WaterNetic Main Logo

Types of Best Pontoon Boat Fenders and Bumpers

Are you looking for the best pontoon boat fenders? Are you confused about choosing the best pontoon bumpers for your pontoon?

If so here is this unbiased pontoon fender’s review with essential information for you to make the right purchase for your pontoon.

In This Article

When it comes to using the pontoon boats, it requires your extra attention to keep it scratch-free. Whether you are new in this or have been angling for many years, docking in and out of the pontoon is not easier. Even if you are careful enough, you can’t be sure that they will not bump their boat onto yours for the other pontoon boat owners.

Pontoon boats tend to move a lot while docking in or out, which increases the chances of bumping it into other objects. That is why it is essential to use additional accessories and tools to keep the pontoon boat condition new. Pontoon boat fender works as the extra layer to minimize the damage of bumping, denting, scratches, etc., into your boat.

Many people will suggest that the best pontoon boats don’t require any additional accessories and tools. But soon, you will realize it is not true at all. Without adequate knowledge about the necessary tools, you will end up wasting money on the accessories and tools. That is why it is essential to know how the pontoon bumpers and fenders secure the pontoon from possible damages. You will also need some extra accessories like cords, cleats, etc., for securing the side, dock, and corners of your pontoon.

Another misconception about the pontoon boat accessories is that they are optional where you don’t require to put many thoughts or spend money on them. No matter how experienced you are or just a beginner, it is not always on your hand to avoid accidents. Pontoon fendering is more like ensuring the framework, construction of your beautiful pontoon in the same shape.

You can get varieties in pontoon boat fender regarding their size, application, quality, feature, price, etc. For better optimization, you need to know your pontoon’s specifications and which pontoon fendering will be suitable for you. The functionality and additional features of the best pontoon bumpers and fenders should secure and protect your boat conveniently instead of making it just a big floating accessory.

To know more in detail, you can check the pontoon boat fender list with elaborated details about the product. It can be misleading and confusing, and going through the product reviews will help you know about the product in more information. But it won’t clear your confusion about the specified and suitable requirements; you need to know.

While checking the best boat fenders for pontoon, you will also have to keep in mind specified about a few facts, including:

  • The size of the boat fender.
  • The shape of the boat fender.
  • What specifications you require to look for.
  • How many bumpers or fenders you require for your boat?
  • How to install the boat fender successfully, etc.

That is why first it is recommended to know how the best boat fender functions, which makes them suitable for the boats. Here in this article, I have tried to focus on all the necessary details you require to know to choose the top boat fender according to your suitability.

pontoon fendering

Types of Pontoon Boat Fenders

You get so many varieties in terms of the types, features, etc., of pontoon boat bumpers and fenders. Here in this part, I have categorized the fenders in terms of primary standard and pontoon standard.

Standard Boat fenders:

Flat fenders:

A flatboat fender is convenient in terms of pricing and assembling process. You can attach them to the side of your boat. You can attach the pieces according to your pontoon boat’s size and construction, eliminating the spacing issues as you can fold most of the flat fenders and place them under a suitable place of your boat when not using.

These fenders offer great flexibility as it is not resistant to rolling or rounding like other kinds. Additional adjustable straps support the fender to remain in the right place.

But the problem with this kind of fender is that they are not as strong as other pontoon boat bumpers. They can’t withstand much force and pressure and easily tears apart.

HULL HUGR Modular EVA Fender, 24 x 12 x 3 in., Blue
HULL HUGR Modular EVA Fender, 24 x 12 x 3 in., Blue
Easy to stow; will not puncture or absorb water; Flat design resists rolling or riding up; Link 2 or more together
Hull Hugr Contour Fender, Black, 24” long x 6” wide x 2 1/2” thick. (HH-1CB)
Hull Hugr Contour Fender, Black, 24” long x 6” wide x 2 1/2” thick. (HH-1CB)
will not roll up like traditional round fenders; easily folds up for under seat storage; tough marine grade tri-laminate covers are rip proof and durable

Cylindrical fender:

A cylindrical boat fender is most popularly used for smaller pontoon boats usually. It comes in a cylindrical shape, just like their name, and is designed with eyelets on every end of the fender.

