The Different Types of Dock Bumpers that Help Protect a Dock

You spent considerable time and energy — and likely money — building your beautiful dock. Now, it looks just the way you want it to and your hope is that you are able to continue enjoying that dock for years to come. To make sure that happens, however, you have to ensure your dock is protected… protected from the elements, protected from marine life, and protected from damage.

Different types of wraps and coverings can help protect the surface of the dock’s piers and poles from erosive damage. Dock bumpers help protect a dock from wave action and from physical damage by your boat.

But perhaps more importantly for some boat owners, dock bumpers also help to protect your boat from being damaged by the dock as well.

There are several different types of dock bumpers, also known as dock fenders.  Generally, they are attached to the sides of the dock and absorb impact.

The various available dock bumpers and fenders include:

  • Plastic edging bumpers: Plastic edging is often not only functional, but an attractive update or upgrade to a dock. It can be placed all along the dock’s side but is most effective when installed along the fingers.
  • Recycled rubber tires: Recycled rubber tires can be used as bumpers for a dock when positioned at intervals along the side. While definitely a cheaper option for a boat dock bumper, tires can also scuff the hull of a boat so do be aware of that possibility.
  • Thick padded bumpers: These super-absorbent bumpers absorb the shock from impact very well. Usually made of high-density, closed-cell, foam with a vinyl/polyester laminate cover, they can help protect your boat (and dock’s edge) for years!
  • Post bumpers: Post bumpers — or piling protectors — help protect your dock’s poles and piers from damage. Some post bumpers permanently fix and others attach — off and on — with straps. This is convenient because it allows you to adjust the bumpers with tide changes.
  • Corner bumpers: Somewhat surprisingly, hitting a dock’s corner(s) is one of the easiest ways to damage your boat. This is especially true with high wave or wake zones and when wind is high.

Of course, the biggest advantage to all types of dock bumpers and fenders is that they provide protection for the boat or boats, from the dock. Alternately, if you are wanting to protect dock piers and poles from boats —or the elements and marine life — only some of the options above really help at all.

One of the best choices for dock pier or pole protection overall is often piling wrap.

Piling wrap like our Pier Protector, is fitted tightly around dock poles and then securely attached. Pier Protector is made of high-density recycled plastic (HDPE) and is affixed to the dock poles with stainless steel fasteners. Pier Protector is very easy to install when a dock is being built OR if the piers can be thoroughly cleaned before installation.

Over time, Pier Protector does somewhat double duty in terms of protection. It helps to protect dock poles from the weathering of wave action, from marine life, and from surface damage by boats. It also provides a bit of protection for boats and watercraft that might otherwise bounce against — or hit into — dock piers and poles as well.

To learn more about Pier Protector, visit:

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