The Best Boat Fenders (2021 Reviews)

Roman Herrick
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Boat fenders are one of the most important accessories for your boat. They help protect your boat, trailer, and other boats from bumps, knocks, and scratches during transport and docking.

Unfortunately, not all boat fenders are created equal! I suspect just about everyone has talked to someone who makes the claim that they know the best fender for their boat, but it just doesn’t work.

The problem is that most boat fenders either don’t fit properly or are not designed properly. This paves the way for more movement while docked or being transported, leaving more opportunity for paint and fiberglass to get scratched.

So, how do you avoid being one of those people?

It’s not hard if you take into consideration these things:

Holding Power -This is the one thing most people overlook. First, you need to choose a fender that will actually stay where you put it. This can be hard since there is no standard size for boat fenders. The size of a boat fender should be close, or at least be appropriate, to your boat.

NameCategoryProduct
Polyform A-1 Buoy Red 11 x 15 in.Best OverallPolyform A-1 Buoy Red 11 x 15 in.
Extreme Max 3006.7315 8.5" Slalom Buoy YellowBudget PickExtreme Max 3006.7315 8.5" Slalom Buoy Yellow
VIVOHOME Vinyl Ribbed Marine Boat FenderUpgrade PickVIVOHOME Vinyl Ribbed Marine Boat Fender

1. Polyform A-1 Buoy Red 11 x 15 in.

Our rating: 9 / 10

Polyform A-1 Buoy Red 11 x 15 in.

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Pros:

  • A basic, affordable option
  • Functions as intended
  • Doesn’t take up that much space
  • Can be used for both small and large boats

The Polyform A-1 Buoy is a great option for any small to medium sized boats. It’s a basic option that is affordable and is designed to do its job.

This is an 11 x 15 in. fender. It’s thick, and the rubber is designed to resist stretching and to last a long time. It’s also safe around them, meaning that it’s free from irritating chemicals. The colored fenders are fun, and they help boaters to be more visible on the water.

2. Polyform G-5 Boat Fender Black

Our rating: 9 / 10

Polyform G-5 Boat Fender Black

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12".

Polyform G-5 boat fenders are made from high-quality rubber that will last you for a very long time if you take care of it properly.

The dual-layer, non-corrosive polypropylene material is guaranteed to withstand salt water for extended use. It can even tolerate harsh weather conditions.

3. Extreme Max 3006.7204 BoatTector Fender Value 2-Pack

Our rating: 9 / 10

Extreme Max 3006.7204 BoatTector Fender Value 2-Pack

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Pros:

  • Great quality and inexpensive
  • Adjustable and flexible
  • Extremely durable and long lasting
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Can be used on wet or dry docks
  • Can be used on boats up to 30”
  • Will not damage boat
  • Easy to clean
  • Has a storage bag
  • Has a limited lifetime warranty

The Spare tire fender is designed to protect and extend the life of your boat. They keep it from getting any scratches when it touches the dock when loading and unloading.

The adjustable fender is foldable and compact, which is convenient and ideal for storage. The large fender area is helpful if you only need to use one fender.

Get the best use out of the product, make sure you use it at the appropriate size.

4. Taylor Made Products Hull Gard Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender

Our rating: 9 / 10

Taylor Made Products Hull Gard Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender

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Pros:

  • Easy to store
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Cannot be used for boats with outboard motors
  • Lifespan is short if used often

When referring to clearance barges, dredges and workboats used in lakes and rivers the hull protective barrier is of primary importance during transport and dockside storage. Due to the nature of the hull-to-hull contact the need for protection against scratches, dents and gouges is obvious and requires a durable and long-lasting barrier that can constantly be rolled out and rolled up.

The Taylor Made Products Hull Gard Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender series meets the requirements mentioned above with ease. The material used for construction is 100% vinyl that ensures the performance stays intact through seasons of use. The material itself is in combination with in-house processing, and it aids in the production of a durable fender.

