The Complete Guide to Buying Boat Fenders on eBay

Like if this guide is helpful
The Complete Guide to Buying Boat Fenders on eBay

Boat fenders are an essential part of any well-equipped vessel, designed to protect its structural integrity by absorbing shock that would damage the hull over a period of time, as well as protect the boat's finish from damage when docking or rafting to other boats. Modern manufacturers make boat fenders from tough Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or plastic with steel valves, although skilled sailors can still knot bundles of charm into the traditional '40s-style rope fenders.

The minimum number of fenders for any boat is three, but owners should always plan for the most unexpected and toughest weather conditions. When buying boat fenders, consumers ought to consider quality fenders with thick, smooth walls that are tough enough to be untouched by temperature extremes, are highly resistant to abrasion and strong pulls, and look good on the boat. Size, condition, and price are other factors. There are a great many of all types of boat fenders on eBay, including the colour-fast type that do not leave unsightly marks on the boat, nearly all with lower-than-average prices and fast, secure shipping.

Types of Boat Fenders

Standard and side fenders are moulded into one tough, hard-wearing piece with a steel valve that can withstand the harshest of marine environments. These fenders, placed either vertically or horizontally, are popular with both pleasure boat and workboat owners.

Fender steps are versatile designs that offer boaters easy access from the deck to the pontoon, working as both a step and fender. They have a safe, ribbed platform to provide a foot grip and three rope eyes for secure fastening with the safe lines.

Bow fenders are tough and hardwearing and protect the vulnerable bow part in crowded environments. They fit easily on most bow shapes and have adjustable heights with no special inflation required, ideal for all types of seagoing boats including yachts, cruisers, and speedboats. Bow fenders come with three rope eyes for secure fastening.

Narrow boat fenders are specially designed for barges, canals, and other boats sailing down the inland waterways. They are narrow and slim because of the limited room on the waterway, some with a rope through their centres and others with a single rope eye.

Corner transom fenders protect the fragile transoms of canal and river boats, or pontoon corners that are crowded, in a small space. They usually come in pairs for either a 90-degree corner or a 70- to 90-degree corner, and are easy to install with mounting clips shaped like horseshoes and screws, nails, or rivets for attachment.

Ball fenders are also known as heavy-duty fenders, and are equally suited as a fender or buoy. Tough and strong, they have one rope eye and come in a variety of sizes and colours.

Fender ladders are designed complete with steps, serving the dual purpose of both fenders and ladders They are also much more stylish than other fenders and are thus popular with those who care about their boat’s appearance.

Inflatable fenders are quick to stow away or inflate. They serve as a spare, and are best for boaters who use fenders occasionally. They are ideal for those with storage space problems as they are lightweight and easy to deflate. Since they do need to be inflated, users should have a hand or foot pump nearby or bought as part of a fender kit.

Type of Boat Fender


Standard and Side

Moulded into one piece, tough, steel valve, withstands harshest marine environment, popular

Fender Step

Versatile, easy access from deck to pontoon, dual step and fender, ribbed platform for foot grip, three rope eyes


Tough, hardwearing, protects bow of boat in crowded spaces, adjustable height, three rope eyes, ideal for all seagoing boats

Narrow Boat

Specially designed for barges and canal boats and for narrow waterways, slim shape with rope through centre or single eye

Corner Transom

Protects transoms and pontoon corners, usually in pairs for 90-degree and 70- to 90-degree corners, horseshoe-shaped mounting clips, rivets or nails for attachment


Heavy-duty fenders, can be either buoy or fender, tough, one rope eye, variety of colours and sizes

Fender Ladder

Styled as a ladder, dual purpose, ladder and fender, stylish


Easy to use, needs inflation pump, lightweight, very little storage space when deflated, good for occasional use

Consumers should carefully select from amongst the types available according to their needs and the item's intended use, because a wrong choice might not fit. For example, corner and transom fenders for pontoons are ill-suited to wider boats.

