allows you to inflate to the size you desire, and with the accompanying pumps, it will take about 30 seconds to inflate each. They have a double-eye design that allows you to hang them horizontally or vertically. And are made of tough-grade marine vinyl that is strong enough to withstand strong winds at the docks, preventing your boat from getting scratched or damaged. While out at sea, you can deflate them and store them away using their bags.
- Two-year warranty
- Double-eye design
- Tough-marine grade vinyl
- Six colors (blue, black, purple, gray, white, and red)
- Ribbed surface
- Valve for inflating
- Ribbed surface to protect your boat on the docks from being damaged or scratched
- It has a pump and a needle for inflating.
- It has a storage bag, making it easy to store it away
- The 2-year warranty ensures that you are safeguarded in case anything untoward happens before the period is up.
- It's not inflated
5. Extreme Max Fender
Extreme Max is a product of Boat Tector and has been around since 1984. It comes in a pack of four fenders made of sturdy PVC and four fender lines. Extreme Max comes in various colors: red, black, blue, bright red, cobalt blue, neon yellow, green, neon green, teal, orange, cranberry, and sand.
It is highly durable and can withstand damages from bumping on the docks or against other vessels, harsh weather conditions, sun, salt water, and discoloration. Therefore, you don't need to worry about your boat because with Extreme Max; you are well-protected. Although they have a two-year warranty, you might not need it as these boat fenders are long-lasting.
They are deflated, and they have a valve for pumping air, and the best part is you can adjust the pressure to your preference. The only downside is that you will have to buy the pump separately. It has a molded eyelet that makes it easy for the boat owner to connect it to the boat.
The five-foot fender lines are tough and sturdy as they are made of multifilament polypropylene. And they have stitched eye loops, making for an uncomplicated connection to the boat fender.
- 5-feet fender line
- Available in 12 bright colors
- Valve for inflation (needle for deflation)
- Molded eyelet
- Two-year warranty
- It is made of quality and tough material that allows it to withstand harsh weather conditions, damage, and scratches.
- It comes with a two-year guarantee
- Available in various colors, including blue, neon green, neon yellow, cranberry, cobalt blue, and forest green.
- It is easy to attach to the boat as it has a molded eyelet on both sides and fender lines with stitched eye loops.
- They are not inflated
- You have to buy the pump separately.
- Their color tends to fade fast
6. Go-Plus Ribbed Marine Boat Fender
If you are looking for a sturdy and resilient boat fender, then Go-Plus is your best bet. This boat fender is made of marine-grade vinyl that makes it reliable when you want to protect your boat from damage and collision while on the docks or with other vessels.
Go-Plus has a glossy finish made of non-abrasive PVC material, making it appealing. It is 3mm thick and reinforced with a ribbed surface to prevent it from rolling, boost friction, and enhance its strength. This boat fender can withstand UV rays and doesn't age fast.
It is available in three colors, blue, black and white. And the best part is they do not fade and are stain-free. It also comes in a pack of four. They have holes on both edges where you insert the fender lines and attach the fenders to the boat or tie them to the guardrail.
- Vinyl and non-abrasive PVC
- 3 mm wall thickness
- Holes on both sides
- It comes in two sizes "23 by 6.5" and "27 by 8.5."
- Available in a pack of four
- Resilient to aging and UV rays
- Beautiful t look at and does not fade quickly because of the glossy finish
- Ribbed to offer resistance and protect your boat against damage and collision
- Highly durable due to the vinyl material and 3 mm wall thickness
- It may take up a lot of storage space as each fender is about 23 long and 6.5 inches or 27 inches long and 8.5 inches wide.
7. VINGLI Ribbed Boat Fender
VINGLI is the best boat fender for protecting your boat's hull. It has reinforced sidewalls that offer stronger protection for your boat in a collision. It is made of high-quality PVC, protecting against UV rays and corrosion. It is highly durable, meaning it will serve you for several years.
Despite having a soft body, it is highly resilient and is not affected by the boat's speed. It comes in one size, 6.5 inches wide by 23 inches long. Its length makes it ideal for a 20 – 30 feet boat. They are available in three colors, black, white, and cobalt blue.
You can also use it on a ski boat, bowrider, cuddy cabin, and small sailboat. VINGLI comes in a pack of four fenders, four fender lines, four inflating needles, an inflator, and a one-year warranty.
- High-quality PVC
- Reinforced wall and eyelet
- Complete kit with fender lines, needles, and inflator
- One-year warranty
- It is made of material that makes it resistant to UV rays and corrosion
- It comes as a complete package, so you don't need to buy any extra accessories
- It is strong and protects your boat against collision
- Despite the soft material, it can withstand extreme heat, so you don't have to worry about bursting or splitting.
- It can also be used on other boats, including cuddy cabin and bowrider
- A compressor is essential for easy pumping
8. Mission Boat Gear Sentry
These are the best boat fenders if you don't want the hustle of fender lines. They come in a unique design that offers your boat maximum protection above and below the guardrail. The best part is that the sentry has the same shape as your boat's hull, ensuring that it aligns perfectly.
Mission Boat Gear Sentry is made of molded cross-linked closed-cell foam resistant to damage from the Uv rays and doesn't absorb water. They come with straps that allow you to attach them to the boat cleats easily.
