There are basically three types of trailer fenders for boats. Boat trailer fenders mainly come in steel, plastic, and aluminum. The purpose of the fender is to offset road spray such as rocks, sand, mud, liquids, and other objects that may cause harm to the trailer itself or the boat it is transporting. Trailer fenders also serve as a safety feature to keep people from being pulled under the trailer while the wheels are moving.
Steel Trailer Fenders
Steel boat trailer fenders are traditional rounded fenders made from corrosion-resistant, sixteen gauge galvanized steel. These fenders are probably the most versatile when it comes to aesthetics. Steel fenders can be left plain as when purchased, or they can be painted to match the trailer, the boat, the vehicle doing the towing, or all three depending on the owner’s taste and preferences. Occasionally, a buyer can find polished stainless steel fenders; however, they do require a high amount of maintenance in order to continuously offer a highly polished and sleek look. Steel fenders range in price between $25 and $35 per fender and can be purchased through most marine retailers and online vendors.
Plastic Trailer Fenders
Plastic boat trailer fenders are created from a copolymer, high impact plastic designed to flex and bend and then retain its former shape. Plastic fenders are best for trailers that use tight fit marinas and launching platforms. These fenders are ideal for single axel, tandem axel, and triple axel trailers. Regrettably, plastic fenders are fairly limited in their color selection; the choices are quite literally black or white. Plastic fenders usually average in price between $15 and $30 per fender depending on the manufacturer.
Aluminum Trailer Fenders
Aluminum boat trailer fenders are most commonly found in 14 gauge diamond-plated aluminum. Aluminum fenders are also designed with a corrosive resistant coating. The advantage of using aluminum fenders over steel is the fact they are lighter in weight, which creates a lighter payload for the towing vehicle. Aluminum fenders can be painted with paints designed to coat aluminum surfaces, although keep in mind that painted aluminum requires extra effort to maintain a clean appearance while remaining free from scratches and nicks. Prices can range between $25 and $35 per aluminum fender.
Where to Buy
There are countless marinas and marine outlets across the country at which to purchase boat trailer fenders. If you don’t mind purchasing before physically seeing the product, there are also wide selections of websites online that sell fenders for boat trailers and offer quick delivery. Some manufacturers will even customize the fenders per a client’s desires for a more customized price and an extended delivery time.
Overall, most sailing hobbyist can replace or repair their trailer fenders at a reasonable price along with an easy availability. Remember, when purchasing new fenders to also buy the installation kit for that specific make, model, and type. As long as regular maintenance and need are considered when buying new boat trailer fenders, the new fenders should have a reasonably long life.