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Everything You Need To Know About Boat Fenders!

Owning a boat isn't all about the purchase; there are many essential things that you must keep in mind before and after buying your boat. Whether it is for your recreational usage or commercial needs, a ship is a structure that safeguards your life on waters, and it is your responsibility to ensure that it is equipped with all the required items.

One such product that creates a massive difference to the working of your boat is Fenders. Do not brush off your seller when he advises you to hang boat fenders as an extra purchase, as it can create a life and death situation for you and your loved ones.

If you are new to purchasing a boat and its fenders, here is a detailed guide that will help you make an insightful purchase.

What are Boat Fenders?

Fenders are marine equipment designed and implanted to provide a protective cushion layer from collisions with other boats or docks that can cause fatal damages. In simpler terms, fenders can be said to be like car bumpers but for ships and boats.

Types of Boat Fenders:

Boat fenders are classified under two broad categories- the shape and the material. Knowing all the types of offenders in the market is crucial for buying the best-suited one for your boat. It mitigates the stress involved with purchasing equipment that takes less storage space while providing the adequate protection you are looking for.

  1. Shape

There are many designs offenders available in the market today, and while purchasing, ensure you attach similar fenders all around the boat. This is a crucial detail to pay attention to as you don’t want to risk having different pressure around your boat. Here are three main types of boat fenders.

  • Ball Fender

It's a spherically formed fender that's inflated with air and made of sturdy PVC material. The ball fender is an excellent shock absorbent and is commonly utilized when navigating through tight locations or locks.

  • Long Fender

The most popular style of the fender is the long fender, sometimes known as a "Walking Fender." The convenience with its handling and the ability to launch it vertically or horizontally, from cleats, railings, or lifelines, depending on the size of the boat, are the main reasons for its popularity.

  • Flat and Cushion Fenders

Fenders, both cushion and flat, are excellent complements to any vessel's equipment! The high storability, low risk of slippage, and wide range of applications these fenders could be utilized in are the main benefits of this type of fender.

Cushion fenders are foam fenders that are commonly found on locks, cranes, and slipways. On the other hand, flat fenders provide a vast area of protection for your boat, functional when there isn't enough room to maneuver.

  1. Material

There are two main types of material based boat fenders- Rubber and Foam Fenders.

  • Rubber Fenders

Rubber fenders come in various shapes and sizes to suit a variety of uses. Still, they all serve the same purpose: to reduce the input reaction force and provide the necessary angular direction to the hull pressure. Rubber fenders are popular on the market and come in a variety of styles.

  • Foam Fenders

These fenders have a dual-layered closed cell structure with a polyethylene foam inner core and a reinforced polyurethane elastomer outer covering. Water penetration is almost non-existent in these fenders, thus extending their lifespan.

Things to consider when purchasing Boat Fenders

  • The fenders should be constructed of high-performance, low-maintenance materials.
  • They must be constructed to meet all of the functional needs for which they are deployed.
  • Your fenders must be capable of meeting all of their obligations in any weather circumstances.
  • Ensure your fenders are long-lasting.

Common Questions That Will Guide You Better

  1. How many boat fenders should you install?

A general rule of thumb is to have two fenders on each side for 10-metre longboats. With every 5-10m length increase, add 1-2 fenders. Remember to have spare fenders in store.

  1. Where to store your fenders?

You can either place them in fender steel baskets, tie or mount them to railing bars or the deck.

  1. How much pressure does your fender need?

The pressure depends on the size of your fender; while on average, a ball fender needs 0.20 bars of stress, it is best to seek the advice of a professional.

  1. Where should you attach your fender?

The position of your fender is critical, so make sure you do your research when installing. While hanging from the railings, remember that any wrong place can cost you a lot of damage.

  1. How should you attach your fender?

Tie and hang your fenders with the valves facing downwards.

In Conclusion


Fenders have a massive responsibility of preventing minor scratches to extensive scale damages that can be dangerous. Purchasing the correct type of fender for your boat is just as important as buying a fender in the first place. Now that you know what to consider when purchasing a fender, you can buy one without much hassle. If you are looking for fenders in Louisville, check out the R S Marine varieties. Do consider looking through their official website to gather the most information.

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