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Best Boat Bumper Header


The greatest way to end a sunny day on the water is with a low-stress docking experience—and the best way to do that is by making sure you have the perfect bumper. Boat bumpers provide a layer of cushion that protects your rig from pilings, docks, or other cruisers on the water. Choosing the best bumper will give you peace of mind that your beloved boat is properly protected.

Half the people I know call these boat bumpers, the other half call them boat fenders. And then there's my dad, who calls them buoys... We don't know what you call them, but what matters is that they protect your rig. For the sake of this article, we will refer to them as boat bumpers.

Take a look at our list of the best boat bumpers to help you choose the perfect protection for your boat. We first will list the best hull bumpers, weighing factors like price, durability, and wear. Then, we will go into our list of top specialty bumpers for low-hanging boats, pontoon, PWCs, and yachts.

After you choose the best boat bumper, you may have a few questions. How many boat bumpers should I get? What size boat bumpers do I need for my boat? We will answer below! Let's first get to our list, so whether you are tying up with your friends' boats for a relaxing day in the cove, or you need the safest setup for docking in the changing tides, we have you (and your boat) covered.

Best Hull Boat Bumpers
1. Super GardBest Overall (etrailer choice)Premium, double-guarded eyelets, hull bumper, for boats 15' - 50'
2. Big B Inflatable Center TubeBest for Multi-PurposeHull bumper, diverse hanging, heavy-duty, for boats 20' - 60'
3. Storm GardBest SellerHull bumper, affordable, for boats 15' - 35'
4. Hull GardBest BudgetStandard hull bumper, oval shape, for boats 10' to 35'

Best Overall: Super Gard

IN A NUTSHELL: premium hull bumper for boats 15' to 50', double guarded eyelets

This is for you if:

This Super Gard is for you if you have a boat that's 15' - 50' long and are willing to invest the best protection. This is premium hull protection, with its heavy-duty eyelets and anti-rolling ribs. This bumper will hang from the side of your vessel, protecting your hull from oncoming boats.

The double-molded eyelets make this the strongest bumper, able to withstand wear from a tugging rope better than the Hull Gard or Storm Gard.

The Super Gard is made for boats anywhere from 15' to 50', so whether you cruise in a speed boat or pontoon, the Super Gard will work as your boat bumper.

This is NOT for you if:

For boats smaller than 15', this premium boat bumper may be a little overboard (no pun intended). Take a look at our Hull Gard, a more standard boat bumper that will fit boats anywhere from 10' - 35'.

If you are more budget conscious and don't want a bumper with any extra bells and whistles, the Super Gard isn't right for you. This bumper is premium, so you can still get an exceptional boat bumper that doesn't have anti-rolling ribs or double-molded eyelets for a smaller price. If you want something a little more simple, keep scrolling.

If your boat is larger than 50', take a look at the Big B (featured below). For yachts and other HUGE vessels 50' to 150', consider these yacht-specific bumpers.

Super Gard

Super Gard

Shop Taylor Made Super Gard by Boat Length

Most Versatile: Big B Inflatable Center Tube

IN A NUTSHELL: heavy-duty, versatile hull bumper for boats 20' to 60'

This is for you if:

The Taylor Made Big B Inflatable Center Tube can be hung either vertically or horizontally on your boat, which makes this boat bumper perfect for constantly changing tides.

Hang this center-tube-style bumper horizontally to protect your boat from bumping into pilings or pillars. Or, hang it vertically to protect it from docks or mooring buoys. This is the most versatile boat bumper because you can hang it whichever way you need, whether you are cozying up with your friend's boat on the water or tying up to the pier.

The Big B has a center tube to run the rope through for mounting, which means no eyelets that can be torn off (score!).

This is NOT for you if:

The Big B is a sturdy boat bumper, but if you generally cruise and park on smooth lake water, you don't need a boat bumper as buff as this one. These are really made for protection against crazy changing tides in the ocean, not so much a relaxed day of fishing on a lake. If you need something a little less hardcore, take a look at the Storm Gard or Hull Gard.

Big B Boat Bumper

Big B Inflatable Center Tube

Shop Taylor Made Big B Inflatable Center Tube by Boat Length

Best Seller: Storm Gard

IN A NUTSHELL: affordable hull bumper for 15' to 35' boats

This is for you if:

Taylor Made's Storm Gard is the best seller because it offers the perfect mix of affordability and quality. This boat bumper is less heavy duty than the Super Gard and Big B, but higher quality than the Hull Gard because of its ribbed edges, and reinforced molded eyelets. The ribbed edges grip the hull of your boat to keep it from rolling and the reinforced molded eyelets provide a sturdy connection point for a rope.

