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What Size Fender for Boat Do I Need?

When you have your own boat, it is essential that you keep it safe and secured for a long-lasting service. If you are not cautious enough while docking in or out, you might bump into another boat or docks and damage the edge, railings of your boat. Moreover, it is not always up to you; even if you are careful enough, there is no surety that someone else will not bump against your boat and damage the body. That’s why boat fender comes first as safety accessories. But what size fender for boat do you need? That is one of the common questions.

what size fender for boat

Boat fenders are becoming more popular nowadays for your boat’s protection on the boat’s different sides. However, many of the boats come with built-in fenders and bumpers. But gradually, these tend to wear off, tear out, or be lost. Protect your boat from the sides will ensure your boat’s protection fully.

Boat fender sizes vary for different edges and angles of your boat. They are designed with an air-cushioned, inflatable feature in a different shape to withstand the pressure and bump from different angles and parts of the boat.

Nobody wants to see dents or scratches in any parts of their precious boat. That is why it is essential to keep it secured from any damage. You can buy them separately in different designs, specifications, and models suitable for your boat’s configuration specifically. You can also get different boat fenders for specific boats for better fit and design to avoid extra hassle.

When it comes to boat fenders, common confusion arises about the boat fenders’ size and shape. You can get details and instructions from different boat fender size guides to know every specification in detail. As I already have mentioned, boat fender sizes will vary for different boats regarding their design, area, specification, and attaching location. That is why the size of the boat fender is crucial before buying one.

boat fender size guide

What Size Fender for Boat Do I Need?

Here in this boat fenders size guide, I have highlighted the key points you need to know better about what specification and size will be suitable for your boat.

Boat fenders come in different sizes in different shapes. Whether the fender’s shape and size are, it features shock absorption to provide maximum security when classing into any vessels or boats. Most boat fenders are air-filled inflated fenders in different shapes to prevent different parts of the boats from damage. The boats’ shape is similar, like: some are oval in the corner, where some have a rectangular shape.

Whether you choose flat fenders or cylindrical fenders, it is best to be sure about the boat’s required specifications. Like, for bigger-shaped boats, you will need fenders with sturdy material to withstand the force while docking in or out.

For example: if you dock in your boats to the busy floating docks, you will require attaching a better fender between the dock and the boat to prevent clashing against the corner. On the other hand, if you raft your boat, you have to install and keep your fenders to the boat’s widest beam location.

So, basically, it is challenging to choose boat fenders’ right size without your boat’s type and size.


Video Credit – Fans of Anchoring

Dock Protectors:

For better use convenience, many features of the boat dock wheels, guards, or cushions for protection in the specific part. However, these guards don’t protect your boat; these guards are mostly attached to different docks at the contact direction.

The dock fence savers, cushions, and guards come in handy for those who have not installed any fenders yet or have not configured them correctly. Some of the dock wheels also allow easy pumping features. You have to buy an additional hand pump for inflating it. The air-cushioned inflatable fenders and guards tend to deflate the air inside it every time it is pushed against anything. So with these hand pumps, you can quickly inflate the accessories and tools and ensure excellent protection for the docks and boats.

There are different kinds of air-cushioned heavy-duty taylor made material fenders and bumpers you can get to protect any edge, docks, or sides of the boat without worrying about the boat’s size, pattern, and design.

fender sizes for boat

The Size of the Boat and the Fender:

The rule of thumb for the boat fenders is that its diameter has to be at least 1 inch for every 5 feet of the boat. For the bigger boats, you will require bigger fenders. Like, for a 20 feet longboat, you will need to buy four fenders in total.

As the fender’s specifications vary, you will have to be careful before buying one. For example, the rule thumb of a one-inch diameter of the fender is suitable mostly for the cylindrical fenders. If you go for the spherical or others or round fenders or transom fenders, you will have to have a two-inch diameter for the boat’s same specification.

Another crucial factor affecting the fender’s size is the boat’s specification, design, boat length, functioning, etc. It also depends on the condition of the boat, boat weight, docking area, etc.

The boat fenders with a larger diameter provide better width in length and extra security to keep your boat safe and secured from any unintentional dents, scratches, etc.

Size of Fenders Based on Various Types and Boat Size –

Boat Length In Feet Cylindrical Fenders Diameter Round Fenders Diameter Flat Fenders Size
Under 10′ 3″ NR Small
10’–15′ 3″–4.” 9″ Small
15’–20′ 5″–5.5.” 12″ Small
20’–25′ 6″–6.5.” 15″ Medium
25’–35′ 8″–8.5.” 18″ Medium
35’–50′ 10.5″–12.” 21″ Large
50’–60′ 12″ 27″ Large
60’–72′ 15″–24.” 27″ Large

Table Credit – Westmarine.com


Video Credit – West Marine

How Many Boat Fenders Do You Need to Purchase?

It is entirely up to you to choose the appropriate boat fenders size based on your boat’s requirements. But how many fenders you need are crucial factors to ensure your boat’s safety from any unintentional hit.

For remaining on the safe side, it is recommended to attach at least three fenders for your boat. The rule of thumb for this scenario is that you have to secure at least one fender for every 10 feet of waterline.

You can always add more fenders if you feel the necessity of it. But it does not mean that you should buy small-size fenders in a large amount to connect them. You must understand the necessity of choosing the right fender that perfectly fits your boat’s design. Only then can you be prepared to tackle any uncertain hit or bump.

Things you need to be careful about:

  • How the fenders will support your boat ensure protection is essential. Whether you should hang the fender or drop it down is critical. In the same way, you will have to consider whether it will be better to turn it horizontally or vertically.
  • Many boat owners drill the fenders to the railings and other areas of the boat. If you don’t want to do that, make sure you buy the ones you can easily attach through roping down or hanging.
  • Always look for the specification to know the purpose of the fenders. You can’t expect a railing fender to function as a dock fender too.
  • It is better to place the fenders at the widest beam of the boat.
  • Don’t go for the one with a complicated installation process.

Now you have a basic idea about what size fender for boat you need to purchase. Again learn more, do the research, and buy your suitable one to secure your boat. Let’s dive into the water with your pontoon now.

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