Do you enjoy taking your boat out onto the lake or river? If so, you’ll probably know just how important it is to protect both your boat and dock from damage when you return home. Dock bumpers not only help to protect your boat from damage, but they can also help to prevent the general wear and tear that comes with storage, saving you both time and money.
We’ve reviewed over twenty dock bumpers to help you find the best one for you. We considered a variety of factors including how the dock bumper is mounted, how well it protected both the dock and the boat from damage, and how strong the materials it is made from are.
Our top pick, the Dock-Side Bumper from Dock Edge, stood out for a number of reasons. Made from commercial grade vinyl, it offers the ultimate in heavy protection, as well as fantastic protection for gunnels.
In This Article
The 5 Top Rated Dock Bumpers
|Best Overall||Dock Edge Dock-Side Bumper||3.9|
|Runner Up||Dock Edge PVC UltraGard Guards||4.5|
|Best Budget Buy||Extreme Max BoatTector Dock Bumper||3.7|
|Best Dock Cushion||Taylor Made Products Commercial Grade Dock Cushion||4.6|
|Best Post Bumper||Dock Edge Torpedo Post Bumper||4.4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Dock Edge Dock-Side Bumper
The Dock Edge Dock-Side Bumper is made from heavy duty commercial grade vinyl PVC, which ensures it provides the ultimate level of heavy protection for both docks and boats. It is available in two different sizes – 7 x 16” and 8.5 x 24” so boat owners and marinas can choose the sizes that will cover their docks the most adequately. Corner bumpers are also available in this range for those who want all-round protection.
The ends of each dock-side bumper are angled, which means they are able to deflect craft with ease. And, as each bumper is designed to rest slightly above the surface, this product from Dock Edge is also a fantastic choice for those who want to ensure their boat’s gunnels are fully protected; this is not something that every dock bumper offers so is definitely a stand out feature.
Finally, each dock-side bumper is filled with air, which gives it a well padded feeling. An integral inflation valve is fitted to each part to make re-filling each bumper easy; something you may need to do if your dock is located in a sun-facing area. Installation is also easy requiring either screws or staples.
Dock Edge Dock-Side Bumper Key Features
- Made from commercial grade PVC vinyl
- Angled ends deflect craft
- Excellent gunnel protection
- Easy to install
- Suitable for both traditional and floating docks
Our Runner Up Pick: Dock Edge PVC UltraGard Guards
Like the product above, the PVC UltraGard Guards from Dock Edge are also manufactured from rigid marine grade PVC vinyl. They have been designed with long use in mind, and are guaranteed to not crack, collapse or fade, no matter what conditions they are faced with. In addition, fungicides and UV inhibitors are also included as standard, so you won’t need to worry about salt water causing the guards to go moldy, and the sunlight won’t affect them in any way.
While the exterior of the UltraGard Guards is rigid, offering full protection to your dock, molded-in ribs on the interior ensure each guard is soft too, while remaining durable. This helps to provide a high level of protection to your vessel, no matter its size.
These UltraGard Guards come with pre-installed holes, so installation onto pilings is simple with some basic hand tools and a few screws. Measuring 32” x 5”, each guard will also cover a large section of your dock.
Dock Edge PVC UltraGard Guards Key Features
- Made from rigid marine grade PVC vinyl
- Fungicides and UV inhibitors included as standard
- Easy to install on to pilings, requiring basic hand tools and screws
- Fade, collapse and crack resistant
- Interior molded-in ribs, ensure the product is both soft and durable
Best Budget Pick: Extreme Max BoatTector Dock Bumper
Not only is the Extreme Max BoatTector Dock Bumper a fantastic budget pick, but it’s also available in variable lengths. Dock owners can choose between a large (36” x 6”) and small (24 x 4”) straight bumper, as well as both small and large corner bumpers. The range of choice, and at budget prices, ensures that you can protect your whole dock fully and without needing to worry about customizing any of the pieces to meet your needs.
These dock bumpers are made from closed cell foam padding, which won’t collapse or deflate, which is then covered in a durable, marine grade laminate cover. Corrosion proof polycarbonate grommets and thermal bonded seams further add to the durability of the bumpers, ensuring they will last for a long time in both salt water and fresh water conditions. For those in doubt, a two year replacement warranty also comes as standard.