You can purchase this for a vessel anywhere from 15' to 35', perfect for a runabout or a pontoon boat.

The Storm Gard bumper will also stay shiny opposed to just a blah, general colored vinyl because it is designed to match its gelcoat. You are getting some really nice boat-bling with this bumper.

This is NOT for you if:

The Storm Gard's eyelets (where the rope is strung through) are less sturdy than those on the Super Gard and will show more wear sooner.

For boats longer than 35', such as yachts or other large vessels, you will need heavier duty boat bumpers. Consider the Big B, Super Gard, or Super-Duty Double Eye Yacht Fender for larger vessels.

Storm Gard

Storm Gard

Shop Taylor Made Storm Gard by Boat Length

Best Budget: Hull Gard

IN A NUTSHELL: light-duty hull bumper for boats 10' to 35'

This is for you if:

The Hull Gard is perfect for a boat lover who needs a reliable boat bumper, but doesn't want to splurge on any extra bling-bling.

This bumper keeps it simple with a smooth exterior that won't grip as well as the ribbing on some of the other boat bumpers, but will still add a durable layer of protection between you and other boats. Sizes are available for boats anywhere from 10' to 35' long!

This is NOT for you if:

If you are someone who doesn't mind splurging for the BEST boat bumper, the Hull Gard is not for you. It does not have extra ribbed body grips like the Super Gard, Big B, and Storm Gard. The oval shape will do an average job at keeping the Hull Gard in place, but a bumper with ribs will perform better on slippery surfaces or in windy conditions (like the Super Gard or Storm Gard).

Large vessels longer than 35' will need a boat bumper with a little more meat; take a look at the yacht bumper at #7 or the Big B at #2 for a hearty bumper that will protect a large boat.

White Hull Gard

Hull Gard

Best Specialty Bumpers
5. FreeboardHanging BumperL-Shape, for bass boats and runabouts, low-hanging bow protection
6. Pontoon Boat BumperPontoon Boat BumperSnug fit, custom for pontoon boats, 10' - 30' long boat
7. PWC BumperBest PWC BumperSpecialty bumper for PWC, snug protection
8. Super Duty Double-Eye Yacht FenderBest Yacht Bumper Extra heavy-duty bumper for 50' - 150' long yachts

Best Hanging Bumper: Freeboard

IN A NUTSHELL: L-Shape, low-hanging bow protection for boats 10' - 15'

This is for you if:

If you have a bass boat or runabout, you want this Freeboard Bumper to protect your gunwale and rub rail against high docks. It is also a good addition to boats with low freeboards like ski boats.

Hanging bumper shields are unique because they protect both the top and sides of your vessel, which differ from hull bumpers that just hang over the side. So, basically we consider this double protection for double awesomeness. It's great to pair some hanging bumpers in the front of your vessel with hull bumpers in the back on a bass boat or runabout.

This is NOT for you if:

If you don't have a low-hanging bow, you don't need this type of bumper because it is meat tofit snugly on a bow. It won't provide any extra protection for pontoons or yachts.

White Freeboard Bumper

Freeboard Bumper

Best Pontoon Bumper: Pontoon Boat Bumper

IN A NUTSHELL: snug fit, custom for pontoon boats, 10' - 30' long boat

This is for you if:

If you want a fitted bumper for your pontoon boat, this Taylor Made pontoon boat bumper is built specifically to provide the best protection for this type of vessel. These pontoon boat bumpers fit securely between your boat's deck and pontoon float, which is different from typical hull bumpers that simply hang over the side.

A huge plus of these bumpers is that you can leave them on while cruising on the water. Most bumpers need to be pulled inside of your vessel while at speed, but these can stay put! The molded ridge hooks snugly to your boat, which means it won't move when you come in contact with another dock or boat.

We suggest pairing these with a set of hull bumpers, so both your deck and fence are protected

This is NOT for you if:

If you do not have a pontoon boat, this type of bumper will not work for your vessel. Make sure to get some type of protection that will fit your vessel.

Pontoon Boat Bumper

Pontoon Boat Bumper

Best PWC Bumper: PWC Bumper

IN A NUTSHELL: snug fit, extra protection, specialty for PWC

This is for you if:

If you want to protect your PWC while tying up to the dock or other boats, take a look at this PWC Bumper that easily hooks to the side of your jet ski. If you are new to parking a PWC (or have a newbie boater using your rig), you can easily hook this bumper to the side of your jet ski while parking or tying up to other boats.

Now, PWC bumpers aren't all that common, but they can be super useful in preventing scratches on both the jet ski and other boats. Also, it provides an extra layer of protection while your rig is on the trailer.

