Boat fenders: How to make the right choice

You want to optimize your fixed mooring for the boat with a few tips and tricks? We will show you what options are available and how boat fenders can be optimally used. Because boat fenders are an integral part of the basic water sports equipment and should not be missing on any boat. 

The most common boat fenders are so-called long and ball fenders. At the same time, fenders are available in all possible sizes, colors and shapes, so that many a boat owner is overwhelmed by the choice when buying them. But what are boat fenders anyway, why do you need them and how do you find the right boat fender?

What is a boat fender and what do you need it for?

A boat fender is an inflatable protective body that prevents damage such as scratches to the hull of the boat or the outer skin. Especially during maneuvers, such as docking at the sheet pile wall, an unsightly scratch can quickly occur on the boat. But also in the pack, so boat to boat, such accidents can happen quickly. The fender thus simply put protects the boat from damage.

 Since boat sizes vary, there are also different fender sizes. Boat fenders are mainly made of plastic. The shape and color of the fenders for boats are often a matter of taste.

Our Top Sellers: Category Fender

Ball fender
from £20.99
Fender »XL«
from £62.99


Bei einer Bootslänge von bis zu zehn Metern sollten mindestens zwei Fender auf jeder Seite des Boots vorhanden sein.

Tipp: Gleichzeitig ist es bei allen Booten empfehlenswert, Ersatzfender für den Notfall griffbereit zu haben.

How many fenders do you need?

Basically, you can never have enough boat fenders to protect your boat in the best possible way.

However, fenders in the boat are not exactly space-saving, so storing several boat fenders in a manageable space is not always possible without problems. However, with a boat length of up to ten meters,there should be at least two fenders on each side of the boat.

Three to four fenders, depending on the type of boat, are of course even better. From a boat length of more than ten meters, at least three to four boat fenders per side are recommended.

Tip: At the same time, for all boats it is recommended to have spare fenders handy in case of emergency.

What are the types of boat fenders?

Depending on the boat and individual preferences, different variants are suitable. The most common fenders are the following:

long fender

Long fenders are also called "roller fenders" and characterize the typical image of a boat currently in port. These are available in different sizes and can be used individually. The standard model is long, tubular and has reinforced fasteners at both ends to attach the fender line to the railing.

Boats with a high freeboard in particular should be equipped with long fenders, as the hull area is then better protected in swells. The clear advantage of long fenders is that they are easy to handle. In addition, it can be unrolled from the side of the boat. If a second rope is attached, the long fender can even be used as a transverse fender. 

However, it is then no longer possible to unroll the fender, which can lead to increased scratches. If you want to extend the durability of the fenders, you can also use fender covers. These protect the fenders from the UV rays of the sun, which often make the material brittle or fragile.

ball fender

Ball fenders can be better unrolled along the ship's side due to their round shape and are therefore particularly suitable for mooring. Handling is also very simple here. The damping effect is significantly higher than with long fenders, as the ball fender has more volume. 

Due to the wide cross-section, ball fenders can be optimally unrolled even under pressure. Therefore, they are used especially when maneuvering or mooring. Ball fenders are becoming increasingly popular as buoys, especially for large motorboats with a concave bow and due to their bright orange color. With the bright color, ball fenders ensure good visibility in the water - even in cloudy weather. 

flat fender

Flat fenders are also known as "fender cushions" or "cushion fenders". They are so called because they are often used as seat cushions after hauling in. Flat fenders are easy to stow on the boat and therefore offer advantages in handling, especially for small boats. In addition, they do not slip easily and offer protection over a large area due to their shape. 

When launching the boat, flat fenders are ideal because they do not slip and cover the largest possible area of the boat. Flat fenders consist of foam and a cover, which is often made of nylon. The disadvantage, however, is that they cannot be unrolled due to their design. In addition, they are not as robust and lighter than other types of fenders, so that the flat fenders can be blown away even in a strong breeze.

web fender

Jetty fenders and dolphin fenders are considered simple ways to protect the boat from damage. They are firmly attached to the berth and can be bolted to the wooden pontoons. There are either inflatable jetty fenders or fixed foam fenders available in the market. Depending on the design, these can be purchased as straight, short or square jetty fenders.

