[email protected] | +604 2508500

max background



4 Types of Popular Tug Boat Fenders

Tug boat fenders are high abrasion resistance rubber fenders used to protect the vessel and the other surface during contact. Boat fenders are also known as boat bumpers, rubber fenders and marine fenders. For starters, tug boat is a type of boat that maneuvers vessels by towing or pushing them. These boat fenders possess excellent resilience properties and is highly durable due to its great sea water resistance. Port owners and tug boat owners are definitely very familiar with such boat fenders as it absorbs the energy during contact and protects the both colliding surfaces.


4 Most Popular Types

Tug boat fenders can actually be categorised into 4 main types where each serves a different application. The type and number of fenders depends on the size and arrangement of the tug boat itself.

Cylindrical Tug Fenders

Cylindrical type of rubber fender is commonly used as the primary fendering system fitted to the bow or stern of tug boats. Usually a longitudinal support chain runs down the centre of the fender, supported by straps and chains fitted into grooves. Sizes varies according to the vessel size.

These fenders are used to push against flared hulls and its shape is flexible for ship-to-ship (STS) operation with different types of vessels in open sea conditions as well.

MAX Product-Solid Fender 7

Block Fenders

Block fenders are also known as cube boat bumpers for some. Mainly preferred for their great grip as a result of balanced grooved surfaces. This traditional shaped fender has a large contact surface that results in low hull pressures, making it even more suitable for heavy-duty applications. An optional UHMW-PE face is mostly available.

Tugs that operate in heavy swell and storm conditions therefore prefer block boat fenders most of the time.

 block boat fender

M – Fenders

M-Fenders are installed to the bow and the aft part of tug boats to protect the vessel from damages during operation. The fenders’ large flexible surface area that minimises the pressure acted upon the vessel during pushing and pulling operations can be fitted around tight curves. Similar to block fenders, M-shaped boat bumpers provide extra grip with their grooved surface while the triple “legs” acts as a strong attachment to the vessel.

M-shaped rubber fenders have a relatively low weight and this attribute contributes to a better tug stability. Due to its heavy duty design and strong attachment, M-shaped is one of the most popular rubber fenders.

m fender tug boat bumper

W – Fenders

W-shaped Fenders have an extreme-duty design that is for even the most extreme operating conditions. It is definitely one of the most commonly used boat bumper for tugs today. Fenders can be installed around the curves of most hull shapes and effectively buffer the collision between docks and ships. Tensile strength is highly customisable according to client’s requirements.

Ocean-going tugs and large harbor tugs are the most common applications for W-fenders.

max marine fenders australia

BONUS: D-Fenders

D-shaped fenders are are also commonly found on tug boats. But they are usually specified with their signature “D” shaped and comes with different bores.

MAX Product-Solid Fender 9 D Fender

Trustworthy supplier to avoid costly mistakes

An effectively designed and efficient fender will save you a lot of money and time as it provides maximum protection to your docking surface and the vessel. A poorly designed fender and cheap raw materials will affect the energy absorption and reaction force that acts upon both surfaces. MAX Groups Marine has been supplying high quality fenders for decades and we take pride in our quality as well as customer service.

View our Tug Fender product page.

Related Articles

Greener Future of Maritime & Shipping Industry: Green Ships & Ports


International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has been intensifying their efforts in environmental rule-making…[Read More]

5 Ways a Marine Rubber Fender System can Fail You. #4 is the Most Overlooked Mistake.

5 ways fenders fail and fender maintenance

A good marine rubber fender system is able to absorb energy at a…[Read More]


Other Posts