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Boat Fenders & Buoys Buyer Guide

fenders & buoys buyer guide
Fender Series Trailered Boats Protected Moorings Unprotected Moorings Pilings Rafting Locks/ Concrete
Light-Duty Fenders for Recreational Use
Polyform G Series Boat Fender Polyform G
Taylor Made Hull Gard Boat Fender Taylor Made Hull Gard
Medium-Duty Fenders for Tougher Recreational Use
Taylor Made Big B Boat Fender Taylor Made Big B
Taylor Made Super Gard Boat Fender Taylor Made Super Gard
Polyform HTM Series Boat Fender Polyform HTM
Heavy-Duty Fenders for Commercial Use
Polyform A Series Buoy Polyform A
Taylor Made Tuff End Buoy Taylor Made Tuff End Buoy
Taylor Made Tuff End Boat Fender Taylor Made Tuff End Fender
Polyform F Series Boat Fender Polyform F

A general rule of thumb for choosing fender size:

  • Cylindrical fenders: 1" of diameter for every 4-5' of boat length
  • Spherical fenders: 2" of diameter for every 4-5' of boat length
Compare Boat Fenders by Size
Polyform G Series Boat Fenders
Polyform G Series Boat Fender Model G-1 G-2 G-3 G-4 G-5 G-6
Diameter 3.5" 4.5" 5.5" 6.5" 8.8" 11"
Length 12.8" 15.5" 19" 22" 26.8" 30"
Boat Length Up to 10' 10'-20' 20'-30' 30'-40'


Polyform F Series Boat Fenders
Polyform F Series Boat Fender Model F-1 F-02 F-2 F-3 F-4 F-5 F-6 F-7 F-8 F-10 F-11 F-13
Diameter 6" 7.5" 8.2" 8.2" 8.5" 11" 11" 15" 15" 18" 21.2" 29"
Length 24" 26" 25" 30" 40.5" 30" 42" 41" 48" 50" 57.5" 76.5"
Boat Length 20'-30' 30'-40' 40'-50' 50'-60' 60'-70' 70'+


Polyform HTM Series Boat Fenders
Polyform HTM Series Boat Fender Model HTM-1 HTM-2 HTM-3 HTM-4
Diameter 6.3" 8.5" 10.5" 13.5"
Length 15.5" 20.5" 27" 34.8"
Boat Length 20'-30' 30'-40' 40'-50'


Polyform A Series Buoys
Polyform A Series Buoy Model A-1 A-2 A-3 A-4 A-5 A-6 A-7
Diameter 11" 14.5" 17" 20.5" 27" 34" 39"
Buoyancy 29 lb 68 lb 121 lb 187 lb 396 lb 792 lb 1,345 lb
Boat Length 20'-30' 30'-40' 40'-50' 50'-60' 60'-70' 70'+


Taylor Made Hull Gard Boat Fenders
Taylor Made Hull Gard Boat Fender Model 3.5"x13" 4.5"x16" 5.5"x20" 6.5"x23" 8.5"x27" 10.5"x30"
Diameter 3.5" 4.5" 5.5" 6.5" 8.5" 10.5"
Length 13" 16" 20" 23" 27" 30"
Boat Length Up to 10' 10'-15' 15'-20' 20'-25' 25'-35' 35'-50'


Taylor Made Big B Boat Fenders
Taylor Made Big B Boat Fender Model 6"x15" 8"x20" 10"x26" 12"x34"
Diameter 6" 8" 10" 12"
Length 15" 20" 26" 34"
Boat Length 20'-25' 25'-35' 35'-50' 50'-60'


Taylor Made Super Gard Boat Fenders
Taylor Made Super Gard Boat Fender Model 5.5"x20" 6.5"x22" 8.5"x26" 10.5"x30"
Diameter 5.5" 6.5" 8.5" 10.5"
Length 20" 22" 26" 30"
Boat Length 15'-20' 20'-25' 25'-35' 35'-50'


Taylor Made Tuff End Boat Fenders
Taylor Made Tuff End Boat Fender Model 6"x25" 8"x27" 10"x30" 12"x35" 15"x41" 19"x50" 24"x57" 32"x77"
Diameter 6" 8" 10" 12" 15" 19" 24" 32"
Length 25" 27" 30" 35" 41" 50" 57" 77"
Boat Length Up to 30' 25'-40' 40'-50' 50'-60' 60'-70' 70'-80' 80'-100' 100'+


Taylor Made Tuff End Buoys
Taylor Made Tuff End Buoy Diameter 9" 12" 15" 18" 21" 27" 34"
Buoyancy 14 lb 33 lb 65 lb 112 lb 180 lb 375 lb 790 lb
Boat Length 10'-20' 20'-30' 30'-40' 40'-50' 50'-60' 60'-70' 70'+