- It measures 22 feet tall, 9 feet wide and 5.5 feet thick.
- Hugs contour
- Four colors, black, blue, gray, and lime green
- No knots or ropes
- Molded from closed-cell foam
- The hugr contour offers your boat maximum protection as it is aligned to its hull.
- It has a beautiful design
- Come with straps that make attaching it to the boat easy
- The straps might be too long for your boat, so you'll have to trim them for a neat look.
9. Hull Hugr Contour Fender
Most of the boat fenders we've covered are all round and ribbed. Now let's look at a different fender that comes in a rectangle shape. The best thing about this fender is that it doesn't take up much storage space as you can fold it and place it beneath your seat.
Hull Hugr is made of tough marine-grade tri-laminate covers that are tear-proof and highly durable. It has polycarbonate grommets on both sides, making it easy to attach to your boat. The fenders are flat, so you don't have to worry about rolling. It has two sections: the longer part is 14.5 inches long and 7inches wide, while the shorter section is 6.5 inches long with the padded width being 6.25 inches.
It is ideal for sports boats.
- Black in color
- Marine-grade tri-laminate
- Polycarbonate grommets
- Cost friendly
- They are foldable, thus easy to store away and don't take up much space
- They are flat and don't roll or ride up, so you are assured of maximum protection.
- You'll be required to buy ropes to secure your boat's fender.
10. Attwood Boat Fender
Attwood comes in a pack of three fenders available in a single color, white. It also comes in one size, 22 inches wide by 5 inches long. They are shipped inflated, saving you the time you'd have used to fill them with air.
They are made from tough, lightweight polymetric material that offers protection against UV rays. Although the material looks tough, it is soft to touch. They are ribbed on the sides to prevent them from rolling against the hull.
These boat fenders are ideal for pontoon boats.
- Ribbed on the sides and an eyelet on both edges
- Tough, lightweight polymetric material
- Cost friendly
- They are ribbed, preventing them from rolling, thus offering your maximum boat protection
- They are inflated
- They do not have a valve, so you don't need to worry about air leaking
- You have to buy the ropes separately.
Understanding a Boat Fender and How it Works
It is also referred to as a bumper. A boat fender is protective equipment attached to the boat's sides to protect from scratches and damage in case of bumping against the docks or other vessels.
They act as cushions as they absorb the shock from a collision. They are made of different materials from PVC, closed-cell foam, and tough-marine-grade vinyl.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Boat Fenders
Types of Boat Fenders
There are various boat fender types and sizes, so you must be keen when buying. Boat fenders are classified into four categories: rounded fender, cylindrical fender with center hile, cylindrical fender with double eyelet, and hybrid fenders.
There are various types of boat fenders. Although most have the same function of protecting your boat by absorbing its kinetic energy, they protect your boat from berthing against a jetty or other marine vessels. The different types of boat fenders include
This is the most common type of boat fender and can be attached to the boat horizontally or vertically. The placement depends on your boat size; it can be on the rails or lifelines.
These are round in shape and have a single eyelet. They are made of high-quality PVC. They are not inflated, so you'd have to use a pump. Due to their round shape, they roll around and are thus suited when passing narrow spaces.
Two-eye Cylindrical Fenders
These have molded eyelets on each end where you need to tie the rope. You can place it horizontally or vertically.
These boat fenders are made of closed-cell foam. They are foldable and thus take up little storage space. They are flat and don't slip or rise when attached to the boat. They are lightweight, so they must be secured tightly as they can easily fly away.
Low Freeboard Fenders
These boat fenders are suitable for large boats. They are ideal for boats that sit low in the water. Thus best for ski, bass and fishing boats.
They come in various sizes, so choose according to your boat's size and berthing forces. You'll need a large fender if the berthing forces are high. The weight of your boat also plays a crucial role in the size of the fender.
When choosing your boat fender, it would also be wise to consider the diameter of the fender. For instance, for every 5 ft boat length, your cylindrical fender must have a 1-inch diameter and 2 inches for a round boat fender.
If your boat is relatively heavy, you'd need larger boat fenders.
Number of Boat Fenders and Positioning
You must evaluate how many boat fenders you need because you must place them at equal intervals for them to offer your boat maximum protection. If placing them vertically, ensure they are a few inches above the waterline.
A good rule of thumb is that you should place a fender for every 10 feet of your boat length. And it is recommended that there should be a minimum of three fenders on each side for maximum protection.
Cleaning and Storage
Boat fenders get dirty since they come into contact with the dirt in the sea's water. So make a habit of cleaning them regularly; otherwise, they will lose their shine. Take a basin of water and mild detergent and get cleaning. Do not use steel wool or metal brush as it will scratch the finish.
Some boat fenders come with accessories such as fender lines, needles and inflators. So when you buy, you can consider those with these additional accessories as it saves you time and money.
Most boat fenders have a wide range of colors; choose the one that will complement your boat's overall appeal.
You must devise a way to store your boat fenders when not in use. For instance, the flatboat fenders are foldable, taking up less storage space, while others come with a storage bag.
Consider your budget; if you are tight on cash, you can consider buying the ones that come in a pack of three or four. They are cheaper than buying single ones. Also, ensure they come with extra accessories to save you the hassle of buying them separately.
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson