Marine Fenders – Why You Need Them

Boats, like houses, can be a very costly investment. When it comes to our homes, we do our best to maintain their value and keep them looking their best, so why should boats be any different?

Collisions with rocks, debris, or other watercraft are a major risk, particularly in turbulent weather or choppy seas, or even just during normal mooring as the bobbing water can cause many small impacts with the jetty, dockside, etc. So what can you do to help protect your boat, the contents within, and, most importantly, yourself? The answer is fenders!

Fenders are fitted to the outer hull and provide a protective barrier that compresses under pressure, enabling them to absorb heavy impacts and transfer the kinetic energy away from the boat. They are generally manufactured in rubber, plastic, foam elastomer, or coir.

TPE rubber fenders have become increasingly popular due to the unique properties found in the compound. TPE, or thermoplastic elastomer, like other rubber compounds, offers excellent resistance to UV, weathering, and abrasion. What sets it apart is its non-marking properties. As most private sea vessels tend to be white, it is important any contact with a fender doesn’t leave an unsightly mark which can be difficult to remove.

Rubber marine fenders can be found in different shapes:

D fenders – These are usually drilled straight through so the fender can be bolted to the surface.

B fenders – Also known as double D fenders, these feature a fixing strip through the centre which acts as a washer. This aids in easy installation while providing increased strength to the fender, which is drilled and bolted to the surface.

U fenders – These are designed to fit over a surface, such as a hull join or flange, but do not require being bolted in place.

A natural alternative to rubber fenders is coir fenders. Coir is made from the fibres of coconut husks and has been proven, over centuries of use, to be waterproof and resistant to saltwater damage. Coir fenders are also very lightweight and maintain the traditional look borne from the days of sailing in ancient times.

Whatever your requirement and whatever your preference, RubberSmart is able to supply all manner of marine fenders in a wide range of materials, shapes, and sizes.