You'll attach this bumper on either side of your PWC, and the flexible vinyl will fit most PWCs snugly to provide maximum protection.

This is NOT for you if:

If you don't want the hassle of removing and placing them in between docking and driving, maybe pass on the PWC protection. Your PWC will probably be fine without this—these are really just meant for extra-extra protection.

Super Gard

PWC Bumper

Best for Yachts: Super Duty Double-Eye Yacht Fender

IN A NUTSHELL: extra heavy-duty bumper for yachts 50' - 150'

This is for you if:

If you are looking for a bumper for your precious yacht, this Super-Duty Double Eye Yacht bumper will protect your hull from damage. Instead of glued or sewn seams, the Super Duty Double-Eye fender has welded seams that will not tear or split apart. You need this type of security on huge yachts to provide cushion when hitting docks or pilings.

It's designed for boats 50' - 150'—we are talking big bumpers, big boats, big protection here.

This is NOT for you if:

If you don't have a yacht, this is not the bumper for you! These are for huge yachts — not a family day on the pontoon.

Shop Taylor Made Super Duty Double-Eye Yacht Fender by Boat Length

How to Choose a Boat Bumper

You need to get the right boat bumper for your rig in order for it to work properly and provide the best protection. Here are some questions we get fairly often about picking boat bumpers.

What Type of Bumper Should I Buy

What Type of Boat Bumper Should I Buy?

Depending on where you plan to put a boat bumper with impact what type of bumper you will buy. So, which bumper is right for your rig?

For deck boats, runabout boats, and ski boats, we suggest cylindrical bumpers like the Super Gard, Storm Gard, or Hull Gard that have eyelets on both sides. These are lightweight, sturdy options for protecting your boat.

For bass boats or runabouts, choose some hanging bumpers that protect both the low-hanging top of the bow and the sides of the vessel.

For larger vessels like speed boats and cabin cruisers, we suggest purchasing beefier cylindrical bumpers with a center hole so the bumper can be hung vertically or horizontally.

For pontoon boats, we have two options: a fence protector or boat deck bumpers. The fence protector will provide added safety for the vertical length of your fence, while the boat dock bumpers fit your boat's deck and pontoon float snugly.

For the transom of your boat, we also have specialty bumpers. This will protect your boat's stern or swim platform, which is a cheap bit of insurance that will go a long way in protecting your boat.

What Size Boat Bumpers do I Need?

On our site, we already did the work of splitting up our boat bumpers by size. Take a look at our table where you can look at boat bumpers specific to the length of your vessel.

Even if you buy the most high-quality, bada** boat bumper, you must have the right size for your boat. The general rule is that for every 4' - 5' of boat, you need 1" of diameter on your boat bumper. So if your boat is 30', you should buy 3 boat bumpers that are about 7" - 8.5" in diameter.

Boat Bumper Accessories and Parts

How else can you make your boating experience easy and breezy? Here's a list of other supplies for your bumpers you may need to assist you on all your boating adventures.

Taylor Made Dual Boat Fender Rack

Taylor Made Dual Boat Fender Rack

How Many Boat Bumpers Do I Need?

Generally, the rule is either 3 boat bumpers per side OR 1 boat bumper for every 10' of boat length—at least. No matter what size boat you have, you want at least 6 fenders (3 for each side) so that you can place one at the widest part of your boat, one near your bow, and one near your stern. The fenders that you buy will differ in diameter.

For example, bass boats are about 10' - 15' and require 6 bumpers that are 5 1/2" in diameter. And if your yacht is 60', you need 12 bumpers (6 on each side) that are 30" in diameter.

If your boat will be handling harsh weather and docking conditions, you can always buy more bumpers than recommended. They may take up more space inside your vessel, but boat bumpers are kind of like good days on the water—you really can't have too many.

Check out our example for a 30' long speed boat. For this type of vessel, you will need 6 boat bumpers (3 on each side) at 8 1/2".

Why Taylor Made?

Our list ranks the top Taylor Made boat bumpers because this company makes seriously high quality products. etrailer is committed to bringing you the best products at a great value, and we believe TM fits this bill. Here's why:

  • Quality: All Taylor Made boat bumpers have superior resistance and durability because they are made with vinyl. This material is better than rubber for marine environments.
  • Affordability: You are not overpaying for these products. Taylor Made delivers a fantastic product with fair pricing.
  • Made in the USA: You are cruising down the water with a product that is American-made. If you are on the water celebrating Memorial Day or 4th of July, you can be confident you are supporting a company who manufactures in the USA.
Still have questions?Give our experts a call at 800-298-8924, or contact us online. We're happy to assist any way we can!Related ArticlesRelated ProductsArticle By: Kaitlyn B.Updated: 6/10/2020



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