You made a significant investment when you bought your boat. Therefore, it is imperative you maintain your boat at the optimum condition, by avoiding any bumps and scrapes on it. Dock bumpers refer to devices, which are attached to the rear end of a boat to protect it from any defects that would occur on it when it bumps against a dock or another vessel. It also ensures that your boat stays in tip-top shape through all seasons. A dock bumper is a must-have item for every boat owner as it enhances the longevity of your boats.
We understand that you may find choosing the best boat bumper quite a daunting task. This is because there is a wide variety of boat bumpers out there to choose from. The implication is that it is easy to settle for the wrong dock bumpers, in terms of price and quality. There are many factors you need to consider when deciding which dock bumper is ideal for your boat. We have therefore reviewed 10 of the best dock bumpers in this article to help you make an informed purchase.
Dock Bumpers FAQ
Buying something online without all the insights on the product could cause you to end up with a poor bargain or choice. We have put together a list of the most frequently asked questions about dock bumpers to help you understand the general information about dock bumpers. We hope that at the end of this list, you will be better versed on what to look out for as you make your dock bumper purchase.
1. What is a Dock Bumper?
A dock bumper is an inflatable or non-inflatable cushion usually placed on the sides and rear of boats.
2. What Does a Dock Bumper Do?
A dock bumper is used to prevent a boat from getting any damage as it rubs up or comes up against a dock or another vessel.
3. How Does a Dock Bumper Work?
Dock bumpers can either be inflatable or non-inflatable. The inflatable kind is usually filled with air using a pump and while the non-inflatable kind is made from foam or molded plastic and hung at the rear or sides of the boat to prevent impact.
4. Where Can You Buy Dock Bumpers?
You can buy this item in any marine shop near you. You can also find dock bumpers in online stores such as Amazon.
5. How Many Dock Bumpers Do You Need?
The general rule of thumb is to use one dock bumper for every 10’ of waterline with a minimum of three bumpers. Therefore, a 20-inch boat would need two bumpers and so on.
6. What is the Corresponding Size of Bumper to Boat?
Naturally, the bigger the size of your boat, the bigger the size of bumpers you will need to use. Keep this in mind as you shop for your dock bumpers.
Image CCO via Flickr
How We Reviewed
We understand that settling on the best dock bumper for your prized boat can be a bit confusing based on the large variety of this item out there. Therefore, we took our time and energy to review the top 10 best dock bumper brands out there. We took into consideration the different shapes, sizes, and features as well as their pros and cons. We compared and contrasted each item against the other to give you the best analysis to guide you in your final purchase decision.
We believe that the list of dock bumpers that made it onto our top 10 brands for your consideration did so after an unbiased review.
What We Reviewed
Below is a list of the top 10 brands of dock bumpers that we reviewed.
- MSC Vinyl Ribbed Boat Fenders Bumpers
- Kwik Tek HH-1CB Hull Hugr Contour Fender
- Extreme Max BoatTector Fender
- Polyform G Series Fender
- Taylor Made Products 1032 Big B Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender
- Polyform HTM Series Fender
- Norestar Ribbed Boat Fenders/Bumpers
- Hull Hugr HH-P1B PWC Fender
- Taylor Made Super Gard
- Taylor Made Low Freeboard
1. MSC Vinyl Ribbed Boat Fenders Bumpers
This dock bumper is made from high-quality marine-grade vinyl. This material is designed to withstand rough use which comes with the territory. It also has double strength and durability with its double-molded rope holds. This dock bumper’s construction is made of molded ribs for a minimized roll. It has an air valve system which makes inflation easy. It comes together with a fender line and inflator.
- It is durable
- Has minimized roll
- Inflation is easy
- It is affordable
- It comes with a fender line and inflator
- It deflates easily
2. Kwik Tek HH-1CB Hull Hugr Contour Fender
This dock bumper is made from a material known as closed cell foam. This material is covered by marine grade tri-laminate which is tough and resilient. It also has a tough grommet made from polycarbonate to hang from the cleats. It comes with polycarbonate grommets making it easy to hang the bumper.
