3 Reasons to Invest in Dock Fenders for Your Marina
In 2021, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show returned after drawing more than 100,000 visitors and generating $1.3 billion in 2019. The reason for the show’s return and continued success? The booming boat and yacht industries!
While owning a boat is a lot of fun, you must consider plenty of practical things to ensure its safety and longevity. One of the most necessary accessories you need is dock fenders.
Don’t worry - dock bumpers won’t limit the accessibility of your dock or boat, nor will they look strange. In fact, they can look stylish when you choose the right ones. Here are our top three reasons to invest in dock fenders.
1. Protect Your Boat
Although adding a gel coat layer to your boat can help prevent scratches from normal wear and tear, boat bumpers will provide the most protection. Nothing is worse than your boat slamming into the dock and ending up with a large scratch or even a hole.
Place the bumpers on the widest part of the hull on either side of the boat. Depending on your vessel size and where you plan on docking, you may also place some bumpers on the bow or along the transom.
For example, when docking at a mooring buoy, it’s easier to knock into other vessels or the buoy itself. Thus it’s better to have more fenders around your boat. Drill some mounting holes and secure cleats to your boat using fasteners or special marine adhesives to easily attach as many fenders as needed.
Another great option for total boat protection is a rub rail. It’s easy to get a customized rub rail that will fit smoothly around the entirety of your boat’s hull.
Plus, there are several different boat fender materials you can choose from, such as:
- Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM)
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
- Rubber or styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR)
- Stainless steel
However, only some materials will work for some boats.
For instance, vinyl dock bumpers are not ideal for busy areas because they break down faster. PVC is a better material because it’s UV-resistant and can endure harsh salt water.
If you have a fiberglass boat, the rubber may cause scratches.
On the other hand, inflatable bumpers may work great for inflatable docks, but they probably won’t withstand a collision with a pontoon boat.
Avoid Expensive Boat Repairs
As you can see, boat docking fenders are imperative to avoiding costly boat repairs caused by a collision between your boat and the dock or other water vessels.
It’s easy for vessels to collide with each other or the dock during high tide or a nasty storm. And a collision can cause thousands of dollars in repairs.
Dock fenders also provide protection while loading and unloading your boat. Although a winch helps with this, one wrong bump can cause the winch to release, resulting in significant (and expensive) damage. Again, bumpers would help limit the damage should this occur.
2. Protect Your Dock
In addition to keeping your boat safe, dock cushions can protect the following:
- Dock ladders
- Dock pilings
- Floating rafts
- PWC ports
If a collision occurs, your dock can experience just as much damage as your boat, so the protection goes both ways. You can use dock fenders, such as post bumpers and corner dock fenders. Dock corner bumpers are incredibly excellent in aiding with docking safety.
Dock wheels are also available, which are easy to install using corner mounts. These are great for docks where larger vessels moor.
Extend the Lifespan of Your Dock
While even high-quality, heavy-duty docks still face normal wear and tear, using dock bumpers will help limit damage from vessels consistently mooring.
Further, the dock’s structural integrity will weaken if boats smash into the pilings. Use piling bumpers to help limit this damage and keep your dock’s structure in tack for decades.
You can also consider using dock fender braces. The bumper braces allow you to secure your boat safely without installing pilings in every mooring area.
Keep Your Dock Looking Great
Docking fenders come in various colors, materials, and styles. This way, you can pick something functional that matches your dock’s aesthetic. The fenders will look nice while keeping the docksides looking brand new for years.
Installing something like FEND-OFFⓇ edging along the dock edge will significantly increase your dock’s lifespan. Never worry about dings and scratches along your docksides again!
Prevent Expensive Repairs
As with your boat, dock fenders will limit expensive dock repairs. Investing in high-quality bumpers is a cost-friendly way to ensure the longevity of your dock. Even during rough storms, you can rest assured knowing your dock will face minimal damage if a vessel crashes into it.
3. Prevent Squeaking
Docking fenders for boats are often notorious for making a squeaking sound, which can be annoying. However, if you invest in soft fender covers, this will help mitigate the squeaking. Fender covers benefit those who spend the night on their watercraft, as squeaking can disrupt the peace.
Invest in Dock Fenders for Your Marina
Dock fenders are inexpensive but will save your boat and dock from extensive damage during a collision. There is no better investment in protecting your vessel and mooring station.
To purchase any type of fender, including corner bumpers, find your local Haven Dock dealer and call us! We’ll help you find the perfect bumpers for your boat and dock.
In need of other boat accessories? We have just what you need at one of our many locations throughout the U.S.