Limiting the amount of damage to your marine craft is the key function of boat fenders, like little buoys between your boat and a docking station or another boat. They are designed to protect against rough tidal conditions, and not to be used for anchoring against anything. They are only buffers between the conditions and your expensive boat. Positioning points of these boat fenders, types and shapes of fenders, and fender maintenance is everything you need to take into account when purchasing fenders.
Here are some tips:
- Tie the fenders to something solid like a deck cleat or stanchion base on your boat. Lifelines are not designed to handle rough tidal conditions, so steer away from using those.
- The fenders should hang low, close to the surface of the water.
- The distance of the rope to the fender should be minimal, so that the boat fender does not swing and end up on the dock instead of protecting your boat.
- There should be three fenders per side of your boat, one at the aft and one at each fore.
- When rafting to another boat, the already anchored boat should have fenders in place, roughly three that protect the two boats from tossing into each other.