But it also has some drawbacks, including a complicated assembling process and extra hassle for maintenance.

Cylindrical fenders also offer different varieties suitable for other purposes.

  • Double-eye cylindrical fender:

These fenders are known as double hole cylindrical fenders, mostly suitable for the small boat framework.

It features the double-eye design for placing the fenders by two lines horizontally. As you have to hang the fenders, it is constructed with quality ribbed rubber materials for enhanced stability while moving. It helps the fenders to stay in the right place also.

  • Center hole:

People with larger boats usually choose this kind of fenders as it offers more extended depth. It has a rope molded through the tube. You can attach multiple tubes on a single rope if you want to keep it longer.

  • Hybrid round fenders:

These are designed for the ones who prefer smooth and softer application. These fenders feature a soft edge, which is more like the round fenders. For the smooth surface, it doesn’t have any ribber or rubbery attachment finishing.

Shoreline Marine Ribbed Inflatable Fender
Shoreline Marine Ribbed Inflatable Fender
4" x 16" black ribbed fender.; Super soft and non-abrasive material does not harm your boat.
Polyform G-4 Boat Fender White
Polyform G-4 Boat Fender White
A general purpose, value boat fender made by Polyform and manufactured in the USA; G-4 fenders are recommended for boats between 20 and 30 ft. in length
Taylor Made Products 1192 Tuff End Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender 15 x 41 inch , White
Taylor Made Products 1192 Tuff End Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender 15 x 41 inch , White
Injection molded ends tested to 2000 psi tensile strength; Tri-valve for easy inflation with football needle or compressor

Ball Cylinder bumpers:

These fenders are suitable for commercial powerboats, mainly due to the large size. It is designed in hollowed cylindric shape using the quality plastic-looking vinyl material.

If you are a recreational pontooner who loves to enjoy leisure time, it would not be useful. These fenders allow only one line assembling.

But it can be challenging to maneuver the pontoon boats with these kinds of fenders if your boat is not big enough. It tends to move around a lot, which creates difficulty in balancing the smaller boats.

Polyform A-1 Buoy Red 11 x 15 in.
Polyform A-1 Buoy Red 11 x 15 in.
A versatile, heavy duty buoy made by Polyform and manufactured in the U.S.A; A-1 buoys measure 11 in. diameter by 15 in. tall with 1 in. ropehold eye diameter
Taylor Made Products 1143 Tuff End Inflatable Vinyl Boat Buoy, White, 12 inch Diameter
Taylor Made Products 1143 Tuff End Inflatable Vinyl Boat Buoy, White, 12 inch Diameter
Recommended boat size - 40 to 50 Feet; Made in the USA for heavy duty marine applications; Tri-valve for easy inflation with football needle or compressor
Salty Reef Marine Hardware - 12” All Purpose Marine Grade PVC Vinyl Round Buoy Fender (Orange)
Salty Reef Marine Hardware - 12” All Purpose Marine Grade PVC Vinyl Round Buoy Fender (Orange)
2000 psi tensile strength Marine Grade PVC inflatable buoy; Easy inflation with ball needle or air compressor. (not included)

Transom fenders:

Transom fenders are designed to secure the pontoon transoms. People usually install these fenders on the swimming platforms or the transom of the boat. However, most of the pontoons don’t have additional swimming platforms.

You can ensure excellent protection by attaching these fenders to grip the middle of your transom swimming platform.

Because of their more oversized shape, these fenders tend to split and can be very unmanageable.

These fenders are not suitable for railing attachments. Moreover, it takes a lot of space for your storage in the boat, which can be troublesome to make space for other tools in the pontoons.

Which Type of Fender Serves Better for Pontoons?

I have generally described the type of different fenders, their convenience, and the drawbacks in the last point. But for the people, it is always a big concern if spending money on their boat accessories will be suitable for their boat or not.

To clear this confusion here, in this part, I have attached more details of each kind of bumpers and fenders available in the market, including the ones specifically made for different pontoons.

Side fenders:

Side fenders are specially developed to protects the side railings of your pontoon. Nobody likes a dented railings with scratches and marks. Side fenders protect the rectangular shapes railings and structure of your pontoon efficiently.

