The Best Dock Bumpers to Prevents Damage to the Boat Hull

best dock bumper

Boat owners should be mindful of getting some things to protect your boat not just from deterioration but with general wearing out as well. One example is the best dock bumper. Since it protects your boat, it has the following features that are vital for its efficacy.

  • Material and Quality

Marine-grade vinyl is the best material in making a boat duck bumper for large vessels because it can withstand the harsh marine environment. Smaller vessels will be fine with dock bumpers made of flexible PVC vinyl. In terms of hardware, aluminum is the ideal component as it’s highly resistant to corrosion and rust. It won’t also discolor even after being submerged in the water.

They have the appropriate materials that create quality dock bumpers. Henceforth, the right dock bumpers are well-built and efficient to serve their purpose.

  • Water and Weather Conditions

When buying dock bumpers, you have to pay attention to their compatibility with water and weather conditions. This is a concern that is linked with material and quality. For instance, you have to get the dock bumpers for boats that are tough enough for a saltwater environment.

You also need to consider the harsh sunlight and bad weather conditions. So, be wise enough to select the one that can withstand those outdoor elements. You won’t only be happy with your purchase but you’ll save money from avoiding repairs.

  • Appropriate Size

Another consideration that you shouldn’t miss is the appropriate size which needs to match your boat’s size and scale. Using bumpers that are created for vessels that are smaller than yours might create issues or problems. The bumper’s size should be capable of handling your boat’s size and weight. If not, it simply means that it’s not what you have to buy.

When mooring your boat, bumping on the berth is inevitable. But you’re safe once you get the top-rated boat dock bumpers with these features. Fortunately, they are on the following list.

Top 11 Dock Bumper Reviews

1. Hull Hugr HH-A36 Marina Bumper

As an amateur in the boating field, I don’t have much idea about boat dock bumper solutions. So, I asked a dock master for approval to use this Hull Hugr marina bumper. Following his advice, I obtained a sense of security every time I moor my boat at my own dock.

There’s a jet ski ramp nearby where I dock. Thanks to its closed-cell foam padding because my dock is not easily damaged by jet skis that go past their landing point. I lined several of these bumpers and it eliminates the need for boat fenders. Thus, I don’t get a headache adjusting fenders anymore.

Even though I hit the slip multiple times, there’s nothing I need to fix on my boat. Wind can sometimes interfere with the speed of my boat but I can still stay safe along with the feeling of comfort. At the end of the day, nothing is harmed because these are great corner bumpers when absorbing the impact of my 20-foot boat.

These incredible boat bumpers for docks can provide immense protection because of the quality materials. They’re composed of vinyl that is resistant to UV rays and tears. Hence, I’m happy that they can perform their jobs in all seasons and marine environments. All the sides of my boat are protected and I don’t mind mounting several of them as it’s easy to do.

As mentioned, the installation of these bumpers is a piece of cake. But, I needed to get another set of washers. To avoid being compromised when bumping from side to side, I added some extra attachment points apart from the grommet holes.
What We Like
  • Gives a sense of security
  • Eliminates the need for boat fenders
  • Absorbs impact efficiently
  • Resistant against UV and tear
  • Works in all seasons and marine environments
  • Easy installation or mounting
What We Don’t Like
  • Using different washers and adding extra attachment points
I gained ultimate safety from using these dock bumpers. They can give so much relief and comfort to newbies like me when docking.

2. Dock Edge Premium PVC Profile Piling Bumper

The need for foam padding obliged me to install this product vertically to my dock pilings. Favorably, my boat always lands unscathed and safe. In addition, it’s flexible enough to bear the beating that might be thrown at it. I’ve been using it for over a year and it looks the same as the first day that I received it. Hence, these are my forever vertical dock bumpers!

This premium PVC dock bumper is more convenient than other bumpers. I used a hacksaw to cut the length that I needed for the pilings where the meeting of the poles and hitting dock edges occur. I can say that installation is pretty easy but drilling some pilot holes is necessary. They are alloted for the top screws that hold the pieces of dock edge bumpers.

The result of the installation is satisfactory, although drilling is a process that would take more time. I don’t complain as the set-up assures me that my boat’s rub rails are not harmed. Anyway, the holes made it a breeze to insert the screws. However, I needed a hand during installation as this is a bit heavy for only one person to carry while being mounted.