The hull protector fender is an inflatable boat fender. It is made up of multiple air chambers that are connected to one another with a seam. There are two openings/slots that are used to inflate and deflate the air chamber or chambers. Inflating the chamber or chambers with air increases support and acts as a cushion between the boat and the dock.

5. X-Haibei 1 Boat Fender Ball Round Anchor Buoy

Our rating: 9 / 10

X-Haibei 1 Boat Fender Ball Round Anchor Buoy

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This is one of the best boat fenders on the market, made with high quality, durable materials. It features a diameter of about 8 inches with a thickness of 3.5 mm all round. It is suitable for pretty much any boat, kayak or kayak. The advantages of this boat fenders are that it is lightweight and easy to transport in a small place.

It has multiple uses to provide protection against boat collisions and slip damage. This is a very popular boat part. This boat fender kit is suitable for different purposes. This includes the collection of objects like toys, cables, ropes and more.

The cover is made from high quality vinyl. When you purchase this item, you will get one fender. This will include the inflation needle, ball, anchor, bag, tie, anchor and pressure gauge.

6. BABz Boat Fender Bumper Version 3

Our rating: 9 / 10

BABz Boat Fender Bumper Version 3

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To take it easy on your boat this fender bumper is a wonderful investment. Made of flexible, natural rubbers, the fender will fit snug and stay firmly in place.

Installing the boat fender bumper is quick, and instructions are included in the package. The fender is made of EVA material made with 100% environmental protection, which is why they can keep you and your boat safe.

Flexible rubbers make it possible to be bent and have curves designed for your boat. With baffles and holes, the movement of the fender is quite a breeze. Ventilating holes will help the boat breathe through the fender and the holes prevents water accumulation.

7. Polyform A-2 Buoy Red 14.5 x 19.5 in.

Our rating: 9 / 10

Polyform A-2 Buoy Red 14.5 x 19.5 in.

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Pros:

  • Ideal for boating
  • Designed with removable gauge valve and snaps
  • Lightweight, only 1.15 lbs
  • Easily attaches with straps

Cons:

  • Perfect for smaller boats, nothing larger
  • Some parts may rust, especially where the plastic and metal parts meet

This is the best fender for a small dinghy, inflatables or an inflatable tender. It’s a good value for the money. It’s light weight, easy to take out and to put back in.

It’s great at keeping your boat battened down when it’s being stored, and it’s good in the marina when you are staying at a boat slip.

8. Taylor Made Products 1157 Tuff End Inflatable Vinyl Boat Buoy

Our rating: 9 / 10

Taylor Made Products 1157 Tuff End Inflatable Vinyl Boat Buoy

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Pros:

  • Can be used in multiple ways—it can mount on the transom of your boat for additional protection, or under the seats at the bow of the boat as a way to make it float even when there’s a large amount of water in the boat
  • The dual air chambers provide extra protection, as does the unique design
  • It’s made from vinyl, which provides UV protection for the product
  • Fits any boat that has an external length of 16” or more and an external width of 12” or less
  • A strong carry handle is on one end
  • The manufacturer recommends installing the product during the time of purchase

Cons:

  • It’s quite difficult to install, requiring a drill and a special tool to install, along with several other steps
  • You’re limited on the kind of boat it can be used for

9. Shoreline Marine Inflatable Fender 4.5 X 16 White

Our rating: 9 / 10

Shoreline Marine Inflatable Fender 4.5 X 16 White

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Pros:

  • Large 16-inch measurement
  • Reinforced PVC construction
  • Fits most boats & inflatable boats
  • Shoreline Marine PVC-lifeguard approved
  • Airline approved
  • Does not require inflation
  • Easy to store

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When you want to buy boat fenders, Shoreline Marine Inflatable is the best. They are strongly constructed to prevent damage to your boat in all sea conditions.

These boat fenders are made of a material that is the best in the market. The Shoreline marine fender has a unique design that allows you to adjust it depending on the type of fender you use.

