Marine News from the Great Lakes

Fenders 101: Doís, Doníts, and I Wish I Hadís

Published: Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Fenders... no, not bumpers.  They’re for your boat and the word is fenders.

Fenders are something every boat must have and, in this case, bigger is always better.  However, this is one area of boating equipment that is often overlooked. And, unfortunately, many boat builders and suppliers tend to provide insufficient fenders for their boats. Good fenders are just as important to your boat as a good anchor.  Would any boater not have a good anchor on board?

There are several types, kinds, sizes, and different materials that fenders can be made from, and, of course, the better fenders will cost more money.  In the long run, good quality fenders can save the boat owner a lot of money in repairs and damage.

Vinyl fenders:                      
You see these on boats of all sizes.  They are relatively inexpensive and will do the job in many cases, especially in protected waters.  They require a good amount of storage space, are hard to clean, and are prone to failure just when they are really required.  In larger sizes, they can be quite heavy.

Solid Foam fenders:           
These are pretty much bullet proof but can also be quite expensive and require a lot of space for storage.  But when that bad dock or storm arrives - and it will - they can save the boat from severe damage.

Inflatable fenders:              
Maybe one of the best fender solutions that has been around for more than 20 years are inflatable fenders. More expensive than vinyl but less than solid foam, these fenders are very strong, lightweight, and fully deflate to save space. Their light weight belies their inherent strength and, even at the very large sizes, the crew (or family member) can easily handle the fenders.  AERÉ Docking Solutions manufactures over 40 sizes and types of inflatable fenders to provide effective protection in almost any situation. You see these fenders on the largest yachts for all the reasons above: strong, lightweight, and they fully deflate for storage. 

In summary, don’t try to save money on fenders.  Buy the best you can for the type of cruising you do or plan to do, and remember the unexpected can and will happen, so be prepared!  Visit for more info.

tags: Accessories, Boating 101

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