These bumpers have good construction because they’re soft but firm enough to face wake changes and even various boat types. Among many piling bumpers, this has a durability that guarantees protection in the long run. I like how it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
What We Like
  • Flexible enough to bear the beating
  • Can be cut for the necessary length
  • Mainly leave the rub rails unharmed
  • Soft but firm enough to face wake changes and various boat types
  • Durable for protection in the long run
What We Don’t Like
  • Need to drill pilot holes
  • Installation requires two people to work
Since you can cut this premium PVC, it can help you accomplish DIY dock bumpers. Eventually, I was happy with the result on how to protect the boat from the dock.

3. Extreme Max 3006.7330 BoatTector Dock Bumper

Touching the corners of the slip can’t be averted every time I dock my boat. This is the reason that compelled me to look for excellent and durable dock boat bumpers. I rejoiced in finding this awesome product because mainly, I don’t need to spend a hundred dollars for every piece. But still, it can withstand light to heavy impacts. It always keeps my boat off from the dock.

This is a tough and quality dock bumper, so the manufacturer isn’t hesitant to offer a two-year replacement. It’s not only a corner bumper but it’s for the dock’s edges too. Getting several of these thick padded bumpers is a wise move in protecting my boat when docking. I’m amazed that they hold up so well, and at the same time, they don’t collapse or deflate due to their firmness.

Every word in the product description is true. I’m convinced that the materials and parts made this dock bumper effective for marine use. It has a cover consisting of marine-grade tri-laminate that is torn and UV resistant. There are thermal-bonded seams and polycarbonate grommets that are corrosion-proof.

Thus, it’s the explanation why it remains sturdy despite constant sunlight and bad weather exposure. My friend even placed a couple of these paddings in his garage as wall guards. Therefore, both your boat and vehicle can be free from scratches and dings. You can do it by the effortless and straightforward installation of these dock bumpers. To finish the process, you need to purchase the necessary hardware parts separately.
What We Like
  • Can withstand light to heavy impact
  • Tough and quality with a two-year replacement
  • Firm; doesn’t collapse or deflate
  • Effective for marine use
  • Tear and UV-resistant with corrosion-proof grommets
  • Effortless and straightforward installation
What We Don’t Like
  • Necessary hardware is bought separately
Knowing this boat dock padding makes me realize that I don’t need to spend a lot of money on dock bumper solutions. Its toughness and efficiency would impress boat owners and dock owners alike.

4. Dimex 5011B-16C EasyFlex Plastic Dock Edging

I opted for DIY vertical dock bumpers and with the help of this D-shaped dock edging, the result is favorable! They’re the exact match for my pier pilings that have a diameter of ten inches. My only regret is that I could have used this earlier to avoid wasting time and money. It prevents my boat from hitting dock corners and edges. Even the visiting boats can benefit from it because it’s fairly soft.

It has a thickness and softness that you can’t just find in other dock bumpers for PWC. These features are the reason why they can deliver adequate protection for both the dock and your boat. On the other hand, its flexible PVC doesn’t leave its color on surfaces that it touches. Even more, you have the liberty to place it horizontally or vertically.

When it comes to durability, I was skeptical at first but it proves its worth with continuous use. It’s rigid as it can bear both fresh and saltwater. Then, it can be utilized below and above the waterline. Its UV inhibitors do exist since it doesn’t easily rot, crack, or deteriorate. I’ve also seen how it survives extreme temperatures.

Installation may take more work but it’s manageable. It’s easy to uncoil before laying it out on the driveway under the sun. Not doing this step will only make screwing a challenge because it’s a bit stiff. It’s a smart move for starting a two-person job. One needs to stretch the length to prevent sagging while the other person puts the edging in the proper designation.
What We Like
  • Prevents boat from hitting dock corners and edges
  • With thickness and softness for adequate protection
  • Flexible so it can be placed horizontally and vertically
  • Doesn’t leave color on surfaces that it touches
  • Bears fresh, saltwater, and extreme temperatures
  • With UV protection to impede rotting, cracking, and deterioration
What We Don’t Like
  • More work and preparation before installation
It’s the most suitable dock bumper for me as it can be placed on leg pipes or dock pole bumpers horizontally or vertically. All in all, I like the lasting protection for my boat. It’s worth every penny and effort on installation.

