Pontoon fenders or bumpers are an absolute necessity if you want to protect your boat from all those dings and scrapes that can occur when docking… and let’s be honest, no matter how careful you personally are, there’s always one other boat owner who doesn’t show the same amount of diligence.
It’s those guys you want to protect yourself from, so having fenders installed and attached to your boat is an essential part of your ownership duties.
Handy Hint: Before I show you the best clips and hangers, are you looking for actual fenders and bumpers themselves? Here are the 3 BEST PONTOON BUMPERS & FENDERS money can buy.
But attaching them isn’t always as clear cut and easy as it should be, which is why I’ve written this guide to help you in selecting the best pontoon boat fender hangers, clips, cleats and holders so you have the peace of mind that everything is secure.
Whether you want your fenders to hang permanently or need some form of quick release method, so you can quickly store them when out on the water, then these recommended pontoon bumper hangers will have something for everyone. Go take a look at the reviews below.
Best Pontoon Boat Fender Hangers – No Drilling!
One problem that you might encounter when buying pontoon fender cleats is that you can’t attach them properly if you have a boat with panelling all the way up the fence.
That solution would be one of (in my opinion at least) the best pontoon boat fender clips on the market today.
They are from a company called Taylor Made, and instead of drilling holes into your precious pontoon rails, you simply clamp then on the top of the rail – although these recommended ones will only work on square rails that are 1 inch or 1.25 inches (which is most pontoons in truth) – see latest Amazon prices.
How practical are they though?
Well, my pontooning buddy uses these on his Bennington and they are slim enough to snugly fit behind his seats. They fit very well along the walls behind the seating, and don’t leave any marks or damage anything.
They can be moved freely along the rails too, meaning you can easily slide them to where you need them to be, depending on the docking scenario you are in.
In terms of removing your fenders and line, these Taylor Made pontoon bumper holders make that a breeze too. All you do is pull, unhook and snap them straight up off the rail and you’re done. Just don’t do this whilst the boat is moving though, as you might lose them in the water as without the weight of the fender they can fall off.
In terms of some additional reviews, I also asked the opinion of some other pontooners on Facebook about what they think about the Taylor Made pontoon boat bumber clips. Here is a small selection of that feedback I received.
“I have used these for 10 years now, they are great, they never fall off, and holds my fenders really well. I highly recommend them for anyone needing some decent clips”
“Yes, they are brilliant, and I have had no issues at all with them scratching my rails or staying in place. It’s also possible to move them from port to starboard with ease too.”
“We have the same ones on our tritoon and love them. As with the other comments we have never had an issue and been using them for several years. We even use ours for as hangers and holders for our trash bags, pretty handy!”
“Taylor Made pontoon fender clips are a great product. No scratched rails and very convenient. Just pop and snap them on the rails and take them off when you done. My rails allow me to slide the clips between the rail and seat cushions.”
“I use them and love them. Once I am under way I pop off the fenders and put them under a seat then put them back out as we come in to dock. Very convenient and easy to use.”
Best Pontoon Boat Fender Clips for Durability
An alternative solution, which also doesn’t require drilling would be a product from Marine Holders. I have heard amazing things about these clips and they are available to buy on Amazon.
They are made in the USA and designed and manufactured by a team who know their pontoons and have built a product specifically for this type of boat.
Why? Because if you’re in the know, and part of any online pontoon boat forums, you will know how well-respected these hangers, cleats, or clips are.
You don’t have to drill any holes to install them, and then will snap on and off in just two seconds. You can place them anywhere on top rail, even behind your seats.
They have a quick release method, use a clamping mechanism, are made from high grade aluminum, and are quite simply insanely good. Go check them out.
Best Pontoon Fender Hanger for Easy Rope Adjustments
As with my other recommendations, these also don’t require any drilling. So, what makes them different and worth recommending in these reviews of the best pontoon fender clips?
Quite simply, they just work really well, and are a high-end solution that will last you for years and years. They make it easy to adjust the fender height and they fit snugly on to your side rails. Go take a look at the Amazon reviews.
They look high quality, won’t shift around, and will let you have the type of control you need when adjusting the height of your fenders and bumpers depending on the situation.
Yes, they are a little more expensive than the other pontoon boat fender holder reviews on this page, but believe me, they are worth every penny that you spend on them.
Best Pontoon Bumper Hangers for a Budget Price
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy cleats and clips, and all of them items reviewed here today retail at less than a few beers at your local bar.
But if money really is an important consideration for you, then check out these cheap bumper hangers.
Made from plastic, they aren’t going to look like a premium solution once installed, but if you can look past that, and just focus on the price, then they offer a great product in this pack of cleats and clips.
The design is versatile enough to let you hang your bumpers from virtually anywhere you can gain access to the rail. They will also fit easily behind seating and furniture and can be slid back and forth into your desired position depending on where you need to dock.
This is what the manufacturer has to say about this pontoon fender hanger pack.
“These adjusters are simple to attach and will fit 1 inch to 1.25 inch square pontoon rails. You simply clip the slides over your rail, letting you run the rope or line through the clip’s opening, whist you adjust the bumper height. Then tie a knot and be on your way.”
These cheap clips are manufactured from a high-impact ABS plastic that will not scratch or stain your boat rails and will fit fender lines up to 3/8 of an inch.
A quick word of warning though; These rail mounts are the easiest to use, but they won’t work on all pontoon boats. If your fence is filled to top rail and seats are tight to the rail and above, then you might find it hard to get them into position properly.
Best Pontoon Rail Fender Adjuster for Tubular Rails
Another Taylor Made product here, with their Fender Adjuster Tidy-Ups. I’ve not personally used them, but the online reviews are outstanding.
They are said to be quick and simple to use and look to simply snap over the rail or lifeline so you can set your fender height instantly. I like the fact that they do come in a wide range of colors, which can make what can often look like an ugly adjuster, look a bit trendier and in keeping with the overall design of your pontoon bumpers.
Being mildew and stain resistant is also a plus, but be warned, these work best on tubular rails, and not so well on square rails, as you typically get on most pontoon boats.
Only buy this fender adjuster for your pontoon boat rails if you have rounded rails.
Handy Hint: You should always have at least 3 bumpers / fenders on your pontoon. Place one at the fore, aft, and then at the widest beam. A standard approach is to have at least one fender every 10 foot of waterline.
What About Storage?
I’ve previously spoken about whether or not you should keep your fenders on whilst out on the water, and in truth, it’s a personal preference. You can read more about what various people think in this post.
One solution for storage I have seen recently though could be a rather cool addition to your boat, and those are fender racks.
The guys behind the Taylor Made pontoon boat bumper holders also sell a handy rack. Take a look at the fender rack on Amazon.
It will work very well on a larger pontoon boat and let you quickly access a couple of fenders when needed and keep them tidily out of the way. Made from stainless steel, they can be mounted quickly onto any rail or stanchion system (fenders not included).
Attaching Your Bumpers & Fenders
If you aren’t sure on how to attach your pontoon fender holders, then refer to the guides and instructions that come with all of these recommended hangers I have reviewed.
If you are still stuck, then you might want to read my guide on how to attach pontoon bumper clips.