Dockings and moorings can be stressful activities that require a mighty effort on your part, an avid water-bound explorer! Since even the most experienced seamen and women make mistakes every now and then, obtaining a boat fender may be a great idea to ensure you’re protected against awkward waves and tough currents! See our top 5 list for this category and learn more!
Masts, starboards, cannons, those fan-looking things that go underneath - these would be the first sorts of thing that you think of when someone starts talking about boats. Indeed, even a couple of centuries ago, these parts were so crucial that pirates would aim for the mast to knock out an enemy ship and reap the often hefty cargo carried by the British Royal Navy, or any other unfortunate naval organization for that matter! Not all heroic boat parts wear capes though (or some sort of maritime equivalent), and one of the most overlooked boat pieces that you may want to stock up on if you own a boat yourself would be- the boat fender
! These dull-looking contraptions can mean the difference between you smashing your beloved boat to smithereens and docking it neatly so that all the pirate chieftains and corsairs across the world's oceans may gaze upon your skill with awe! In this section, we'll give you a couple of tips about how to enrich your boating equipment and add a couple of mighty boat fenders to your arsenal, so that your respectable cannons don't go to sleep with the fish due to a faulty docking.
First of all, we may as well mention that these devices aren't really that complicated, in all fairness. They feature a simple enough build that has one mission and one mission only once they’re deployed - get hit and smashed around without breaking
! A tough job, indeed, but somebody, or rather something, has got to do it. One of the few points where various models of boat fenders differ is their construction, which can either feature a bunch of seams, or be completely seamless. The seam-supported versions often allow for some design variations as they can be patched up and brought to life in the end-process of production. This, however, may also represent a potential weakness, as, given the right bummed out circumstances, a seamed model can give in to pressure, thus endangering the very boat it was supposed to protect. It's not that this tends to happen that often, though, so this isn’t something that should deter you from buying one of these models, especially from a well-known brand!
On the other hand, the strength of the seamless models, so to speak, seems to come from the fact that they're made in one piece, which makes them slightly tougher in comparison to their seam-bound counterparts. These models are typically made out of single piece of tough industrial kind of vinyl, which is a material well-known for its durability, especially in inhospitable conditions. Another point of differentiating these maritime devices would be the choice between inflatable and non-inflatable models. Again, non-inflatable boat fenders tend to be of a simpler build that you can just unpack and deploy straight away, as they’re as ready as they'll ever be.
As for the inflatable ones, you'll have to either provide your own pump to make them work or get some sort of contraptions for inducing air into it together with the fender itself – it depends on the manufacturer's policy, really. All in all, whichever kind of a boat fender you choose to install on your boat, it’ll probably perform just fine, regardless of its design. So, when buying yourself one of these maritime utensils, rather look out for the manufacturing brand and price instead! At the end of this part of our buying guide, we'd like to present you some other of our reviews as we’ve been pretty busy lately and came up with a bunch of technically-savvy top 5 lists of various contraptions! These distinguished items include barometers
, and bilge pumps
, so if you happen to need any of them, feel free to visit their respective links and learn more!
Price-wise, the factor that seems to play the most important role in the pricing of boat fenders seems to be their size, as one model can come in up to 10 different sizes! This is to accommodate the owners of boats whose precious vessels naturally come in all shapes and sizes. The deal is quite simple: the larger the fender, the more it’ll cost. On the other hand, the presence of a warranty can also render a model slightly more expensive in comparison to its competition, but it's all for a good cause at the end of the day, so it may pay off to actually go for a model with one! Other than that, the brand in question can also put a couple of bucks on top of a fender, but it's ultimately not a major factor.
Even though they may seem like a simple, no-brainer type of equipment you just buy and don't think about it, it still may be a good idea to think through with your boat fender
purchase beforehand, lest you end up with some sort of botched-up sponge that can barely stand in one piece on its own, let alone protect an entire boat with you on it!
The list of features to look out for ere you've purchased a brand new boat fender:
- Does it Come with a Center Rope
- Molded Ribs
- The Size
- The Color
- Material of Choice
- Type of Valve
- Inflatable or Non-Inflatable
As we at TopProducts always say, finding yourself a model with a lifetime warranty may be a proper jackpot, so do try to fish around for one of those for an optimal bargain!
Construction and Design
When it comes to their construction, about the most important thing to take into consideration would be if it's seamless or not. Seamless models are simpler, and therefore somewhat more reliable, so owning one of these may reduce the risk of it malfunctioning on you in a crucial moment. The models with seams are also quite sturdy as well, though, so it's your safest bet to go for whichever model comes from the best-respected manufacturer around! Other than that, most of the boat fenders aren't much to look at, as they look like a bunch of plums, so chances are - you won't be spending many sleepless nights deciding what sort of design to go for.
Performance and Ease of Use
Once you've got hold of a sturdy type of boat fender, using it isn't going to be nuclear science. If you've purchased a model with an additional rope, just attach it to your fender, or otherwise drive it through, deploy the thing when you feel like docking, and Bob's your uncle! For those proud owners of the cordless-models, read the last sentence and just skip the second phrase. All in all, owning a boat fender is the easiest thing in the world maintenance-wise, as all you have to do to make it operational pretty much amounts to cleaning it up after you're done boating, and then storing it away somewhere until the next time you need it! To wrap this buying guide up, we hope that this little piece of writing helped you understand what you want from a boat fender in a better way, so that you may get the right model from the first shot. Best of luck with your purchase!