10. Ocean Fenders Ocean Easystore Plus Inflatable Fender

Our rating: 8 / 10

Ocean Fenders Ocean Easystore Plus Inflatable Fender

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Pros:

  • Very affordable as the best boat fenders
  • Super easy to inflate and fill
  • No sand needed for weight
  • No problem to deflate and carry
  • Perfect as seat cushions
  • Nice color that’s easy to spot

Cons:

  • Feels like having something on your feet
  • Cannot be left outside for a long time
  • Can take some time to inflate
  • Not hard to inflate

This super—air boat fender from Ocean is specifically designed to provide you the high protection against scratches, dents, and rust. It is very easy to store, carry, inflate, and deflate.

The inflated fender from Ocean, Ocean Easystore Plus Inflatable Fender, measures 30 in. x 21 in. x 3 in. and can easily be deflated to half in order to be stored for later use. It includes two metal connectors and inflation needle making it convenient to inflate and deflate.

When using this fender from Ocean, you do not need to be worried about whether the sun and sand will fade it, because it is UV protected. It is very lightweight which is good for long trip and storage.

11. VIVOHOME Vinyl Ribbed Marine Boat Fender

Our rating: 8 / 10

VIVOHOME Vinyl Ribbed Marine Boat Fender

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You don’t want to get stuck on the deck during the storm because of a fender breaking down. You can easily protect your boat from the scratch by investing in some of the best sea fenders available on the market which can be used as bumpers for all marine boats. This safe boat fender will protect any boat from being scratched or damaged from any dock. These boat bumpers look stylish on your boat and are very easy to assemble.

12. Extreme Max 3006.7291 BoatTector Inflatable Fender-8.5" x 27"

Our rating: 8 / 10

Extreme Max 3006.7291 BoatTector Inflatable Fender-8.5" x 27"

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Pros:

  • Can be used on the stern, bow, or to protect other boats when tied together.
  • Comes with three tethers, which is perfect for those who prefer to tie more than one fender in place.
  • Can work on boats of various sizes.
  • Can be used as a small, circular seat.
  • Lightweight and portable.

Cons:

  • The foot rest may not be very comfortable.
  • Inflating the fender may be a bit difficult, and it might not hold air that long.

This fender checks all the right boxes to be considered one of the best boat fenders on the market. Not only is it very easy to inflate, but it's also very easy to deflate. It can also be deflated so that it can fit in the backpack. With its bright green color, boats will find it easier to avoid hitting it.

The fender is also very durable thanks to its double-layered vinyl that's resistant to tears. It also has reflective strips that can be seen even in low light, making it easier for boaters to not run into it.

13. Dock Edge Dock-Side Bumper

Our rating: 8 / 10

Dock Edge Dock-Side Bumper

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Pros:

  • Very durable
  • Easy storage
  • Does not get waterlogged
  • Very easy to place

Cons:

  • Only available in one size
  • Materials are not as environmentally friendly
  • Some have found them to be difficult to roll up

The Dock Edge dock-side bumper fenders is a relatively inexpensive model which due to the plastic construction is much cheaper than other models.

The material used is thick and extremely strong and the product can easily be folded up and placed in a garage or shed and stored until the time comes it is needed. Even when left out in the open for extended periods of time, it does not appear to become waterlogged or damaged in any way.

It easily reduces the likelihood of damage to the boat when moving in and out of the docks but is still required to be checked regularly to ensure that the fenders are in the appropriate position at all times.

14. Hull Hugr Marina Bumper

Our rating: 8 / 10

Hull Hugr Marina Bumper

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Pros:

  • Very well designed
  • Easy to install
  • Made of premium PVC plastic
  • 36-inch long and fit pretty much all types of boats
  • Highly durable and weather stable
  • Lightweight
  • The price is quite reasonable for its quality

Cons:

  • The corners are a little rough (but it doesn’t really matter)
  • Sometimes, it may look a little odd or funny

The Hull Hugr kick tail bumpers are made of PVC thermoplastic. This material is much more expensive than rubber bumpers, but it’s the most durable and the best option when it comes to safety.

