Pontoon boat owners may enjoy and relax every time they sail. However, they need to protect and maintain the craft from outdoor threats like accidental collisions and bad weather conditions. When docking, damages can occur from rubbing other vessels and the dock. Pontoon fendering or utilizing dock bumpers is the solution for these.
By recognizing this need, you’re a pontoon boat owner who’s eager to get the best pontoon bumpers. To guide you in correctly purchasing them, here are the features you have to take note of.
- Appropriate size and quantity
It may be too late to find out that the pontoon dock bumpers you bought are a misfit. You’ll have regrets realizing that you wasted time and resources. Thus, be mindful of the rule that there should be an inch of the bumper for every five feet of the boat length.
Besides doing the math to determine the size, you have to obtain the right quantity or number of pontoon boat bumpers. It’s recommended to have at least three dock fenders or bumpers. You should at least stay with this count as the effectiveness won’t take place if you have fewer.
- Durability and Longevity
The top-rated pontoon fenders and bumpers should serve you in the long run. You would know that they last for a long time based on their materials and components. PVC and marine-grade vinyl are the ideal ones. They can withstand the beating of outdoor elements, such as harsh UV rays, corrosion, and water.
- Easy Installation and Usage
Other boat owners may be in haste when installing pontoon fender bumpers. Consequently, the process becomes difficult and you’ll have to face a messy result. To exempt yourself from experiencing this, you can look for the type that is easy to install and use at the same time.
An array of dock edge pontoon fenders or bumpers are available in the market. But the following list is filled with excellent products. So, read on to know the pros and cons of each and find the perfect match for you.
Table of Contents
- Top 7 Pontoon Bumper Reviews
- 1. Extreme Max 3006.7201 BoatTector Fender Value
- 2. Polyform 5117533 G Series Boat Fenders
- 3. VIVOHOME Vinyl Ribbed Marine Boat Fender
- 4. Leader Accessories Ribbed Twin Eyes Boat Fender
- 5. Gowintech Inflatable Marine Boat Fender Bumpers
- 6. Better Boat Store Boat Fenders Bumpers for Dock
- 7. Mophorn Boat Fenders
- Factors to Consider When Choosing Pontoon Bumpers
- How Many Fenders Does a Pontoon Need
- How to Attach Boat Fenders on a Pontoon
- How to Clean Pontoon Bumpers
Top 7 Pontoon Bumper Reviews
1. Extreme Max 3006.7201 BoatTector Fender Value
This pair of fenders for pontoon boats has a favorable price for its quality. I’m not a pro in picking boat accessories but they fit well with my black pontoon. With color selections, they’re not boring; I even picked the vibrant orange. They have the right amount of thickness that promises protection. I’m surprised that they secured my pontoon boat when it was docked up to a ski boat with prevailing waves.
My pontoon is protected on a busy lake and during windy days. The full length of these fenders is long enough for tall docks. The boat won’t be knocking on the dock despite the forces around it. You may also use them for small vessels like I did. They work splendidly as dock edge boat savers!
You won’t only get a pair of pontoon corner bumpers but also good quality fender lines in a single purchase. They are akin to sewn rope with an adequate length for tying. Also, these pontoon boat fenders are not made of plastic. They’re inflatable so I can get the right firmness to make them functional.
They have faced a storm and it’s one proof of their durability. The manufacturer is confident to give a two-year limited warranty because they’re of high quality. You can also see it from its sturdy eyelets. I’ve seen how resistant they are to UV and chemicals as well. That’s why they continuously serve me despite the impact of outdoor elements.
2. Polyform 5117533 G Series Boat Fenders
I never thought that these boat fenders for pontoons would be the permanent source of protection on the dock edges. At first, I bought a pair as the color selection and various sizes are indulging. Seeing the wonderful effects, I bought more and the oldest ones have been serving me for four years.
They have received a lot of beating and are always exposed to the harsh conditions of the choppy river near my house. Summer comes and they can’t avoid the sunlight. But still, their colors haven’t faded. I sometimes use them in a saltwater environment and they don’t budge either. They’re not made of hard vinyl that can mar the gel coating of your boat.
These colorful bumpers are originally made for recreational trailered boats. As they have endured the tests of outdoor elements, I can say that they’re durable. They come pre-inflated and with the flat head screw seal so you won’t have to worry about leakage. There’s also a valve for you to inflate and deflate them. Favorably, I can apply the pressure that I prefer. It’s so easy to revive their firmness!
3. VIVOHOME Vinyl Ribbed Marine Boat Fender
These pontoon front bumpers work as advertised. Thus, they’re perfect for our needs. The most amazing part is that they don’t cost much but work similarly to an expensive pontoon bumper. At an affordable price, lines with the proper sturdy loop are available for every purchase.