Easy to install, and definitely friendly on the price, these bumpers from Extreme Max are a good choice.
Extreme Max Boat TectorDock Bumper Key Features
- Made from closed cell foam padding, and covered in marine grade laminate
- Tear and UV resistant
- Available in a variety of sizes for both straight edges and corners
- Two year warranty comes as standard
Best Dock Cushion: Taylor Made Products Commercial Grade Dock Cushion
Taylor Made Products is a brand you can trust when it comes to dock edging, and their Commercial Grade Dock Cushion is no exception. Made from the same high quality marine grade materials as the other products in their line-up, you can rest assured that these bumpers will protect your vessels from bumps, marks, scratches, and damage, no matter how large or heavy it is.
Coated in a rubber material, this dock cushion can be used in both fresh water and sea water. Each cushion measures 10 feet wide, but additional cushions can be purchased to fit the full length of your dock if required. It is also possible to cut the cushions if you require a smaller size. Combined with some of Taylor Made’s dock corner cushions, you can ensure full protection.
Installation of the Taylor Made Products Commercial Grade Dock Cushion is also easy and can be done by one person in an afternoon using basic hand tools.
Taylor Made Products Commercial Grade Dock Cushion Key Features
- Made from high quality marine grade materials
- Suitable for fresh water and sea water docks
- Can be combined with other products in the Taylor Made lineup to ensure full protection
- Easy to install
Best Post Bumper: Dock Edge Torpedo Post Bumper
The Dock Edge Torpedo Post Bumper provides a durable and functional cushion to the legs of any docking system. Designed to fit over the posts on any dock, and made from marine grade vinyl, they promise lasting protection from bumps and scratches, while also protecting your boat from any protruding bolts apparent on your deck.
These post bumpers are available in six different colors – beige, black, blue, white, gray and navy – so you can choose the model that you find most attractive, or the one that fits best with your current dock or boat design. They have been designed to fit posts measuring up to 2” in diameter and measure 18” tall by 5” in diameter.
One thing that many dock owners like about the Dock Edge Torpedo Post Bumper is the ease of installation. They literally just need to be slotted onto the posts, and ensure they are closed at the bottom; they will then remain in place. For an additional level of security, you can use screws to keep them in place.
Dock Edge Torpedo Post Bumper Key Features
- Made from UV resistant marine grade vinyl
- Measures 18” tall and 5” in diameter
- Easy installation; simply slot it over any dock legs
- Available in six different colors
Who Should Buy a Dock Bumper
Everyone who goes boating on a regular basis will hit the dock at one point or another. In fact, for those who like to pull up to the dock at full speed, it’s pretty much expected. However, while hitting the dock is not something that most of us can avoid, there are ways to avoid damaging both your boat and your dock if you plan ahead.
Dock bumpers can be placed around the exterior of your dock, and also on the posts. Made from impact resistant materials, and often featuring foam padding, they are designed to take on the impact of the hit, preventing damage. Not only can they help to protect your boat and dock from physical damage, but they can also help to prevent your boat from experiencing dock rash, scratches, or aesthetic color changes caused by impact.
Anyone who has their own boat, or who has their own dock, should consider investing in a set of dock bumpers, even if they have boat fenders already in place.
Important Features to Consider
A dock bumper should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a dock bumper:
- Bumper style. When choosing a dock bumper, you need to consider the shape of your dock and where protection is required as there are a number of different styles of dock bumper to choose from. You have straight edge bumpers, which, as you’d expect, fit along the straight edges of your dock. You also have corner bumpers which are designed to fit snugly around any 90 degree angles. Finally, there are also post bumpers which can be mounted both below and above the water on your dock’s posts. You may want to purchase just one of these, or all three for full protection.
- Materials. All dock bumpers are made from different materials, with some being much stronger than others. Marine grade vinyl is the ideal material for docks that receive a lot of traffic, as well as those that receive heavy boats, while flexible PVC and soft vinyl are more than adequate for lighter vessels.
- Padding vs. edging. The majority of dock bumpers come with a lot of interior padding which works to take on the impact of any hits. However, it’s also possible to purchase dock edging, which doesn’t come with padding but is still suitable for protecting vessels from scratches and dock rash. Dock edging tends to be cheaper, but it’s also not suitable for large or heavy boats that require more adequate protection.