Side boat fenders are widely popular because of their excellent rail fitting. You can also use straps to slide them down the deck or keep them off the tubes according to your preference. You get the required pair of straps and other accessory tools in the product package.

Inflatable side fenders are hollow inside, and the air inside them tends to deflate gradually. The timing depends on the quality of the product. For better durability and long-lasting performance, some of the pontoon side fenders come with a built-in valve. It allows you to blow the air up inside the tube and reuse it again.

What makes the side fenders stand out is mostly using marine grade quality materials to sustain long-term effects. Marine grade quality material offers enormous durability and reliability, ensuring UV light resistance.

It is recommended to use two fenders on every side of the boat to prevent any damage to the pontoon’s tubes or bow. For example: if you have a 20-foot pontoon, you should buy four side fenders in total to install two fenders on every side of the pontoon.

If you don’t want to keep the fenders attached always, you can keep them in the boat at a convenient place. For easy and quick removal and mounting of the fenders, it would be best to buy rail mounts suitable for the model.

Taylor Made Products 31030 Pontoon Boat Fender (9' x 16', White)
Taylor Made Products 31030 Pontoon Boat Fender (9" x 16", White)
Molded in ridge hooks underneath pontoon deck to help secure fender in place; Optional securing points to accommodate most styles of pontoon boats
AKUA Pontoon Boat Fender
AKUA Pontoon Boat Fender
Easy to put on-easy to take off; No need for cleats; Attaches to the top rail so can be attached where needed

Fence fenders:

When it comes to your beautiful pontoon, you would not want to compromise by protecting one side better than others. You would like to ensure full protection to eliminate any damage to your favorite boat.

That is why it is essential that you also focus on securing your pontoons fencing along with the railings and framework.

Fence saver fenders are designed to attach snugly sliding through the deck and the tube and ensure excellent protection to both the rails and fence of the pontoons.

These come with reliable straps and clips to protect the fence adequately from any bumping. The quality sturdy plastic protects the aluminum fences.

You don’t even have to drill it through your beautiful railings to attach the fender. You can use the straps to hang the fender properly.

Taylor Made Products 31032 Pontoon Boat Fence Fender Saver (9' x 36')
Taylor Made Products 31032 Pontoon Boat Fence Fender Saver (9" x 36")
Marine-grade material; UV resistant; 9 “ wide x 36” long; Ideal for rafting; Secures to pontoon fence or railing

Corner fenders:

No matter how experienced you are or how careful you are while docking in or out of the boat, it is complicated to keep the boat corner safe from any damage for a long time. Almost all the models of the pontoons come with a bumper corner.

So you might think why I am suggesting purchasing the extra pontoon corner bumpers then. Securing and protecting the boat’s corner is pretty crucial as it is prone to bump or slide against other boats, mostly while docking in or out. So with time, the corner fenders tend to wear out, faded, or get damaged. It can be lost as well, or might fell off.

You can get many taylor made products for your boat if yours is damaged or does not come with one. If you are planning to replace your rigged old pontoon corner bumper with a new one, you must be careful about your dock edge boat structure.

Almost all the boat corner fenders are designed with marine grade PVC or vinyl material, ensuring UV resistance for incredible durability and reliability. To blend in the pontoon railings’ color, corner bumpers are designed in gray or silver color mostly.

The corner of the pontoons is not similar in shapes on all the sides. So you might have to buy different corner fenders designed to fit your pontoon’s specification and configuration. Some of the fenders also offer flexible angling for both square and round corners.

For better and easier convenience, you should look for the ones with easy installation to the corner of your boat. It also supports the corner with its air-filled impact to ensure better protection while docking for the longer term.

Unlike the types of fenders, boat bumpers for corners don’t have any individual side requirements. Whether it is for the right corner or the left ones, you will buy the same pontoon corner fenders. While mounting the bumpers, you will have to flip the angle to fit them in your desired location.

Taylor Made Products 31033, Pontoon Boat Corner Protector Fender, 90 Corner, 3.5 inch x 11.5 inch
Taylor Made Products 31033, Pontoon Boat Corner Protector Fender, 90 Corner, 3.5 inch x 11.5 inch
Designed for 90 degree square corners, will not fit rounded corners; Mount to the original factory installed aluminum corner, includes all stainless fasteners
Flex to fit Radius and 90 degree corners; Silver color matches aluminum decking; Stainless fasteners included

Best Pontoon Boat Dock Bumpers:

Unlike other fenders, boat dock bumpers are not installed on your boat. These are attached in the docking area for extra protection. You can get various pontoon dock bumpers for an edge, including different specifications, configurations, and designs.