This bumper is flexible but strong ” it can answer for the waves and collisions. It’s made of ISO-certified, non-toxic materials. There are not many molds that can comply with this strict standard.

In a word, this bumper is perfectly suitable for regular mooring and it can provide a better protection than rubber bumpers.

15. Extreme Max 3006.7315 8.5" Slalom Buoy Yellow

Our rating: 8 / 10

Extreme Max 3006.7315 8.5" Slalom Buoy Yellow

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Pros:

  • Stable
  • Keeps assembly and dis-assembly simple
  • Works well with inflatable boats
  • Durable foam construction
  • Affordable price
  • Bright and visible colors for high-risk waters
  • Tough and long-lasting

Cons:

  • No attachment mechanisms provided
  • Must be fitted to different diameters of boats

If you’re looking for a high-quality solution that will keep your boat safe during the next trip, this pair of Extreme Max 3006.7315 8.5" Slalom Buoy Yellow should be a good choice.

The buoys are fitted with a quick pin connector, which is a simple design that allows it to be fitted on various diameter of tubes. Foam durability is good and the bright plastic yellow color should ensure that your boat is visible. In case the boat is stranded somewhere, the loud squeaky airbag should be a good way to attract attention.

The kit includes two heavy duty aluminum pipes that can safely handle boats up to 3,000 pounds. Easy to install or remove, you can alternate your tubes as they become necessary. Although they do not include the straps, if you do not have any in stock, you can make due with your boat’s straps.

16. Vestil 624-4.5 Horizontal Laminated Dock Bumper

Our rating: 8 / 10

Vestil 624-4.5 Horizontal Laminated Dock Bumper

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Pros:

  • It takes up little space
  • It’s weather-resistant fabric
  • The double-weight bottom helps it hold its form
  • Its rubber surface protects the deck surface from scratches
  • Helps to prevent hull and paint damage
  • Has a patented bungee shock system

Cons:

  • It’s fabric might be fairly difficult to clean
  • The appearance may be a bit less attractive

The Vestil 624-4.5 is a heavy rubber bumper designed to help protect boats that are secured on traditional fixed-pontoon piers.

It’s made from a fabric that’s been reinforced with a heavy-duty rubber compound so it’ll stand up to the elements. The fabric is also highly UV-resistant to help it stay looking its best.

This horizontal laminated dock bumper from Vestil measures 4” high by 24” wide. It’s manufactured using an extra-thick material that weights around 61 lbs, which ensures that it’ll hold its shape and won’t need inflatable bladders.

17. Extreme Max 3006.7231 BoatTector 24" Contour Fender Value Pack

Our rating: 8 / 10

Extreme Max 3006.7231 BoatTector 24" Contour Fender Value Pack

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Pros:

  • Great for inflatables and fairly durable
  • Cheap and affordable price

If you’re looking for the best inflatable fender for your boat, then the Extreme Max 3006.7231 BoatTector 24” Contour Fender Value Pack might be what you’re looking for.

These are inflatable, which makes them both lightweight and convenient. You won’t be struggling to carry a heavy and bulky rubber model around while you’re out on the water.

They are 24-inches long, which is a good size for inflatables. It will keep your boat safe from smaller waves. It won’t be able to handle a full-on storm, but if it’s going to be sunny and calm, this is a great option. They are very cheap, so you can afford to replace them fast.

18. Taylor Made Products 1026 Big B Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender

Our rating: 8 / 10

Taylor Made Products 1026 Big B Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender

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Pros:

  • Price is right for the quality given
  • Solid product
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Allowed room for leaning hands freely while at dock without bumping up against railing

Cons:

  • While very heavy it wasn’t quite heavy enough to be sturdy on the dock
  • difficult to mount

The 1026 Big B is a good example of what made the Big B 8-Inch Vinyl boat fenders so well liked for so many years. It’s pliable, so it won’t easily rip or puncture. And it’s surprisingly tough for its size. Available in white or red, this fender features a tube around its middle that’s used for tying it to structures and a high-tensile rope that extends from the front of the fender’s studded base to the back.

