The outer material for all of our protection products (fenders, dock bumpers, piling pads, and specialty products) is a durable, heavy-duty PVC-coated polyester. Unlike a PVC pipe, which you may be familiar with, this PVC (poly-vinyl chloride) coating is smooth and flexible. There’s a very slight texture to the touch, which makes it easy to manage when wet or dry.
PVC-coated polyester is a super-high tensile strength material that is waterproof, UV-resistant, and extremely durable against friction, punctures, and well...impact. For perspective, it’s often used as an industrial material for awnings, hydraulic hoses, sports flooring, commercial tents and fabric structures, and even space vehicles!
We got the idea from river rafting, where the raft materials withstand heavy loads, hot sun, cold water, tons of friction with gear and raft frames, and significant forces from powerful, jarring rapids as well as occasional impact with--and scraping against--boulders in the river. Bottom line: This material is tough and it’s built to last.
We wouldn’t wear it to swim with alligators, if that’s what you’re asking. But it’s going to take at least 220 pounds of focused pressure to puncture IMPACT gear. That’s stronger than all but the most powerful dog bites.
BONUS: On the off-chance your IMPACT Fender or Dock Bumper or Piling Pad does sustain a puncture hole, it’s still going to be 100% effective at protecting your boat. Unlike a traditional, air-filled fender that’s useless if punctured, our fenders are filled with closed-cell foam that will continue to absorb and disperse impacts. The PVC-coated polyester doesn’t fray, rip or tear (without significant force), so the rest of the fender’s integrity and functionality will remain intact until you can have it patched or replaced.
Nope. We have rubbed, punched, scraped, and bumped IMPACT fenders and dock bumpers against boat surfaces on endless repeat, without any damage or color transfer. Safety and protection is our absolute priority, and as boat owners ourselves, we are equally focused on damage-free solutions.
Complementing the bombproof outer material, the interior of IMPACT gear is polyethylene, closed-cell foam, made from 60% to 100% recycled content. Depending on the IMPACT product and size, the thickness of the foam ranges from 1-inch to 3 inches.
For custom orders, we can provide as thick as 5 inches of foam!
The closed cell foam absorbs impact pressure and disperses it across the full surface area. So unlike an air-filled fender, which displaces then rebounds pressure, IMPACT gear actually helps with a smooth docking.
Closed-cell foam doesn’t absorb water and has a high compression resistance. (This means it's super effective over a long period of time.)
Our fenders come standard with a silicone-covered cam attachment. We’ve found that most people who try the Cam Strap Fastening System love it. The cam mechanism is stainless steel, so it won’t rust. The silicone rubber cover protects your boat from scratches. It’s an extremely strong attachment that’s easy for passengers and experts alike to manage.
Here's a short video on they work.
Of course, if you prefer the look or function of traditional line, you can absolutely use it. Just switch out the cam attachment and loop the line through the stainless steel grommet(s). We even sell Top Knot line through our online store. For an especially elegant and user-friendly solution, use line plus a Danik Hook.
The corner material on IMPACT Fenders is strategically placed on the lower side of the fender, which will typically receive the most contact. It’s simply an added layer of toughness (equals=longevity) for the fender. We use calibrated heat welders to seal the finite edges of all IMPACT gear. It’s already a bomber seam that we make even stronger by adding this second layer of material.
Yes! IMPACT boat protection is equally durable in saltwater and freshwater. Our outer material, PVC-coated polyester, is mechanically and chemically stable in natural environments. While we’re at it, we’ll mention that PVC-coated polyester is highly resistant to dirt, mildew, fungus, oils and most chemicals, too.
PVC-coated polyester is UV-resistant. It won’t lose strength or functionality in high temperatures.
Even so, to maximize longevity and looks from your IMPACT gear, we recommend applying 303 Protectant once or twice a year.
Our outer material, PVC-coated polyester, is highly fade resistant. We have PVC-coated polyester gear that has spent nearly every day in the Southwest sun for over 20 years, and it still holds great color. This means your preferred IMPACT color will be true and coordinated with your boat for a long time.
IMPACT gear is resistant to dirt, mildew, salt, UV and chemicals. Even with repeated bumps and friction and soaking, it’s going to look great for years to come with minimal maintenance.
We recommend rinsing your IMPACT gear with freshwater whenever you rinse your boat or dock. For a quick clean, we suggest a spray and wipe down with Simple Green or a gentle soap.
To ensure the best longevity and looks from your IMPACT protection, we also recommend an annual or semi-annual wipe down with 303 Marine Protectant.
Sure! Our medium and large fenders have marine-grade, stainless steel grommets on the top and the bottom, so you can hang vertically with one line or horizontally with two lines. Or you can go directly for our Clamshell Boat Fenders, which have four grommets placed equidistant around the fender, and come with two Cam Strap Fasteners. Your choice!
IMPACT gear is made in the USA – in Durango, Colorado, to be more specific.
“Premium” isn’t a word you often see in boat protection. We think it should be. Speaking bluntly: Boating is not cheap. You’ve probably made a significant investment in your boat. Why would you trust its safety (from contact and scratches and abrasion) to a flimsy, low-quality or inefficient fender?