To choose the best pontoon boat fenders for dock edge specification, you will have to consider how the individual type works, suitable for which condition, their affordability, installation, etc.

Pontoon Dock Edge Saver:

Pontoon dock bumpers and fenders are the substitutes for the front fenders and side bumpers of your boat. But instead of attaching them to the boat, you secure your dock bumpers to the dock. The best part of its multiple uses includes pilings and on the boat’s dock edges.

Boat dock bumpers are specially designed with quality vinyl PVC, including UV protection and resistance to fungicides. You can get the different kinds of dock fenders for your pontoon by linking to amozon.com. The quality bumpers have air-filled inside that gradually lose the inside air with the bumps and pushes with other objects and boats.

These come with an easy mount process. You can place them horizontally or also vertically according to your pontoon specification. It is designed to fit better with its convenient mounting specification. You can attach the fasteners to the mounting groove easily for a better fit.

attwood 93532-1 Softside UV-Resistant Marine 18-Inch Straight-Edge Dock Fender, White
attwood 93532-1 Softside UV-Resistant Marine 18-Inch Straight-Edge Dock Fender, White
Included Components: Attwood 93532-1 Dock Fender Straight Edge White; The Package Height Of The Product Is 18 Inches
Taylor Made Products 46013 Comm Dock Side Guard Coil Retail Pack, 10-Feet, White
Taylor Made Products 46013 Comm Dock Side Guard Coil Retail Pack, 10-Feet, White
85% recycled commercial grade double molded material; Made in the USA; Easy installation; Hardware not included
TAYLOR MADE PRODUCTS Straight Dock Cushion for Docks and Piers
TAYLOR MADE PRODUCTS Straight Dock Cushion for Docks and Piers
Straight cushion; Pre-drilled; Easy installation; Hardware not included; Outer shell made from high density polyethylene foam for superior protection

Corner Dock Wheels for Pontoon:

Dock wheels come in handy to resist the boat from the possible hit and damage while docking. You can mount the dock wheels easily with brackets. These inflatable wheels allow the users to use a hand pump for inflating the wheels according to their suitability for unintentional hit resistance.

KUFA Sports 12' Boat Dock Wheel & Cornnor Mount Bracket(Hot Dipped Galvanized Steel)
KUFA Sports 12" Boat Dock Wheel & Cornnor Mount Bracket(Hot Dipped Galvanized Steel)
Brand new Inflatable Corner Mount Dock Wheel boat fender.; Rolls with impact to fend off boat;Wheel Material: Use soft vinyl.
Dock Edge + Inc. Corner Mount Dock Wheel (12-Inch, White)
Dock Edge + Inc. Corner Mount Dock Wheel (12-Inch, White)
Molded-in valves to adjust the level of firmness; Heavy-duty, hot dipped galvanized hardware mounts securely to the dock

How to Attach the Pontoon Fenders?

You get so many options in the best pontoon fenders in the market. Some of the fenders and bumpers are designed especially for pontoons. that is why you need to know to choose the one that matches the structure of your pontoons the most.

Nowadays, all of the manufacturers focus more on easier attaching and assembling features for customer convenience. Most of the fenders come with detailed manuals and instructions with specific measurements. But when you are assembling something new that you haven’t done before or not familiar with the process, it can arise many confusions and questions while doing it.

You can also contact your pontoon dealer to get a better idea and suggestions about the suitable fenders and accessories.

Most of the fenders come with a complete manual and the necessary accessories to assemble the parts. Before buying, check the list of required accessories and the ones that will come in the package.

After receiving the package, go through the instruction manual to get a full idea about the products. If any parts or accessories are missing, you will have to buy them additionally like hangers, adjusters, cleats, etc., for your pontoon fenders.

It is recommended to add rail adjusters and hangers with the chosen fender and bumper guards for your pontoon for being on the safe side.