5. TAYLOR MADE PRODUCTS 46016 90 Dock Corner Bumper

You may be looking for a specific bumper style before you proceed to buy dock bumpers. In my case, I need boat dock corner bumpers for extra protection. Since Taylor Made has proven its credibility for many years, I wasn’t wrong about this one. I have it on the upper and lower junctions where bracing boards are located. With this set-up, my boat’s hull is secured from the pilings.

Thinner bumpers can’t give enough protection for large vessels. Unlike his heavy-duty bumper, it’s the perfect choice because it’s made of tough PVC. When I studied its inside part, I saw structural ribs and I realized that they’re for impact resistance. Thus, it’s an awesome corner guard to prevent gouging every time I dock.

I installed several of these corner bumpers. Then the outcome is a thicker and wider corner point that delivers additional cushioning to block impact whenever your boat makes contact with docks and other vessels. Unexpected things happen when there are rough waters and windy days. But they can be avoided because of these awesome bumpers. They don’t leave any color or marks on the surface.

Although it’s robust, it’s flexible and it’s made for wood. But you can still have it as aluminum dock bumpers. It will only require a plastic locking tie to hold a couple of bumpers in place and cover any sharp edges. When you make it adhere with wood, it’s pretty easy to install. Before starting, buy the right hardware for attachment as it doesn’t come along with the package.
What We Like
  • Heavy-duty bumper for large vessels
  • With structural ribs for impact resistance
  • Creates additional cushioning
  • Doesn’t leave any color or marks on the surface
  • Robust but flexible
What We Don’t Like
  • Need to tie when attached on an aluminum dock
Don’t be wary with the sides and edges of the dock as a couple of these protect boats from damages brought by unwanted crashing and collision.

6. Dock Edge Dock-Side Bumper

Large waves are always present at our dock as I live on a front lake. At first, I used traditional dock bumpers, but they didn’t make a difference. On the contrary, these boat slip dock bumpers function incredibly! They are corner protectors that my boat just pushes as it gets into the dock slip.

I shared my wonderful experience with my friend and he is also happy after adding these bumpers to his boat. He usually docks at a busy marina and meets inconsiderate powerboaters. With the ultimate protection coming from this dock bumper, his boat is safe from bumps and damages. So, you can gain benefits from it not only when mooring on personal docks.

It’s molded plastic or PVC that forms into a rugged wall. There are angled ends to protect vessels, especially on the gunnels. Before using, air must be pumped into its integration valve. Eventually, you’ll end up having the hardness of overinflated basketball. It shouldn’t be mushy as this state is not capable of protecting your boat. This requirement is not a problem at all as it’s easy to inflate and deflate.

Pontoon boats, jet skis, and other crafts can get protected against heavy impact even though this is not the soft type. As for me, the size and height are great. I made a mistake thinking that it’s small for my 24-foot boat. Since there are pre-molded holes and slots on the bottom, mounting is trouble-free. They guarantee the firm attachment of stringer boards.
What We Like
  • Keeps your boat from damages even within the presence of large waves
  • Corner protectors of the heavy impact that can come from docks and other crafts
  • Good for docking at personal docks and marinas
  • A rugged wall with angled ends for protection
  • With pre-molded holes and slots for trouble-free mounting
What We Don’t Like
  • Needs to be inflated like a basketball to ensure the availability of protection
I’m happy with these side bumpers as I no longer worry about possible damages when docking with large waves and other careless boaters. Their sturdiness meets my needs and I couldn’t find it with the round type of bumpers.

7. attwood Softside UV-Resistant Marine

Two pieces of these dock bumpers offer supreme boat dock protection. They serve me all season, but my boat remains in good shape without signs of wearing out and dock rash. Hence, my boat is protected all year round! Therefore, they’re made to last despite the impact that it receives. These babies are also called boat dock bumper guards by their satisfied users like me.

Sharp edges on the dock no longer bother me as this bumper covers them. Some may utilize this as supplementary to other dock bumpers, but it’s the one that hinders scratches from developing on the boat hull. The nose of my boat won’t likely slam on the dock, especially if there’s a sudden jolt. So, no damages will come up.