 Other shapes such as stair, stern, bow, ring or anchor fenders provide additional protection for your boat. 

Top seller bar fenders

Topseller Stegfender

How to find the right fender?

The type of fender you ultimately choose depends primarily on the type and size of your boat. In addition, the color is a matter of taste and has no effect on the functionality. However, if you also want to use the fender as an anchor buoy, you should go for bright signal colors. In doing so, you should keep in mind: Light-colored fenders look classy, but they are more susceptible to dirt than dark-colored versions.

Do boat fenders need to be cleaned regularly?

Depending on the stress, fenders often show signs of use such as rust stains, dirt or algae. Therefore, cleaning the fenders is often necessary. Special cleaning products for fenders facilitate this work. Cleaning should be done with gloves and pre-cleaning with water is recommended. Beyond that, however, fenders do not require special care.

Fender accessories

Fender Rope set of 4
from £10.99 (£10.99 / m) (£1.83 / 1 m)
2x fender lines (spliced)
£10.99 (£10.99 / m) (£7.33 / 1 m)

What accessories are absolutely necessary?

 For fender attachment, mooring ropes and fender lines are especially recommended as important accessories.

mooring line

The forces acting on the boat during waves and wind gusts are enormous, so a mooring line should have "stretch". "Reck" describes the stretchability of a cordage. The breaking load of the cordage is of high importance and always depends on the size and weight of the boat. For maximum safety, you should always select a higher breaking load than is actually necessary. If you use a design that is too weak, you risk a tearing line. Elastic mooring lines are ideal because they are easier to splice (braid) or belay (tie down the cordage). If the option of having an eye spliced in is available, it should be used. A knot can reduce the breaking load by 30 to 50 percent. In addition, you should pay attention to UV resistance, so that the mooring ropes do not become porous or brittle.


For each fender you should buy a corresponding fender line. This is used to attach boat fenders to the boat, railing or jetty.

You can choose between different colors and lengths. Also when choosing the leash is recommended spliced eye.

Conclusion: What is important when buying fenders?


Das Gesamtgewicht und die Windangriffsfläche des Bootes sollten Sie beim Kauf des Fenders kennen. Bei großen, schweren Booten ist die Windangriffsfläche in der Regel größer, sodass das Boot stärker in die Fender gedrückt wird. Damit die Fender nicht platzen, sollten diese zur Größe des Bootes passen.


Eine Faustformel besagt:

Je stärker Wellengang und Dünung sind, desto größer sollte der Fender sein.


Beim Kauf sollten Sie zudem darauf achten, stets gleich große Fender zu erwerben. Unterschiedliche Längen und Dicken können das Boot nicht ausreichend schützen: Die Kräfte, die das Boot entwickelt, können dann nicht mehr auf alle Fender gleichmäßig verteilt werden, sodass der Druck auf den einzelnen Fendern dementsprechend größer ist.

The perfect equipment: Fender sets

Compass long fender set of 4 incl. fender lines
from £41.99
4 Fender + 4 ropes + 4 fender sox
Set of Two Pontoon Fenders

Häufig gestellte Fragen - FAQs

Was ist ein Bootsfender?

Ein Bootsfender bezeichnet einen aufblasbarer Schutzkörper, der zum Schutz vor Beschädigungen des Bootes dient.

Welche Fenderarten gibt es?

Es gibt Lang-, Kugel-, Flach- und Stegfender, die sich in ihrer Form und Handhabung unterscheiden.

Was ist die richtige Fenderanzahl?

Bei einer Bootslänge von weniger als zehn Metern werden mindestens zwei Fender und bei einer Bootslänge von mehr als zehn Metern mindestens drei bis vier Bootsfender pro Seite empfohlen.

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