Docking is a necessity for boats to stop safely in an area without the risk of floating away. However, the boat and the dock may sustain damage from the physical impact that the boat makes as it comes to a stop—especially for larger vessels. This is where fenders come in. Marine fenders are structures built to act as bumpers between the docks and boats. Here are the main types of marine fenders.
Cell fenders consist of rubber and have a cylinder-like shape with a hollow middle. One end attaches to the dockside and the other often has some form of a flat pad attached which makes direct contact with a boat. The maritime industry prefers this option due to its durability and ease of installation. Cell fenders are highly effective at absorbing the force of moving boats from many directions.
Cone fenders have a very similar construction to cell fenders, but the end that sticks out toward the boat is narrower than the side attached to the dock. This cone shape allows them to remain stable even with greater impact angles from moving vessels and effectively absorb the force. The shape also allows them to last even longer than cell fenders as well.
These fenders look like rounded cylinders covered in tires that attach to the main structure with chains. They float semi-freely next to the dock, often attached via chains and rope. Their relative freedom of movement makes them suitable for changing tides and makes them very quick to deploy.
Made from plastic lumber rather than rubber, pile fenders are highly adaptable due to how manufacturers can shape and cut them like wood. Reinforced with fiberglass, they can deflect the impact of boats and prevent damage to docks just as well as rubber variants. They are also completely unaffected by temperature, natural chemicals in the water, and decay.
If you need to protect your dock or bridge, contact Bedford Technology today. We supply plastic lumber that specifically keeps marine applications in mind, as well as many other forms such as furniture grade lumber and structural plastic lumber. Whatever your project needs are, we can help.