It’s relatively thicker but this is a good feature in keeping your boat from clashing on the dock or other vessels. Also, no one will trip on it as it has a low profile. With this fact, it’s a total package of safety! No markings will also appear on the stuff that it rubs on. Since there are no adverse effects, it gives peace of mind to many boaters.

To begin the installation, I drilled three holes to correspond with the number of holes in the bumper located on the aluminum dockside. I know that screws are not included in the package so I bought some in advance. Once you have the necessary hardware, installation is a breeze. I feel like a pro after finishing it because the result is pretty good.

That’s why my neighbor also bought this but she just wished it was longer. Still, she’s fine with buying more as it’s the most effective guardian boat dock bumper she has ever used.
What We Like
  • Keeps the boat safe from wearing out and dock rash
  • Made to last as it can be used in all season
  • Used to cover sharp edges or as supplementary with other bumpers
  • Has a low profile so no one will trip on it
  • Doesn’t leave markings
  • Installation is a breeze
What We Don’t Like
  • It may be short for those who want longer bumpers
This guardian dock bumper gives everything I need to protect my boat. I haven’t had problems with it since installation, even though I continue to use it all season.

8. Hull Hugr 3003.6974 Dock Bumper

The appearance of this Hull Hugr dock bumper gave me dock bumper ideas of plentiful cushioning and adequate protection for my boat. Luckily, I wasn’t wrong with my judgment. I usually moor my boat alongside the dock and there’s occasional turbulence that causes it to move up and down.

Even though I’m two hundred feet apart from it, I can hear scratching, which implies the protection that this dock bumper gives. However, don’t confuse it with the marina bumper from the same company. They’re different even though they share common features to withstand the lashes of the marine environment.

This is made of tear-proof vinyl that has UV protection. You’ll also find grommets that are not prone to corrosion. The softness of these bumpers is from the closed-cell polyethylene foam with high density.

This helps me a lot because my dock is a bit tight. Despite the thickness, my boat rubs on it without resulting in marring. It just shows that it’s not a plastic or runner-type bumpers. Hence, I applaud its density in protecting the hull and all the sides of my boat. I have a friend who has a houseboat and jet skis that use several of these bumpers on his dock.

These are suitable dock bumpers for novice boaters and busy slips. But you have to take note that it’s not for heavy vessels. Attaching it to the dock was so easy after I got the appropriate screws.
What We Like
  • Provides plentiful cushioning and adequate protection for my boat
  • Tear-proof and corrosion-proof with protection from UV rays
  • With softness and density that doesn’t mar the boat’s surface
  • Suitable for novice boaters and busy slips
  • Easy attachment on the dock
What We Don’t Like
  • Not for heavy vessels
Leaving my boat at the dock doesn’t bother me at all as this dock bumper is a reliable shield from marring and damages. Busy docks don’t threaten me with crashing and collisions anymore.

9. TAYLOR MADE PRODUCTS 46013 Dock Side Guard Coil

One way to dock properly is using this dockside bumper made of heavy-duty molded PVC. So, it’s not cheaply made and it’s also one of the admired dock bumper brands in the market. It’s a combination of cushion and solidity that are essential features for protecting a vessel. Hence, this is ideal for a residential dock.

These are dock piling protectors that I installed vertically on loading docks. Since this is also considered as a shape dock edge coil, you can bend it on the edges. I did it a few times and I’m glad that the bumpers didn’t show any tear or splitting since there’s enough padding and sturdiness. The bow of my pontoon and even other kinds of vessels are protected once this is installed at the dock.

Docking on a windy or rough day is not a hurdle anymore as my boat just bounces like a pinball. Rubbing on some parts like a pontoon’s seat back and fencing rail can happen. Primarily, the outer layer with a white coating is affected. To my amazement, no rub marks or damage came up so it’s proof of its strength. Also, it holds firmly on the surface where I installed it.

I replaced an old bumper with these bumpers. I had to take time uncoiling them so I could cut them into the required length. The next thing that I did was drill some holes in the piling. I placed the screws into the bumpers without tearing and breaking apart. In the end, I was able to gain a neat and nice row of these guard bumpers.
What We Like
  • Heavy-duty combination of cushion and solidity
  • Ideal for residential dock
  • Can be bent on edges
  • Makes docking on a windy or rough day easy
  • No rub marks as it holds firmly on the surface
  • Neat and nice finish
What We Don’t Like
  • Uncoiling takes time
I shouldn’t be too carefree when docking but this dock protector assures me of safety. Moreover, I’m not disturbed by rough waters and windy days that much.