We set out to not only design better boat protection, we set out to design boat protection that provides a new level of confidence for every boater. IMPACT has an entirely new approach. We prioritize: premium materials, thoughtful design and craftsmanship, exceptional durability, and uncompromising style. Every choice we make is intentional and aimed at better security, less stress, and more fun.
That’s why premium matters. Protect your boat and your investment with the best.
IMPACT Fenders cost more than the competition because we use premium materials and handcraft each item. To some people, this may seem excessive for an “accessory.” But our mission is to provide the highest and best safety and security. You’ve invested a lot in your boat. Why would you trust it to cheap, low quality gear when IMPACT premium protection is available.
Our gear may cost a bit more upfront, but you’ll see the return through added confidence on the water, quality, durability and longevity.
Every IMPACT product is handmade from top quality materials, which is how we stand behind our premium quality. We use specialized machinery for cutting and heat welding to ensure consistency, but every step is a hands-on process. We obsess over every detail so your day on the water can be worry-free.
Umm...we think so, yes.
Compared to old-school, cylindrical fenders, IMPACT Fenders don’t roll out of place as you dock; the flat design makes them easier to stow; they’re versatile (as seat cushions, backrests, knee pads for working on your engine, and for floating fun); and they’re more durable than the old style.
Especially important, IMPACT fenders won't scratch your gelcoat or paint. They don't need a fender cover, like many people use with other style of fenders to prevent scratches.
We’re not advocating to buy more for the sake of buying more. We just know once you use them, you’ll appreciate the increased effectiveness, ease of use, and added benefits of IMPACT.
Yes, and it’s kind of badass. Our limited lifetime warranty provides another layer of confidence that IMPACT has you covered. Read about it in full.
For boats 14 to 25 feet in length, we recommend medium fenders.
For boats 25 to 60 feet in length, we recommend large fenders.
If your set up is better suited to horizontal protection (e.g. pontoon boats, low-profile bass boats, etc.), consider the Clamshell Fender. It’s a large fender, with extra grommets which is designed to be hung vertically or horizontally and comes standard with two Cam Strap Fasteners.
For houseboats or larger yachts that raft up or use helper craft, check out our Powell Pads.
All our piling pads are 8 inches wide (for protective surface area, not overall product width) and are best suited for pilings 6 to 10 inches in diameter. The size you choose should be correlated with the size of the boat that typically docks at the piling.
Small IMPACT piling pads are 1 inch thick by 2 feet long. The small is pliable enough to bend around the piling. Choose small for short pilings and/or small, light boats (under 25 feet). Medium IMPACT pilings pads are 1 inch thick by 4 feet long. The medium is also pliable enough to bend around the piling. Truth? Most people opt for medium or large piling pads to maximize surface area protection. Large IMPACT piling pads are 3 inches thick by 4 feet long. For ease of installment (as these won’t bend around a piling), they come with “wings” that wrap around the piling for an easy install and tidy appearance. Choose large for extremely high traffic docks and/or larger (over 25-foot) boats.
IMPACT piling pads come with a stainless steel lag bolts for each grommet (number of grommets depends on size of piling pad). For wooden pilings, simply pre-drill your holes, hold the piling pad in place, and screw in the lag bolts through the grommets.
If you have concrete pilings or don’t want a permanent installation, order a few Cam Strap Fasteners. Standing on the dock side (not water side) of the piling, run the end of the cam strap through the top two grommets on the piling pad, then insert it into the cam mechanism (creating a loop), and pull taut. Repeat with new cam straps for the middle and bottom grommet pairs.
If your dock is affected by tides, consider using the Cam Strap fasteners. It’s super easy to loosen, slide the piling pad up or down depending on ebb/flow, then retighten securely.
Check out our quick video on how to install IMPACT Piling Pads.
Absolutely! IMPACT dock bumpers can be installed with screws or zip ties, which means they can easily be removed. Here’s a 2-minute video on how to install IMPACT dock bumpers using screws or zip ties.
Fastening systems (you know…screws) are not included with our dock bumpers since everyone has a different setup. To determine how many screws, bolts, washers or zip ties you'll need: There are 14 grommets (seven on top and seven on the bottom) per 9-foot dock bumper. There are 10 grommets (five on top and five on the bottom) on each 4.5-foot dock bumper.
For a wood or composite deck, we recommend #14 x 1.5-inch or #14 x 2-inch stainless steel screws.
For concrete, we recommend a ¼-inch or 2-inch wedge bolt.
We also recommend ½-inch stainless steel washers on all applications.
The Landing Pad is somewhat niche, and at the same time, we use ours for everything. Let us explain. The Landing Pad protects your hull during shore and beach landings. It provides a barrier from sand abrasion and a critical buffer from hidden rocks and other debris.
As for the everything part: Several of us leave our Landing Pads in our truck beds for extra padding. We bring them car camping and boat camping as sleeping pads. We use them around the house when we’re organizing for trips. And we know a few people who lay them on the deck of their boats (sailboats, sport boats, more) for an added layer of comfort.