Boating Tips

Everything You Need to Know about Boat Fenders

If you are a boat owner, you’ve like heard of boat fenders. But on the off chance that you haven’t, boat fenders are bumpers that are used for taking the hit when you dock your boat or raft up against another boat. They are one of the simplest ways to protect your fiberglass, aluminum or wooden boat from the wear and tear of docks and pilings, preventing overall damage via their high energy absorption at the point of impact.

If you just bought your first boat or are thinking about buying a used boat in San Diego, here are a few things you should know about boat fenders and how to set them:

Quantity and Size

The number of fenders you have will be based on your boat’s size. While there’s no exact rule, fenders should be about an inch thick in diameter for every five feet of boat length. Boats that are more than 40 feet in length should have at least four. It’s always better to have the right amount of the right size fenders than to have a collection of smaller fenders.

Setting Fenders

You’ll want to have your fenders out on the deck and near where they will be placed. Be sure all lines are untangled ahead of time and that you or your deck mates are ready to place them. Place the fenders at the widest most vulnerable parts of your boat’s topsides, properly tying them off to a cleat. If you’re going to be at a crowded anchorage, place fenders on both sides of the boat to help protect it in the event of rolling caused by waves or if another boat drifts on its anchor.

Docking with a Piling

If you’re pulling up to a dock with a piling, place two fenders on the side of your boat with a fender board on the outside of them. The two fenders should be placed a few inches less than the width of the fender board apart so that the fender board will rest safely between the piling and the fenders. This will aid in protecting your hull in case of any rocking back in forth due to waves.

Leaving the Dock

It’s best to keep your fenders in place until you’ve released the dock lines and there’s a safe distance between you and the dock or other boats. You’ll then need to untie and stow your fenders in their proper position before heading back on the water. Forgetting about and leaving your fenders out while you’re running is sure to say “newbie” to other boaters and more importantly, can leave your fenders at risk of dropping in the water!

Last, but not least, be sure to keep your fenders clean and the lines in good condition. Stow your fenders in the same place each time and keep the dock lines attached so you can deploy them whenever needed. Most fenders are also affordably priced, so investing in a few quality fenders won’t set you back, and keeping up with proper maintenance will go a long way in ensuring their longevity.

Have other questions about boating? Whether you want to sell a boat in San Diego or are interested in upgrading to a larger boat or yacht, look no further than Ballast Point Yachts, Inc. in San Diego. Simply call 619-222-3620 and one of our expert boat brokers will be more than happy to assist you.