Your precious pontoon boat must receive proper care and treatment. Installing fenders is one very crucial measure that you should take. It is necessary to berth your boat in a dock or when your boat is in heavy traffic for extra protection. It is quite usual for your boat to get damaged or scratched if not well protected around many other boats. Attaching fenders might come as easy if the company provides you with clips. Otherwise, it will be necessary to do some drilling for installing them. It depends on what kind of boat you have and what method you use to attach the fenders. You will find some excellent solutions for installing your fenders and bumpers, and those can be very easy. They might provide you the freedom to not drill through your boat’s railings too. With this manner, the fenders can easily be attached and detached. Here are some methods explained to you for your comfort in choosing.

  1. This method requires some drilling. Here you will use spring links and anchor points to attach your fenders. The drill will be through the side of the railings. So if you are concerned about the boat losing its fantastic look, you do not need to worry. Also, the perk of using spring links is that you can always unclip them and keep your fenders stored. This method will fail in the long term, though, if you sail your boat in the seawater. The materials are not durable enough if in touch with seawater. The zinc and aluminum get very rusty and corroded. If sailing in the sea is necessary, use the attachments made out of stainless steel for longevity. You might get irritated by the noise of two banging metals. To help yourself with that, use a tool to handle rubber for them.
  2. A very easy solution there is for you if fender clips or cleats suit your boat. You may not always get enough clips from the manufacturer or the seller you bought the fenders. You can find them online or buy from the market at a low price. You can attach the clips to the rails. These will not do any damage to the seats and the railing because of being rubber-coated. But the only concern is if your boat has the particular features for this application.
  3. This method comes with a rather concrete solution to your problem. With the use of rail fender mounts and adjusters, you can firmly attach your pontoon fenders. But again, comes the question if your boat is providing you this opportunity or not. If the seats are higher and tightly adjusted to the railing, this step is a no go. You will not have enough space to install the attachments if the seats reach over the top rail.
  4. If you are thinking about placing the fenders’ clips behind your furniture and seats, this one will be the best advice for you. Here are these clips, which are very quickly attachable. You fix them with the square rails behind your seats and then tighten them. The ropes are secured and very tightly locked. You will not have to drill any holes, and these stainless steel clips are very durable, especially in saltwater.

Video Credit – Avalon Luxury Pontoon Boats

What Is the Right Size for the Fender for Your Pontoon Boats?

Choosing the right size of fenders for your pontoon boat is quite essential. But then again, it is not very easy. The fender’s size is entirely dependent on the size of your boat. The longer your boat is, the bigger the fenders have to be. The diameter of the fender is the crucial point here. There goes a rule that, for every 5 feet of your pontoon boat, the fender has to have a diameter of an inch. So if your boat has a length of 30 feet, the fender’s diameter has to be 6 inches. This is a standard measurement for the boat’s fenders size.

How Many Pontoon Bumpers and Fenders Will You Need?

Fenders provide your boat with the ultimate security from getting damaged unintentionally. It is necessary while the boat is berthed around heavy traffic or in a dock. Consider attaching more than three fenders if you want to protect your valuable boat from any scratches or damages. A rule there is that, for every 10 feet of waterline, install one fender. You can always go for more for extra protection if you feel it is necessary.

Where Can You Put the Fenders When You are Sailing?

You might think that the fenders are hanging outside your boat while sailing is quite unappealing. So must wonder how you can store them when you are out in the water. You have to put them somewhere inside the boat. You can quickly put them under your seats throughout the trip. It is the most standard and common solution. There are other ways too, and those are very much dependent on how you attach the fenders. If attached to ropes, you can pull them up inside your boat. You can match your fenders’ color with the boats and keep them hanging if you want to go for a good-look. It is all up to you that how you want to keep your fenders. Hanging them outside actually does not do any damage whatsoever.

In conclusion, all I can say is I have tried to add all the details for you to understand about the pontoon fenders and bumpers in more information. I hope it has cleared all your confusion and provide enough details for you to make the right choice in purchasing the best pontoon fendering for your boat.

Waternetic is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more….

Recent Post

Share, print or comment on this article:

Picture of Samuel Ladner
Samuel Ladner

As of 13th January 2021

Leave a Comment