How to Choose the Right Boat Fender
If you are a boat owner, you may feel a bit overwhelmed with the number of boat accessories available to you. Some of these are merely cosmetic, whereas others are more functional that they are aesthetically pleasing. For functional accessories, one that you should never be without is a boat fender. For protection against docks of various composition and other boats in general, a boat fender is the perfect investment. That said, it is not as easy as choosing the first fender that you see. In this article, we will go over some quick tips to help you decide between boat fenders.
First, you will want to decide which size of fender you will want. The size of your boat needs to be taken into account, as you need to get a fender that accounts for its size. For every 4′-5′ of boat length, you should get 1″ of diameter for cylindrical fenders and 2″ for those that are spherical. Still, this is not the only variable to consider. You must also think about what conditions your boat will face regularly. Generally speaking, one wants a fender that is larger, since it will have more overall coverage.
To follow that, you will want to think about whether you want your fenders to hang horizontally or vertically. A flat fender will only have the ability to wrap vertically around the boat. Smaller boats are generally seen with flat fenders. Center rope tube fenders will allow for either horizontal or vertical alignment. The ropes help keep this type of fender in place, since its large form requires more security. The preferable alignment is contingent on what you often use your boat for.
Finally, you will want to take a moment and decide if you want to factor in the aesthetic of your fender. You may want a matching fender, and find that it costs more. Alternatively, you can always purchase a cover for your fender and use that to blend the styles. The cover will also help with your boat’s overall cleanliness. In addition to the cover, it may be prudent to invest in fender racks and cleaning supplies as well. With the added bonus of these tools, you can have multiple fenders at the ready and keep them all properly clean.
Buying a boat fender can be a bit confusing. Styles and orientations can differ greatly. Still, it should not be debated whether or not you need one. The safety of your vessel depends heavily on your fender. You may have gone this long without one, but the longer you go without one opens up more chances for your boat to need costly repairs. As long as you get the proper size and all the necessary accessories, you will be fine.