- Fungicides and UV protection. Some dock bumpers come with fungicide and UV protection included as standard. This is ideal for people who are concerned about the look of their docks, and those who want to keep their dock bumpers in place all year round. If you want to minimize the amount of maintenance required on your dock, bumpers that contain these features are ideal.
- Water type. Some dock bumpers are specifically designed for use in salt water, while others are only recommended for fresh water docks. Of course, you can also find some that are suitable for both types of water. This is something you will want to pay close attention to when buying to avoid unnecessary deterioration.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a dock bumper and how does it work?
A dock bumper is a resilient device that attaches securely to a dock with the aim of absorbing the impact of any vessels that bump into it. In addition to dock bumpers, which attach to docks, boat owners can also invest in a marine bumper, which attaches to the boat itself, thereby providing extra protection.
Since boats are often made from materials like fiberglass, a dock bumper can help boat owners to avoid costly repairs. However, dock bumpers can also protect the aesthetics of a boat’s hull by protecting it from scuffs and scratches as well.
Do dock bumpers float?
All dock bumpers are made from different materials; some of these float while others are not intended for this purpose. Traditional dock bumpers and cushions are securely attached to standing docks; these are kept in place due to the screws or staples holding them there. You can also find some dock bumpers that are suitable for floating docks. Finally, it is also possible to purchase dock floats, which can be attached to any existing dock system and offer dependable flotation.
How do you mount a dock bumper?
The first thing you need to do is measure the length of your dock. Most dock bumpers can be cut to size, but you can also find some that are available in different lengths, so you can purchase those that will fit it automatically if you prefer. With the correct sized bumpers in hand, the next task is to attach the mounting bracket. Use a level to ensure it’s even, and mark the holes. Then, using a cordless drill, you can drill the holes. Place the bracket back onto the dock, and using screws or nails, fix it into place. (Note – some bumpers can also be fixed with staples). Finally, with the mounting bracket in place, you can either slide the bumper into place, or screw it in securely. Which you’ll need to do will depend on the model you purchased. After installation, you can add silicon for extra protection if you wish.
Can you leave dock bumpers up all year long?
The majority of dock bumpers are intended to remain in place permanently, so yes, it’s completely fine to leave them up all year long. If you are concerned about the sunlight yellowing your bumpers, or about mold, you can look for bumpers that come with UV and fungicide protection.
Other Dock Bumpers We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other dock bumpers. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best dock bumpers list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Suitable for most dock corners, this product by Taylor Made stands up to the task in even the roughest of conditions. Better yet, these dock corners won’t leave scratches or marks on your boat like some other bumpers do.
- Made from marine grade vinyl
- Structural ribs provide high impact resistance
- Easy to install using simple hand tools
Available in both black and white, the Dock Edge Dock Guard provides excellent protection to both ski and bass boats. It can be mounted easily within minutes and can be used for a variety of applications.
- Made from soft vinyl
- Molded ribs provide extra strength
- Angled ends deflect craft away from the dock
For those who need a corner bumper with industrial strength, this model by Dolphin is a top choice. Made from heavy-walled molded PVC they provide a high level of protection for both stationary and floating docks.
- Made from air-filled, heavy molded PVC
- Angled ends and excellent gunnel protection deflect craft
- Offers the ultimate protection for heavy boats
Like all Dock Edge products, this bumper corner is manufactured from marine grade flexible PVC. It can be mounted both vertically and horizontally, and the fungicides and UV inhibitors protect it from yellowing, mold, fading, and other unsightly problems.
- Made from marine grade flexible PVC
- Protects docks against skin abrasions and splinters
- Easy to install and can be mounted both vertically and horizontally
Made from tough, marine grade vinyl, these corner bumpers by Taylor Made Products are designed to easily attach to any kind of dock. They are sturdy, heavy duty, and available in black or white.
- Manufactured from marine grade vinyl
- Superior cushioning protects both the dock and the boat
- Can be mounted both vertically and horizontally
The Bumper Corner Kit from Dock Edge comes with everything you need to protect both your boat and your dock from bumps and scratches. Suitable for all applications, it can be installed within minutes.
- Made from soft vinyl
- Contains fungicides and UV inhibitors for protection against mold and sunlight.
