Gear Review: TaylorMade SuperGard Fenders

In a perfect cruiser's world, we'd all be either on passage or hanging out on the hook. Since we wouldn't be at the dock, there wouldn't be a need for fenders. But alas, being tied to one of the land's appendages is a reality we all face from time to time, and so I bring you a gear review featuring fenders.

You might think all boat fenders are created equal, that choosing a specific brand/model of fender is trivial. But I've used undersized fenders, fenders made from hard plastic, and fenders that abrade and pick-up dirt and grime that gets transferred to your hull. When a boat fender ceases to provide protection for your boat and sometimes causes direct damage to your boat, then the issue is no longer trivial.

TaylorMade SuperGard fenders guarding Island Bound's new polish & wax
I've recently switched my fenders to TaylorMade's SuperGard model. There are plenty of other choices on the market, many of which are cheaper, but you'll instantly be able to feel the quality difference when you hold one of the SuperGards. They are made from high quality marine-grade vinyl with a glossy finish but the sides are ribbed to prevent rolling and slipping along a dock or the side of your boat. There's an eye on both ends of the fender for attaching lines and enabling both a vertical and a horizontal placement if two lines are used. Other models feature a line hole running down the middle so that only one line is needed for horizontal placement, but I still prefer the SuperGard's twin eyes. The end caps and eyes are molded out of double thick black vinyl for extra strength. There's also a molded in air valve to allow you to adjust the inflation and "squishiness" of the fender. And in case you're style-conscious sailor, SuperGard fenders are available in a wide variety of colors to match nearly any boat, as evidenced by my new bright yellow fenders in the photo.

I highly recommend the SuperGards if you're looking for a high quality fender that will last many seasons and won't get easily damaged or cause damage if properly sized. I also have TaylorMade HullGard fenders, but they're now relegated to back-up/reserve status because I prefer the anti-roll qualities of the SuperGard's ribs.

Need new fenders to protect your hull? Get TaylorMade's here:



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