Posted on September 28, 2023

How to Protect Your Dock from Your Boat with Our Fenders & Bumpers

How to Protect Your Dock from Your Boat with Our Fenders & Bumpers

Written by HydroHoist Marketing

Boat dock bumpers are one of the simplest and best forms of protection for your boat and boat dock alike. Minor collisions will happen sometimes, so it’s best to put up as much protection as possible to avoid unsightly and potentially expensive damage.

Things happen out on the water. The wind and waves can pick up, forcing a moored boat to collide into your dock system. Someone could underestimate their driving abilities, overshoot a boat lift, or otherwise end up colliding with your dock. There’s no avoiding the occasional small bump or scrape, but what seem like small mishaps can be problematic for your boat lift system and dock alike.

Boat dock fenders and bumpers are cushioned attachments for your dock system that sit between your dock system and a boat. The terms are often used interchangeably, but technically, a bumper is attached to a dock while a fender is attached to a boat. No matter where they are, they’re designed to absorb energy and resist rubbing, which means that when a boat comes up against a protected dock edge or pole, the bumper or fender absorbs the impact that would normally affect your boat or dock.

Some boat dock owners take a DIY approach to boat dock protectors and use old tires, pool noodles, and other handmade solutions. While the creativity is commendable — and these solutions can work in a pinch — a bumper or fender that’s specifically designed for protecting the boat and the dock absorbs the energy better and keeps your boat from getting scuffed or scratched up.


What Makes a Good Fender or Bumper?

When you’re looking to buy or upgrade a protection system for your boat dock, there are some important qualities to look into. Consider this a checklist when you go to your local waterfront dealer to shop for protective options.

  • Materials and construction: Just like everything else on your waterfront, the cheapest option isn’t the best. Your boat and dock are both too big of investments to leave without proper protection. Marine-grade vinyl and similar materials are your best bet. Cushioning made of softer polymers is durable enough to withstand the rigors of waterfront life. Aluminum is an excellent choice for hardware on the grounds that it’s lightweight, durable, and doesn’t rust or corrode, even in saltwater. The materials are also likely to look better for longer and be lower-maintenance than some alternatives on the market.
  • Your local water and weather conditions: Your boat dock bumpers should withstand the water in your area, especially if you live in a saltwater region or other area that can be hard on waterfront systems. Harsh sunlight and inclement weather are also worth considering, which is why you should be sure that the materials you use are marine-grade. The highest-quality materials, like aluminum and marine-grade polyethylene, are low-maintenance and require little effort on your part to keep looking and performing well season after season.
  • Size: The bumpers you use should be an appropriate size and scale for your boat and dock alike. After all, you don’t want a large boat taking your too-small bumpers clean off your dock at the first collision. Choose something that can absorb the kind of forces that you’ll see on your shoreline.

While there are more resources than ever for the boat owner who’s shopping around for the best equipment, all of that information can get overwhelming. This is where talking to a local waterfront dealer can be a huge help. They will know the local conditions, as well as you do as well as have the industry knowledge to know which products work best with your waterfront. Come prepared with as much information about your waterfront and what you’re looking for as possible; they’ll be happy to help you out.

HydroHoist Fenders & Bumpers

HydroHoist carries fender, bumper, and edging options for our boat docks to protect your waterfront system for its entire life. Complete your HydroHoist waterfront with one of these options:

  • Bow Guide: Designed for aligning and centering your boat on a lift while also protecting the keel and gunwale. Made of UV-resistant polyethylene and featuring a bull-nose design to prevent boats from slamming into the dock. 
  • Corner Bumper: A bumper for the edge of a HydroHoist dock that also curves around corners. Has a push-out center design to allow corner uprights on covered docks to be protected as well.
  • UltraFender: A heavy-duty bumper system that matches the boat's Corner Bumper system perfectly for complete dock and boat protection.
  • HydroFender: A versatile system that offers an alternative step-up edging option for traditional rub rails. The system can separate into two sections for easier sizing. 
  • HydroGuard: Your boat lift deserves protection as well. Molded polyethylene solution for a boat lift that absorbs the impact of your boat.
  • Centering Guide: A visual guideline for docking and centering the craft to ensure proper lifting.

Remember that your local HydroHoist dealer is a great resource for all things waterfront life. Not only will your local dealer know HydroHoist’s products inside and out, but they’ll also be familiar with the waterfront conditions in your area, making their expertise and recommendations incredibly valuable for any boater. They can also help with installation, removal, and other waterfront issues when you need them.


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