- Comes with 2 straight sections and 1 corner bumper
This Premium PVC dock bumper from Dock Edge can be installed easily and within minutes with some basic hand tools. Constructed to the highest quality, it protects not only boats and docks, but bathers as well.
- Made from marine grade flexible PVC
- Comes in a pack of six with joints that can be mounted both vertically and horizontally
- Fungicides and UV inhibitors ensure the bumper remains looking like new
The Free Foam Dock Cushions from Taylor Made Products are available for both corners and straight edges. The cushions can also be easily cut to suit the length of the dock they are to be used on.
- Manufactured from EVA foam and high density PE foam
- Pre-drilled, ensuring easy installation
- Can be used both horizontally and vertically
Docking a boat at night time can be harder than in the day, which is why this Dock Cushion with LED Lights is so useful. Powered by solar energy, these cushions won’t just protect your boat, they’ll help you navigate as well.
- Straight edge dock cushion measuring 36”
- Can be paired with Taylor Made Corner Bumpers for full protection
- Powered via solar energy
The 18” dock cushion from Tommy Docks has been manufactured with marine grade cushion PVC to ensure high protection against bumps and scratches. Installation is easy thanks to the pre-cut holes.
- Made from marine grade cushion PVC
- Attaches easily to the side of docks
- Available in an attractive dark blue color
The Boat Saver Dock Protection from Dock Edge provides air-cushioned protection just when you need it the most. It can be mounted both horizontally and vertically and also comes with UV and fungicide protection.
- Manufactured from PVC vinyl
- Unique air cushion entrapment system provides full protection
- Ideal for docks, pilings, and boat houses
The C Shape Dock Edge Coil has been designed for easy installation. Suitable for both dry and floating docks, these heavy duty guards are made from 85% recycled materials, making them ideal for the eco-conscious.
- Heavy duty C-shaped guard
- Suitable for both dry and floating docks
- Pre-drilled holes ensure quick and easy installation
Designed for industrial use, the ProTech Dock Protection from Dock Edge is ideal for any application where heavy duty protection is required. Both straight and corner edge bumpers are available.
- Manufactured from rigid PVC
- Internal molded ribs provide added durability and strength
- Suitable for industrial and heavy duty applications
If you want a streamlined, clean look to your dock, the DocKushion Premium Foam bumper is an ideal choice. Made from a soft foam core with a polyurethane skin, this bumper is soft, durable and will protect your boat from bumps and scratches.
- Made from soft foam and polyurethane
- Available in a variety of different sizes to eliminate the need for customization
- Snaps into place with ease making installation quick and easy
Ideal for vertical posts and docks, this cushion has been designed to accommodate a multitude of applications. Available in both black and white, the cushion is ideally suited for 2” posts or pipes.
- Vertical cushion mount
- Available in white or black
- Designed to accommodate a variety of applications
This commercial grade dock edging is specially designed for horizontal use. The P-design prevents boats from hitting dock edges and sharp corners, while the ledge top and flat back ensure it fits perfectly over horizontal installations.
- Commercial grade P-shape design
- Available in black or white
- Fast and easy installation
Dimex’s D-Profile Dock Edging has been designed to be used on vertical sections of docks. Made from pigmented plastic, you can rest assured that your boat won’t scuff or show a different base color upon impact; even if you choose the black design.
- Can be used on both saltwater and freshwater docks
- Easy to cut to size and install on vertical panels
- Made from recycled, flexible PVC and pigmented plastic
The Wave Shock Absorbing Dock Edging from Taylor Made Products installs easily to dock edges using either staples, screws or nails. A tough inner core is surrounded by a soft white vinyl material for the ultimate in padding.
- Manufactured from soft vinyl
- Twice molded design, plus molecular bonding, ensures high protection and durability
- Quick and easy installation
This commercial grade dock edging is suitable for large docks and marinas. Made with the same double molding process and high quality marine grade resins as Taylor Made’s other products, users can be assured of quality construction and high durability.
- Made from high quality marine grade resin
- Suitable for large docks and marinas
- High shock absorbing functionality
This P-shape marine dock edging is suitable for vertical placement on both large and small docks. It can be easily screwed into place, and cut to size depending on your requirements.
- Manufactured from marine grade resin
- Ideal for large docks and marinas
- P-shape edging suitable for vertical placement