Fender Size

It is vital that boat owners carefully consider the size of fenders they want for their boats. If the fenders are too large, they touch the water and drag on the boat, while fenders that are too small roll onto the boat and fail to provide adequate protection. Harsh weather conditions result in larger displacement of water and thus require a bigger fender, whereas small fenders are sufficient for calmer environments. While some sailors use the storage space on board to dictate the number and size of fenders that fit on the boat, inflatable fenders take care of any such storage problems.

Fender Condition

Many eBay sellers provide complete descriptions in their boat fender listing; this includes the condition of the item and whether there are any imperfections, which they usually point out in the photos. New boat fenders are unopened and unused with no damage and come in their original packaging. Fenders tagged in new other condition are unused as well with no signs of wear but are opened and sometimes without the original packaging. Most fenders in new other condition are factory seconds. Used boat fenders are old or second-hand and might have some wear and tear; it is up to the shopper to decide on the degree of wear that they find acceptable.

Tips for Securing Boat Fenders

While boaters opt between hanging fenders from the boat or the dock, the former position is better as it allows the fenders to follow the hull in tidal conditions and is easy to cast off in emergencies. For the largest surface area, boaters can position the fender vertically as low as possible on the boat to prevent swinging and just above the water, or horizontally just under the gunwales. The type of knot should be secure but also quick to tie and untie. Under no circumstances should boaters tie fenders to lifelines, as the movement of the boat against the dock may exert undue pressure on the lifeline and cause fraying over time; they should instead tie the fender to something on the deck, such as the base of a stanchion, metal toe rail, or any other strong point.

The eBay Buying Process

When a shopper fancies an item on eBay and wants to buy it, the quickest way to go about it is to commit to buy and select their preferred method of payment: PayPal's speed and security is seamlessly integrated with eBay's payment systems. Buyers also must factor shipping costs into their budget if they do not opt for a local seller and pickup. Any questions about the payment or payment method should be directed to the seller, and the buyer should wait for confirmation or clarification before going ahead with the purchase. The seller usually ships the item immediately upon receiving payment, so faster payment by the buyer means faster shipping from the seller and the sooner the item gets to the buyer.

Top-Rated Seller on eBay

Some sellers on eBay offer a satisfactory blend of quality products, speedy dispatch of items, reasonable shipping costs, and first-rate service. Over time, and with a high positive feedback percentage number from an aggregate of all the positive and negative feedback received from buyers in the previous 12 months, they attain the status of eBay Top-rated Sellers: solid and trustworthy sellers with a long and consistent track record. Many of these sellers have large shops on eBay selling hundreds of items with the same assurance, and their profiles are marked with an icon.

Buying Boat Fenders on eBay

Once you are well informed on the different types of boat fenders and how to select the best one for your boat and needs, you can use this knowledge to buy one on eBay. Search for 'boat fenders' on the eBay home page to float dozens of results in different shapes, sizes, and colours. You can also search from any other page using the search bar for popular brand names or further narrow your search results for specific items through the fender prices, conditions, and types. Check the seller's description for shipping options, return policy, and whether the boat fender is inflated or deflated, notable if you do not have an inflation pump at home. Used boat fenders require closer inspection for signs of wear or damage; slights marks are acceptable if the fenders are otherwise fully functional.

Once you find the boat fender that is exactly what you need, take your time browsing through similar listings for sellers who offer same-day dispatch or throw in free fender ropes and bulk discounts to sweeten the deal. If it is within your budget, you can also shop for fender baskets, covers, ropes, inflation kits, and cleats from the same seller for even lower shipping costs.


Boats such as tugboats, ferries, and luxury yachts rely on the fender to protect the hull from structural damage and to keep trouble away from their decks. The types of fenders available include varied shapes, colours, and sizes for both style and protection. Types such as the bow, standard, step, transom, corner, narrow boat, and inflatable fenders, each distinct in its features and uses. Innovative fender designs have resulted in the fender ladders and steps, which are versatile and serve dual purposes. The size of the boat usually determines the size of the fender: too large a fender causes drag and too small provides insufficient protection. Whatever size one opts for, there should be a minimum of three fenders on the boat, in case of sudden and extreme weather changes. As an online auction site and marketplace, eBay has lots in store for the fender shopper, including complete fender kits and useful accessories, all for the joy of safe sailing.

Have something to share? Create your own guide... Write a guide