Since they’re made of marine-grade PVC, they can last for years. In my experience, they weren’t harmed despite 24/7 residence in the water for an entire season. Aside from protecting my pontoon, I use some of them for a large boat placed at the end of the slip. As you can imagine, they are beaten up badly. They’ve also shown UV resistance when used all summer long.
Their ability to withstand marine conditions is credited to their awesome buffer effect. Despite the heavy collision, boats and docks remain unharmed. In addition, the ribbed design and reinforced eyelets do the job. These are also features that block tearing and puncture so they can serve you in the long run even if they permanently stay outdoors.
They are inflatable bumpers that are effortless to inflate and deflate. A free pump is included in the package but I passed on using it. My electric pump works better and faster. With my years of use, they haven’t bothered me with loss of air.
4. Leader Accessories Ribbed Twin Eyes Boat Fender
The highlight of buying these UV-resistant vinyl fenders is their excellent value. They’re designed to last long as shown in their thickness and firmness. Furthermore, the ribbed texture fortifies the protection they can provide for my pontoon. Apart from these amazing pontoon dock bumpers, attachments, nylon ropes, and a pump are included. The rope’s length is more than enough for small boats.
I admire the length and the width as they’re proportional. These features give me the idea of its durability apart from its high-quality material. Hence, I don’t wonder why a return or money-back guarantee is available. A full refund can even be granted given that they’re newly bought. I don’t need them as I continue to use these fenders for over a year now.
Although water level changes, they stay in place to protect my pontoon when docked or during docking. I’m pleased that the sides of my pontoon are protected when I return or launch on the slip. They’re ideal for calm waters and overnight tie-ups. I can install them in a matter of a few minutes. Also, they can be installed vertically and horizontally with their strong eyelets.
5. Gowintech Inflatable Marine Boat Fender Bumpers
Saving my pontoon boat from collisions and damages is done fantastically by this pontoon boat fender. Not all pontoon bumpers and fenders can do it excellently as it does. When I saw it for the first time, I’m pleased with its thickness, size, and overall appearance. As this doesn’t cease to serve me and my pontoon, this is the top-tier pontoon bumper in my opinion!
I bought two sets after my teenage son lost the round fenders that we had. But I must say that I’m thankful for the incident because I was able to find a better option. Due to its strength and durability, a set of four is enough to be stationed in my dock. They make my pontoon boat secured from the dock, other vessels, and other kinds of obstacles.
All the necessary fender accessories when using dock bumpers for pontoon boats are found in every set. There’s a 23-inch rope for each fender. It’s a sufficient length to make a knot. A hand pump and inflating needles are also provided.
However, these were deflated when they arrived. It’s not a big deal as all four of them can be inflated in less than 10 minutes. You may need to use a bike pump or electric pump for the first time. Note that the free hand pump only functions to top off every bumper.
6. Better Boat Store Boat Fenders Bumpers for Dock
I believe that these are heavy-duty pontoon bumper guards. Since they’re made of excellent material, I can rely on them for my pontoon’s safety when docking. Thanks to the ribbed design that allows air to pass through the ridges, contact to the pontoon is limited. Thus, scuffs and marks are prevented. Also, they help my pontoon relax and be ready to be tied at the dock.
This is one thing that I’m thankful for as I can loosen up as well. These pontoon fenders protect my pontoon by unanticipated movements that can cause damage. Every penny is worth spending on them due to the superior protection they can provide. So, it’s reasonable to call them pontoon boat bumper guards.
I have two sets of these corner bumpers. Every single purchase has a manual pump and needles. I’m glad that inflating is so easy but I didn’t use the free pump. Alternatively, I utilized the electric pump and I think a bike pump is fine too. They remain inflated in a decent period to provide protection and can be deflated for convenient storage.
7. Mophorn Boat Fenders
These pontoon bumper hangers are glossy black, which produces a classy appearance. In my years of boating experience, this is one of the worthy investments I have for my pontoon boat. They come with lines that are long enough for me to insert them on rail hangers for a vertical position. But you also have the choice to set them horizontally. Some connect them with ridge hooks as a side fender.
The manufacturer is generous enough to provide lengthy ropes which may be too much for some applications but they’re just right for my needs. There are many wonderful features including the wide diameter on their contoured shape. This part protrudes past most of the dock posts. Hence, it restrains my pontoon from touching the dock. With helpful features, they’re much better than a Dockmate dock bumper fender.
Ribs are also seen on their bodies for strength and resistance to puncture or tears. To withstand the marine environment, they are resistant to UV as well. They are inflatable pontoon boat corner bumpers and side bumpers. Inflating them becomes easier with an electric pump rather than the inflation pump included in the package. But I can manage to do it alone.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Pontoon Bumpers
There’s a wide selection of corner fenders and dock bumpers for pontoons. They are in various sizes, shapes, materials, and designs. Their unique characteristics lead to specification of a certain type. Know more about them.
