Picking the Right Fenders for Your Boat

How to Guides

Picking the Right Fenders for Your Boat

What are Fenders?

Fenders act as a cushion between a boat and a dock (concrete, metal or wood) or another boat and prevent damage to your boat’s topsides.

Using either an inflated bladder (usually rotationally-moulded vinyl) or soft foam, fenders absorb the shock of vessel movement so neither the vessel nor what it bumps against are damaged.

Round Fender Buoys

As the name implies, this fender is round. The ball-shaped bumper is made from hollow, pressurised plastic vinyl and features a single attachment point for line. Ball fenders can be difficult to store because of their shape and size, but most have valves allowing users to inflate or deflate the ball to their specific needs.



Tab End Fenders   Contour Fenders

Featuring durable plastic attachment points at both ends, these inflatable fenders can provide a buffer between pilings and other boats or docks. Hanging them horizontally can help protect your boat from vertical dock pilings, while vertical deployment can protect the hull from shifting tides or other moored boats.


Made of either inflatable vinyl or closed-cell foam covered with a durable trilaminate skin, contour fenders are ideal for boats with low freeboard or step-down curved or slanted gunwales. Because they follow the contour of the gunwale, they offer additional protection in case the boat gets trapped under the dock.

Hollow Body   Dock Bumpers

Moulded from durable PVC vinyl, these fenders incorporate an internal rope tube to allow the fender line to run through it. These can be deployed horizontally or vertically, with several ganged along a line to broaden protection. Moulded ribs add durability and allow it to roll rather than slide out of position.


A great option if you moor your boat on your own dock, dock bumpers, or vinyl edging, are permanently attached to the dock, providing protection from rough edges. Or fender boards can be suspended from the boat to press against pilings while fenders protect the hull.




Fender Recommendation Chart

Depending on the size of boat you own, a certain number and sizes of different fenders are required for use in slips and docking. Here’s a quick guide to finding the right parts for your boat. Of course, different fender types can be helpful for certain parts of the boat so be sure to read up on any other fenders that may be useful to your situation.

Boat Length

Cylindrical Fender Diameter

Round Fender Diameter

Flat Fender Size

Under 10’





3” – 4”




5” – 5.5”




6” – 6.5”




8” – 8.5”




10.5” -12”








15” – 24”




For more information, check out our whole range of different Fenders and Buoys to find the right piece of equipment for your boat.


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