10. Dock Edge Torpedo Dock Bumper

Sun and wind are always around in the area where I live. Thus, I have to get the best boat dock bumpers for the much-needed protection when docking my aluminum fishing boat and pontoon. This Dock Edge torpedo post bumper is a great item for covering sharp edges. The benefits start with the leg bracket of my pontoon that doesn’t hit the dock even on windy days. So, there’s no damage to the tubes.

I didn’t buy this because it looks good for a dock bumper due to the color options. Several reasons make it worth purchasing. First, the ribbed body is not only a design but it boosts the protection it can offer. It reminds me of the Dockmate dock bumper fender, however, this one is better. It’s composed of UV-resistant, marine-grade vinyl. In this case, you can rely on its durability.

It doesn’t crack or fade despite long exposure to the sun. For preparation in winter, I clean it with soap and water before applying a small amount of mineral oil. I don’t mind removing it from the pole as I can slide it with ease. Installation is not bothersome at all as it snugs nicely on poles with a diameter up to two inches. The size is just right since it’s not bulky like other dock bumpers.

This bumper with a rugged cushion is not only functional but it blocks any dings and scrapes. You don’t have to worry about your boat’s paint getting scratched. It can’t scuff fiberglass boats. A molded-in air valve is where you can inflate and deflate it. I like this feature as I can adjust the firmness.
What We Like
  • Won’t harm a vessel even docking is done on a windy day
  • Looks good with color options
  • Durable and made of UV-resistant, marine-grade vinyl
  • Easy installation and removal
  • Not bulky and can adjust the firmness of its air valve
  • Doesn’t scratch the boat’s paint
What We Don’t Like
  • Only for poles that have up to a 2-inch diameter
This stands out among dock post bumpers as it doesn’t give up on me even during bad weather conditions and as the season changes. It also doesn’t mess up the paint on aluminum boats and fiberglass boats.

11. HarborWare 3’ Vertical Post Dock Bumper

I saw this product for the first time as a dock bumper fender. A friend showed me some of them that are attached to her houseboat. Originally, they work as dock post bumpers. In the past, I had fenders on my boat, whips, and bumpers, which didn’t work as expected and needed. Everything changed when I started using this one. I no longer worry that my boat will beat the metal posts or leg pipes.

You may be skeptical about it being lightweight. But it won’t cause any issue in providing protection. It’s not a rubber bumper guard for boats as it’s made of rotomolded polyethylene or hard plastic. With this material, heavy-duty, high-impact, and lasting dock post bumpers are created!

Based on its features, this is ideal for tall boats. However, you won’t find 2-inch grooves on it. This missing design doesn’t bother me at all because I can still take advantage of its functions. On the other hand, it’s easy to install and I even put lights on the post. It’s an additional item that improves safety when docking. Apart from dock posts, you can also install them on a roof post. It adheres to either metal or wood.

Just make sure you get the appropriate set of washers or screws as it’s not included in the package. But rest assured, it works as advertised. I even received compliments from my fellow boater when they dropped at my place and left their crafts on my dock. I have a couple of these that work together with the bumpers situated on the dock’s corners.
What We Like
  • Can be used as fenders
  • Lightweight but made of heavy-duty, high-impact, and lasting hard plastic
  • Ideally for tall boats
  • Improves safety when docking
  • Easy installation
  • Can be installed on a roof post, metal, or wood
What We Don’t Like
  • No two-inch grooves
It’s a dock post bumper that owners of tall boats will love. Everyone can use it as it can be attached to both metal and wood with so much ease. Somehow, it reminds me of West Marine dock bumpers.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Dock Bumpers

best-boat-dock-bumpers

The following are the basic types of boat dock bumpers:

  • Laminated dock bumpers

This type is in the middle range of wearing out capacity. However, it’s flexible in length, height, and thickness so most boaters can use it.

  • Steel faced dock bumpers

It’s recognized as the toughest type because it doesn’t wear out quickly. Compared to the laminated type, it’s more efficient as it gives four times more protection. The need to get this will be based on the following questions:

Will multiple collisions take place?