- Inflatable fenders
These fenders are composed of PVC and vinyl which are typically UV-resistant and marine-grade. As inflatables, they need air before usage. You may also find rubber bumpers for pontoon boats that you need to inflate. They can be hung as side fenders and corner fenders.
- Dock bumpers, fenders, and edging
You need to place these bumpers on the dock for an extra layer of protection for your pontoon boat. Some vary in terms of shapes, sizes, and types but can serve a common purpose: shielding your pontoon from impact and contact with other vessels. These factors may lead to collisions and damages.
- Boat Fenders
Instead of mounting fenders on the dock, you do it on the boat. Having them on your pontoon protects you if ever you clash with another craft. The hull of other boats is also kept safe. Therefore, it just makes sense to state that they promote the safety of all the vessels that are in the waters.
- Single-piece fender
This one fender is the opposite of inflatables. It may also be referred to as transom fenders and fence saver fenders. One of the innovative designs can be found in flat fenders. A good example of this type is the Akua pontoon boat fender. Due to the attachment that is done on the sides, it’s mainly recognized as a side fender.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Excellent bumpers and fenders offer a lot of benefits. Apart from protecting your pontoon boat, you’ll find docking easier and less complicated. It’s common knowledge that docking is not a simple thing to do. Advice from experienced boaters can help you practice docking smoothly and effectively if you pair it with bumpers.
This fact is also related to the safety of your pontoon boat. Both fenders and bumpers can hinder the damages and scratches that may be brought by accidental bumps. They serve as a cushion to evade the impact that may arise from the dock, other vessels, or other obstacles.
In cases where vessels are tied all together, the waves or current cause them to bump to each other. Even though it happens, no unwanted things will occur as the fenders protect all of them.
Drawbacks in using pontoon boat fenders only happen when you got the wrong type. They’ll end up as liabilities and disadvantages instead of as protectors. Low-quality fenders and bumpers won’t keep your pontoon safe. Disappointment sinks in when you realize that you have wasted money, resources, and time. Also, you need to spend on necessary repairs for damages caused by incompetent pontoon fenders.
How Many Fenders Does a Pontoon Need
How many bumpers for a pontoon boat? Every pontoon owner wants to know the answer for this question. Three to five are the recommended number of fenders that you should have in your pontoon. All of them must be the same size and suitable for the pontoon boat length. When you collect five of them, you can gain extra protection.
How to Attach Boat Fenders on a Pontoon
Ropes and straps are the items for mounting the bumpers. As an example, front pontoon bumpers are usually hung from the rail hangers with the rope. It’s a similar method when hanging inflatables. On the other hand, other fenders are placed on the pontoon deck through the integral strap. Be aware that inflatables tend to move among other types of fenders.
How to Clean Pontoon Bumpers
Whether you have the expensive Bennington pontoon bumpers or the affordable effective ones, you still need to clean them. You can do it by collecting the necessary tools first, such as a cleaner, bucket, scrubbing brush, tent pegs, and pressure washer.
It will be hard to clean the bumpers if they’re still floating in the water. So, take them out of it every time you do the cleaning and maintenance. The pre-cleaning process involves scrubbing and soap water. You can keep on scrubbing but if you find it hard to remove the mildew and unwanted debris, a power washer can help.
There will be times that stubborn dirt will remain on the surface after pre-cleaning. You can proceed to the application of safe, suitable chemicals. When using the power washer, you have to be mindful of the pressure level. If not careful, you may only create a hole on them rather than getting them cleaned.
- Scrubbing Phase
The stubborn dirt and stain need more scrubbing. Use an abrasive sponge that has a texture of sandpaper for this step. But avoid using excessive abrasion as it can create further damage. Scrub gently until you get rid of the dirt and stain. It’s also fine to use a brush with hard bristles.
- Chemical Solution or Solvent
Regardless of thorough scrubbing, some sticky dirt and mildew stay behind. An effective cleaner or solvent will make things easier for you. Choose one that doesn’t leave any sticky residue that can only be removed by sanding. It’s acceptable to use a cleanser and let it sit on the bumpers for some time as you observe the effects. It’s wise to choose specially formulated cleaners that ensure safety.
The effects of hard rubbing are similar to the abrasive cleaner so be a smart buyer. You may also consider buying the one with a formulation that is safe for the environment and marine life. When cleaning the bumpers, you don’t have to bring pollution to the waters.
- Application of Protectant
Bear in mind that you remove the protective covering when bumpers and fenders go through cleaning and scrubbing. Some may not have this cover but it’s still best to add it. You’ll need a waxing product or vinyl coating for creating a protective layer. This prolongs the nice surface and good performance.
You won’t worry too much when docking your pontoon. This review is filled with the best pontoon bumpers and tips on how to take care of them. You now also know the necessary accessories to start using them. All in all, your safety and those around you are guaranteed. Using them is also a way to improve your docking skills. Then, you’ll have a high chance of avoiding accidents that can incur costly repair expenses.