By Mike Pleiss
I never pass-up an opportunity to get out on the water. Whether it's a fishing trip with friends or a day cruise with the family, I'm always looking for an excuse to do some boating. ... read more
This means I'm often trying new bodies of water that have different styles of boat ramps and docking stations.
At a dock or in open water, windy weather, boat wakes, friends who want to raft up together or other, less cautious boaters, often present opportunities for my boat to get damaged. I'm always concerned about protecting my investment and keeping my boat in tip-top shape.
Fenders got their name because they 'fend off' another boat or your boat from the dock. We're all familiar with the traditional round, low pressure inflated fenders. Overall, they do a good job. You can hang them vertically or horizontally but because they're round they could roll, ride up above your gunwale and no longer hang between your boat and that other hard object. If another boat of a different size is next to you or if you're at a dock that's higher than your boat, the traditional round fender may not protect your boat as much as you need.
There are some other, very innovative fenders available to all us boaters right here from iboats.com. They come in a wide variety of options and colors. 'KwikTek' makes a great product line called 'Hull Hugr Contour Fenders' and 'Hull Hugr Flat Fenders'. They come in different designs and some feature a hinge to protect boats with step-down gunwales that are especially vulnerable to damage from docks.
The Hull Hugr is very strong yet light weight and provides more cushion than the vinyl inflatable alternative. It was a clever feature that will protect a boat better than the round inflatable fenders.
The hinge will wrap around the gunwale and hull, following the contour of the boat or simply hang straight down, depending on how you hang it. There were also flat models available for boats that don't require the hinged flexibility and a smaller contoured fender specially designed to protect personal watercrafts. They all take up considerably less space when storing as well.
All Hull Hugrs are constructed of an incredibly durable rip proof tri-laminate cover, with closed cell foam inside. They even come in 'giant family size'. There's a Hull Hugr that is 9 feet long and over 2 feet tall with 6 large foam blocks of durable closed-cell foam. They're great for pontoon boats.
With these great fenders, there's no more worrying about my boats getting damaged at the dock from choppy water or careless boaters. Good fenders provide piece of mind and confidence at very reasonable cost so we'll all know that our boats will be better protected no matter what docking situation arises.
Mike Pleiss lives in Denver, CO and is originally from Omaha, NE. A life-long boater, Mike was born and raised in Omaha and graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. read less