19. Mission Boat Gear Sentry Boat Dock Fender Bumper

Our rating: 8 / 10

Mission Boat Gear Sentry Boat Dock Fender Bumper

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Pros:

  • Top quality
  • Large fender bumper
  • Very simple to install and use
  • The durable fenders are ideal for small boats
  • The price is not very high

The Mission Dock Bumper fenders are intended to keep your boat out of docks. They are made specifically for boats with transoms that are 50 feet or less.

These bumpers fenders are ideal to provide a soft bump in the case of contact with a dock and will not damage the dock or your boat. There is no need to touch the dock after you are docked.

20. X-Haibei Pair of Boat Fenders Ball Round Anchor Buoy

Our rating: 8 / 10

X-Haibei Pair of Boat Fenders Ball Round Anchor Buoy

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Bulit durable
  • Portable
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Large size
  • Low BB height
  • POP Quick Release can be used

This fender is an ideal hull protection for a boat. It allows you to do a water sport with your boat in waves or currents. It is designed with unique design which is usually used in ships, which makes it more stable and compact.

When you use this fender, you don’t need to use an air pump, so you can easily deflate it when you want to store it. And, it can be folded down to a small size for easy transportation.

Basically, the X-Haibei Boat Fender is a really great and portable alternative to the larger heavier fenders on the market.

21. Promotional Fender Kit

Our rating: 8 / 10

Promotional Fender Kit

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Pros:

  • Fending off is done by a spring loaded removable tab on each side
  • Paddle clips attach to paddle holders
  • Fender strap clips to PFD and can be used as a PFD leash
  • Available for use with a variety of boats
  • Made with puncture-resistant vinyl

Cons:

  • Not as effective in rough seas
  • Not free molded
  • Clips are a delicate part of the system

Kayakers often face a difficult dilemma. They need something to protect their boat from hitting a pier, a dock or another boat, so they often opt for the standard inboard fender.

What’s bad about inboard fenders is that they are not easily removable. If you’re coming in or out of a marina, for example, these fenders can get caught on something and damage your boat.

Some people end up removing them, but the fenders then just flap around in the wind. It’s inconvenient and can damage your boat.

22. attwood Softside Pontoon Boat Fender White Softside Pontoon Boat Fender 93536-1 White

Our rating: 7 / 10

attwood Softside Pontoon Boat Fender White Softside Pontoon Boat Fender 93536-1 White

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Pros:

  • Fits on most pontoon boats
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Simple use
  • Easy to store

23. Seasense 50072315 Inflatable Fender

Our rating: 7 / 10

Seasense 50072315 Inflatable Fender

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Pros:

  • Very easy to inflate once you get a good pump (probably the most difficult part) and its easy to deflate as well.
  • After two years they look brand new.
  • The yellow makes them very visible which is really important when you’re hauling on a sandy beach as they tend to suck you in if you aren’t careful.

24. Extreme Max BoatTector 3006.7327 All-Purpose PVC Marker Buoy

Our rating: 6 / 10

Extreme Max BoatTector 3006.7327 All-Purpose PVC Marker Buoy

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Pros:

  • Very durable
  • Inexpensive
  • Great design—admiral yellow
  • Easy to store

Cons:

  • Perhaps too heavy for some situations
  • Won’t stay inflated for extended periods of time

Are your boat bumping into things? Then you probably need buoys to keep you safe. These will help keep your boat safe and prevent it from hurting anyone or anything that may get in the way.

We like the 11.5" x 15" Extreme vinyl marker buoy because of its convenient size (measuring 36-9/10" X 14-5/10"). It’s large enough to allow you to pick it out from a distance, but it’s not too large that you’re taking up too much space in your boat. Its diameter is just perfect for your average speedboat.

