Boat Fenders - How-To Guides | SavvyBoater.com
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Boat Fender How-To Guides

Need some guidance to select a boat fender? We can help! Use the information below to learn about different fender styles and options and how to select the right one for your needs.



Fenders - Why, Where & How Many?

Boat fenders are critical to protecting a boat and there truly is no such thing as “too much” protection—but there can be “too little” protection. The cost of a fender is minimal compared to the cost of boat repair. Boats typically require fenders when being moored or rafted.


Temporary Docking or Mooring Permanent Docking or Mooring Rafting
# of Fenders Needed
(for boats <35’ long)
  • 2 – 4 fenders along side with dock contact

  • For longer boats, one fender should always be at max beam

  • 2 – 4 fenders along side with dock contact

  • For longer boats, one fender should always be at max beam

  • 2 – 3 fenders along side with boat contact

  • For longer boats, one fender should always be at max beam

# of Fenders Needed
(for boats >35’ long)
  • 3 – 5 fenders along side with dock contact

  • For longer boats, one fender should always be at max beam

  • 3 – 5 fenders along side with dock contact

  • For longer boats, one fender should always be at max beam

  • 3 – 5 fenders along side with boat contact

  • For longer boats, one fender should always be at max beam

How To Attach
  • Secure to boat

  • Fender bottoms should just skim the water surface to prevent buildup

  • Secure to boat

  • Fender bottoms should just skim the water surface to prevent buildup

  • Secure to boat

  • Fender bottoms should just skim the water surface to prevent buildup


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Twin Eye vs. HTM - What's the Difference


Twin-Eye
Non-Solid Rope Hole
Twin-Eye
Solid Rope Hole
Hole Thru Middle (HTM)
Soft Core
Hole Thru Middle (HTM)
Soft Core




For Lighter boats under 35' Heavier boats longer than 35' Boats 20' - 60' long Yachts to 100+' long
Mounting Vertical with 1 line
Horizontal with 2 lines
Vertical with 1 line
Horizontal with 2 lines
Vertical or horizontal with only 1 line Vertical or horizontal with only 1 line
Duty Light, most economical option Heavy, commercial grade Medium, most versatile Heavy, targeted to yachts
Ideal For Temporary Mooring Permanent or temporary mooring, anchoring, rafting Permanent or temporary mooring, anchoring, rafting Permanent or temporary mooring, anchoring, rafting
Recommended Conditions Calm water, low wind Calm or rough water, low or high wind Calm water, low or high wind Calm or rough water, low or high wind
Good For Occasional use in low wind and calm mooring conditions Everday use in rough or challenging mooring conditions Everday use for boats up to 60' long in almost any mooring condition Protected and unprotected mooring situations, especially with extreme conditions

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Specialty Fenders - What & Why?

Fender Style
Description
Contour Fenders
  • Gunwale & hull protection

  • Great for high docks

  • Models for low freeboard boats from 15' to 25' long

Rafting Bumpers
  • For rafting, tying boats to solid walls or as piling cushions

  • For boats 20' to 50' long

  • Rectangular shape "hugs" boats to protect from jarring

  • Mounts vertically or horizontally

Flat Style Fenders
  • Economy fender option

  • Can be used on boats and docks

  • Minimizes roll

Pontoon Fenders
  • Specially designed for the contours of pontoon boats

  • Model available for use between pontoon boat & dock

  • Other models cover specific sections or contours of pontoon boat

Swim Platform Fenders
  • Shaped to fit the edge of most swim platforms

  • Protects platforms when docking or rafting

  • Can also be used for sailboat sterns

PWC Fenders
  • Flexible fit for personal watercraft protection

Self-Centering Fenders
  • For boats tied to pilings, floating docks or moored

  • For boats 25' to 100' long

  • V-shape stays on pilings even if boat moves

  • Mounts vertically or horizontally


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Accessories - What & Why?


Fender Holders Fender Covers Fender Lines & Hangers Dock Lines Pumps
What? Metal holders to store fenders when note in use Fabric covers that go over fenders Lines, straps or hangers that attach fenders to boats when in use Lines for tying a boat to a dock when moored (i.e. when fenders are in use) Pumps to inflate fenders & buoys
Why? Save space & prevent cluttered boat area by storing fenders neatly out of the way Prevents hull scuffing and squeaking when moored against a dock; also provides UV protection for fenders Multiple options for hanging fenders from rails or cleats; length can be adjusted for different hull or dock styles Various diameters, lengths and materials depending upon size and weight of boat Enables easy inflation of fenders and buoys
Notes Can be mounted inside or outside of boat rails
Made to fit specific fender models
Most can be machine washed & laid flat to dry
Sunbrella covers should be cleaned per boat cover cleaning recommendations
Fender lines are not the same strength as dock lines and should not be used for securing boat to dock - a separate dock line is required Fender lines should NOT be used in place of dock lines as they are lighter duty lines Should use same brand of pump as fender or buoy brand

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Cleaning A Fender - How?

With proper care & cleaning, your fenders will last you years. Cleaning a fender is easy - simply follow these steps:

  • Wipe clean with a soft cloth using soap & water
  • Buff dry with any protectant safe for vinyl or plastic

  • DO NOT use keytone, acetone or any other related product -
    not only will this break down the plastic over time, it will also void your fender warranty

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