True sailors invest in their equipment and take a good care of their boats. Acquiring a boat is only one step, however. You also need life jackets, life buoys, boat fenders, boat anchors, and boat cleats, among other things. Boat fenders are one of the most essential items: low in price, but able to protect the expensive boats efficiently. The right number and type of fenders can save you from disasters.Function
The fenders prepare you and your boat for all kinds of mooring conditions. They act as cushions and protect the hull from other boats and collisions with the dock. These accessories absorb the shock of vessel movement. They are not only useful at the point of mooring but also when the boat is docked for a longer time, when it could bump into others.Types
Larger, heavier vessels benefit most from round, centre hole, or hybrid cylindrical round fenders. Cylindrical, double-eye or sausage fenders are great for shorter and lighter vessels. For limited usage, you may also find a variety of specialty fenders that serve a particular purpose. If you want to maximise the protection, specialty fenders that are specifically for your boat type of for certain mooring conditions, are the way to go.Size
Select the right size depending on your boat's weight, length, and typical mooring conditions. Manufacturers provide plenty of size charts to help you along the way. However, if your boat is heavy for its size or you frequently experience harsh conditions, opt for a larger fender. Larger diameter provides more protection, and it is smarter to be careful.Amount and placement
Boat fenders only work properly if you have enough of them and also place them in the right spots. The minimum number of fenders you should have is three, and you should use one fender per three metres of waterline. One of the fenders should be at the maximum beam and the others at the aft and the fore. When you are planning to raft your boat, plan to install more fenders for better safety.