Although heavier than some competitors, this model is slightly more durable to different kinds of weather. Where you place this buoy also plays a role in its lifetime. If you place it in an area that’s subject to a lot of sunlight or extreme cold, this may become brittle.

25. Best Choice Products Set of 4 27in Ribbed Marine Vinyl Boat Fender Bumper Dock Shield Protection

Our rating: 6 / 10

Best Choice Products Set of 4 27in Ribbed Marine Vinyl Boat Fender Bumper Dock Shield Protection

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Comes in 4 pack
  • Durable
  • Easy to install

This boat fender is a great value for the price. If you are looking for something that is inexpensive and dependable, then this is probably a good option for you.

If you are looking for something that is going to get the job done without breaking the bank, then this is probably a good option for you.

26. Ocean Fenders RT3 Series Ribbed Inflatable Boat Fender

Our rating: 3 / 10

Ocean Fenders RT3 Series Ribbed Inflatable Boat Fender

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Pros:

  • Versatile design
  • Great for any boat
  • Works with inflatable dinghies as well

Ocean Fenders RT3 Series Ribbed Inflatable Boat Fenders are designed for use when you take your boat out into the water. These inflatable fenders are designed to be used as both vertical and horizontal fender combinations, making them incredibly versatile and useful.

These RT3 Series Ribbed inflatable boat fenders are well-made with long-lasting, durable materials. Each fender is made out of extra thick rubber rib that will help keep your boat afloat and protected from bumps with these durable rubber boat fenders. The fenders can be maneuvered with ease to accommodate any and all nook and crannies that protrude out of your water vessel.

They are sold in pairs, providing you and your partner with the necessary equipment and gear to ensure that you protect your investment. These Ocean Fenders are easy to store, easy to handle, and come with an inflatable machine that you can use to easily fill each fender to the appropriate size. They are durable, simple to use, easy to store, easy to maintain, sturdy, long lasting, and highly cost effective.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best boat fender?

Boat size is important because boat fenders must be appropriate for the size of your boat. When calculating the size of your boat for fenders, measure the length from bow to stern, leaving out the bowsprit as it won’t be touched by the fenders. Use about 10% extra for good measure.

How do I choose a boat fender?

A boat fender can be simply used to protect your boat from scratches; however, the fenders can also be used in a number of other ways. Some can protect against paint chipping, while others can be used to protect the hull and the pontoon legs. There are also specialized fenders that protect against certain types of weather and waves.

How many fenders should a boat have?

There is no set-rule for the number of fenders needed to protect a boat from damage. For instance, bigger boats need more fenders and there’s a higher risk of damage during an impact. In addition, there are fenders designed for high speeds, like when boats enter or exit a waterway, or enter a slip. Those will tend to be much more expensive.

Where should a boat bumper be placed?

When determining where a boat fender should be installed, it is important to consider how it might be used and by whom. Boats that are used in shallow waters that are only intended for light-duty leisure activities may not require permanent installation.

In this case, the best location for a boat bumper is usually the area of the boat where the wake from the propellers is blown. It will act as a cushion for the boat and the boat’s occupants. It also helps to reduce turbulence on the water’s surface and helps a smooth back and forth movement of the water.

Owners with larger, heavier, more powerful boats may want a more permanent boat fender setup. This will allow them to dock the boat and leave it in place without worrying about potential cost and damage.

Conclusion

A boat fender is an easy way to give your boat some extra protection. They are also used to protect your boat from dock damage. We looked at a number of different factors to qualify the best boat fenders. We looked at the price, weight, and warranty. We also considered how easy they were to install. We wanted something that was easy to use and would work great on a variety of boats.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Polyform A-1 Buoy Red 11 x 15 in.Best OverallPolyform A-1 Buoy Red 11 x 15 in.
Extreme Max 3006.7315 8.5" Slalom Buoy YellowBudget PickExtreme Max 3006.7315 8.5" Slalom Buoy Yellow
VIVOHOME Vinyl Ribbed Marine Boat FenderUpgrade PickVIVOHOME Vinyl Ribbed Marine Boat Fender