Any of the following can be used to inflate your boat fender or buoy:

  • Hand pump
  • Air compressor
  • Service station air pump
  1. Remove plastic screw from the valve (located near the rope hold), and insert the pump or air compressor.
    • If using an air compressor, set your gauge at 2 PSI.
  2. Fill with air until the walls are fully expanded. You should be able to easily push in the walls about 1/4 of an inch.
    • If no air is going in, insert a screwdriver or wire into the valve to push the flap open.
    • To avoid over-inflation, measure the circumference of your inflated fender or buoy and match it with the value on our Maximum Circumference Charts below.
  3. Remove the pump and replace the plastic screw.
Instructional Videos

This step-by-step video applies to the inflation of any brand of fender or buoy.

How Many Fenders?
Number of fenders to use for docking Number of fenders to use for rafting

A good rule to go by is 1 fender for every 10’ of boat waterline length, but no less than 3 total.

When docking, place one fender at the beam (widest point) of your boat, and one both fore and aft. Space more fenders in between as boat length dictates.

When rafting, group 3 standard fenders at the beam and one larger fender both fore and aft. Place all of the fenders on the moored or anchored boat.

Fender Placement
Fender placement both good and bad

Hang your fenders from something solid like a stanchion base or deck cleat along the rail. Only tie them to lifelines as a last resort, as those are not as strong.

Position the fender low enough off the side of your boat so that its bottom end is an inch or two above the water.

Tie the fender line to your boat as close to the fender as possible, this helps to limit swinging.

Captain Dave with GetMyBoat shares some of his fender placement tips:

Video used with permission from GetMyBoat
Fender Alignment
Hanging a boat fender vertically Hanging a boat fender vertically

Vertical: This is typically the best choice for protection against flat surfaces like walls and floating docks.

  • Twin eye fenders are a great choice
  • Tie the fenders with the shortest distance to the boat as possible to limit unwanted movement

Horizontal: Useful for protection against cylindrical objects like pilings, because of the wide surface area that is protected. It’s also a good idea to tie a fender horizontally at fixed (non-floating) docks.

How to Tie a Slip Hitch

Captain Dave with GetMyBoat teaches how to tie a slip hitch:

Video used with permission from GetMyBoat
How to Tie a Cleat Hitch

Here Captain Dave teaches how to tie a cleat hitch:

Video used with permission from GetMyBoat
Polyform Boat Fenders & Buoys
Product Max Circumference Product Max Circumference
A-1 34.5" F-1 18.8"
A-2 45.5" F-02 23.6"
A-3 53.4" F-2 25.7"
A-4 64.4" F-3 25.7"
A-5 84.8" F-4 26.7"
A-6 106.8" F-5 34.5"
A-7 122.5" F-6 34.5"
G-1 11" F-7 47.1"
G-2 14.1" F-8 47.1"
G-3 17.3" F-10 56.5"
G-4 20.4" F-11 66.6"
G-5 27.6" F-13 91.1"
G-6 34.5" HTM-1 19.8"
Note: Recommended circumference values. Over-inflation may void warranty. HTM-2 26.7"
HTM-3 33"
HTM-4 42.4"
Taylor Made Boat Fenders & Buoys
Product Max Circumference Product Max Circumference
Hull Gard 3.5"x13" 11" Big B 6"x15" 18.8"
Hull Gard 4.5"x16" 14.1" Big B 8"x20" 25.1"
Hull Gard 5.5"x20" 17.3" Big B 10"x26" 31.4"
Hull Gard 6.5"x23" 20.4" Big B 12"x34" 37.7"
Hull Gard 8.5"x27" 26.7" Super Gard 5.5"x20" 17.3"
Hull Gard 10.5"x30" 33" Super Gard 6.5"x22" 20.4"
Tuff End Buoy 9" 28" Super Gard 8.5"x26" 26.7"
Tuff End Buoy 12" 38" Super Gard 10.5"x30" 33"
Tuff End Buoy 15" 47" Tuff End Fender 6"x25" 18.8"
Tuff End Buoy 18" 57" Tuff End Fender 8"x27" 25.1"
Tuff End Buoy 21" 66" Tuff End Fender 10"x30" 31.4"
Tuff End Buoy 27" 85" Tuff End Fender 12"x35" 37.7"
Tuff End Buoy 34" 107" Tuff End Fender 15"x41" 47"
Note: Recommended circumference values. Over-inflation may void warranty. Tuff End Fender 19"x50" 59.7"
Tuff End Fender 24"x57" 75.4"
Tuff End Fender 32"x77" 100.5"
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