Is loading a piece of dock equipment or trailer a serious concern of yours?

If you encounter these things most of the time, you have to get these bumpers.

  • Molded dock bumpers

Among the types of bumpers, this one is the most stunning and appealing in the market. Unfortunately, you’ll have a hard time gouging or chipping it. Therefore, you have to weigh things if you give more importance to aesthetics or sturdiness.

The Benefits

  • Reduction of impact damage

Collisions on the dock can happen to all boaters. Your boat may hit hard on the dock at times because you can’t control the elements around you. Despite having boat fenders, you need to add a good dock bumper for the prevention of damages. It’s the primary benefit you can get from using this marine gear.

  • Long-term durability

You may pay a hefty price for dock bumpers but it’s worthwhile. They are a long-term investment once they have a high quality for lasting service. You’ll be pleased that they can serve throughout all seasons.

  • Low Maintenance

After installing dock bumpers properly, high maintenance is not needed. But you’ll find them discolored due to continuous exposure to water and sun. Since this is inevitable, deep cleaning should be done occasionally.

The Drawbacks

  • Affecting the Dock’s Aesthetic

There are different types of bumpers as mentioned above and some of them may affect the dock’s aesthetic. But you can be smart and choose the one that is both functional and good-looking.

Do I Need Dock Bumpers

dock-bumpers-for-boats

The answer to this question is yes. They’re typically placed on the side of the moor to fend off scraping while the boat is being tied in place. Moreover, they also minimize the impact that whips the slip. These functions are the most appropriate for sailboats that have large impact points in their core.

Substantially, they are essential and beneficial for facilities that work as loading docks or berths. For more information, here are the reasons why boat owners need dock bumpers:

  • They are designed to bear collision and shock.
  • The possibility of semi-trailers from hitting or making contact with the pilings is prevented.
  • Accidents will not likely happen despite intermittent approach.
  • Getting top-quality boat dock bumpers means that you don’t need to buy another set sooner as they’re made for rugged use. They will last for a decent period that they continuously protect your boat.

How Do You Put A Bumper On A Dock

Not all boaters, especially the newbies, have all the skills on how to attach bumpers to the dock. So, here’s a step-by-step guide:

Measuring the dock for the appropriate height

The first step requires you to identify the number of boats that will be accommodated by the dock. In connection with this, the number of bumpers that you need will also be determined. The general rule dictates that there should be at least a pair of bumpers. Then, you can start measuring the height that fits the dock bumpers that you’ll use. It’s not good to position them too high because the boat will tend to slide below it.

Attachment of mounting bracket

Before mounting, do the trial by positioning the bracket and marking the area where you need to drill. When holes are available, you can bolt the brackets.

Placing the bumpers

There are different ways of doing this step based on the recommendations of every brand. The instruction manual is usually provided so you won’t make mistakes.

Sealing part

The hardware is exposed to the marine environment and the need for sealing is necessary. You have to put silicone on the holes and hardware to hamper decay and rusting.

How Do You Clean Dock Bumpers

Pressurized spray

Use a pressurized spray when you see dirt on the boat dock bumpers. You may also use this solution when you give them regular cleaning. Additionally, it’s capable of restoring white color.

Repairing jagged corners and open corners

You’ll only be surprised to see a torn apart if you ignore jagged corners on your bumpers. Concerning this matter, you have to periodically examine them. Moreover, with help from a soldering iron or a hot blade, you can melt the corners to stop shedding. The same tools can be used to tuck in the open corners of bumpers filled with foam padding.

Can You Paint Dock Bumpers

It’s not a good idea to paint dock bumpers if you think about stopping them from looking nasty and gray. Even nothing can stop you from doing so, there will be consequences. The paint won’t stick on them as you want it to be. It may be there for some time but the bits will rub on your boat’s hull since the bumpers get in contact with your craft for protection.

When you’re concerned about maintaining the new look of your bumpers, buy them covers that are a better alternative than paint.

Conclusion

It’s overwhelming to know about the best dock bumper as you realize that it fulfills your preferences and needs. You understand by now that the right number of bumpers on the dock is essential to maintain the safety and security of every boat. Henceforth, you feel comfortable after gaining berthing confidence from the provided protection. Quality bumpers are a dependable investment as they save you from spending money on repairs.

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