- Easy to store under seats
- Not expensive
- Does not protect gunwales
3. Extreme Max BoatTector Fender
This dock bumper comes as a set that comprises two bumpers and two fender lines. It also has a rubber needle valve for inflation or deflation. The eyelets enhance the bumper’s strength and longevity.
- Its reinforced eyelets make it durable
- Offers guaranteed protection to your boat
- Ideal for different marine conditions
- Comes with a rubber needle valve
- Cannot hold air
- Poor color
4. Polyform G Series Fender
This item is designed with even wall thickness making it durable and strong. It has molded-in ribs making it puncture resistant. Its rope holds are reinforced, and it has a vinyl-valve system that requires no inflation.
- Made of superior quality materials
- Easy to use
- Fits on any boat model
- Puncture resistant
- Has an unpleasant chemical odor
- It is expensive
5. Taylor Made Products 1032 Big B Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender
This item is versatile and can be hung both horizontally and vertically. It has molded ribs to minimize roll as well as a high gloss finish which makes it last long under the sun. It also comes equipped with a rubber football needle valve that makes inflation easy.
- Offers superior protection
- It is solidly constructed
- It has a glossy and colorful finish
- It does well in different weather conditions
- Leaks easily
- It doesn’t hold air
6. Polyform HTM Series Fender
This product is manufactured for abrasion and puncture resistance with its molded-in ribs. It has an even wall thickness to increase strength and durability too. This item requires no inflation with its vinyl valve system, a clear industry leader.
- Attractive look
- Easy and comfortable to use
- Highly durable
- Ropes break easily
7. Norestar Ribbed Boat Fenders/Bumpers
This dock bumper is super versatile as it can be hung both vertically and horizontally. It also protects both small and large boats. Its surface is non-abrasive making it safe to use for boats that have a gel-coat. This item has vertical ribs for extra protection, and it comes with two black fender lines.
- Superior protection and cushioning
- High quality
- Highly durable
- It cannot hold air
- It is expensive
8. Hull Hugr HH-P1B PWC Fender
This dock bumper is specifically engineered for PWCs with center hinges to protect PWCs from docks which are ideally designed for bigger boats. This item has an acetyl hook which is used to attach it to the boats back fender. It also comes with an adjustable strap and a steel hook which is coated in vinyl.
- Works well
- It is reliable
- Offers satisfactory protection
- You can adjust the height with the use of the adjustable strap
- It is cheap
- Moves around quite a bit
- No guaranteed protection
9. Taylor Made Super Gard
This dock bumper offers great protection for your boat’s gunwale and rubs rail. It also offers superior protection from high docks. It has features that include a tough exterior made from marine-grade vinyl and an inflation valve to regulate its pressure. It comes in a standard size as well as a longer size for increased and optimized hull protection. Its position is adjustable making it possible for you to tie it higher or lower depending on the height of the dock.
- Very versatile
- Offers superior protection when compared with other bumpers
- Does not roll around
- It is attractive and colorful
- It is constructed solidly
- It is very affordable
- It leaks easily
- It does not hold air
10. Taylor Made Low Freeboard
This dock bumper is designed with low protection in mind. It protects both the gunwale and rubrail of your boat. This item can also be tied higher on your boat for a higher protection on your boat if the dock is high. It offers maximum hull protection thanks to its tough marine-grade vinyl cover. It also features an inflation valve which aids to adjust the air pressure.
- Has an attractive finish with a wide variety of colors to choose from
- Superior hull protection
- Difficult to install
Having a good dock bumper is essential for you as a boat owner. The best dock bumpers must be strong to withstand different weather and to protect the boat from damage when it bumps against a dock or other vessel. It should also be easy to install and not roll around too much, thus exposing the vessels body to damage. The best dock bumper should also be durable and look good on the boat. Affordability is also key, but you should keep in mind that the best dock bumper may not be cheap.
Having put all these factors into consideration, we settled on the Polyform G Series Fender being the best dock bumper. Despite this item is expensive, it has superior qualities. The other feature that made this dock bumper stand out is that it requires no inflation which makes it strong as it keeps its sturdy exterior despite the weather. However, its ropes break easily, a disadvantage that can be mitigated by buying sturdier ropes when you buy this item.
Last update on 2021-04-10 at 09:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API