Inflatable Fenders by Boat Bunkers

"Gear and Gadgets" from our March 14, 2007, CW Reckonings

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Inflatable fenders by Boat Bunkers have a topside-friendly cloth covering and deflate for efficient stowage.Www.boatbunkers.com

I've never been on a boat where stowage space wasn't at a premium. Among the worst space-wasting offenders are fenders. What could be more inefficient-- especially for cruisers who like to spend their time in port sitting on anchor, not at the dock-- than big rubber cylinders filled with nothing but air?

A Florida company called Boat Bunkers has a solution for this storage problem: inflatable fenders. The fenders, available in four sizes and six colors, consist of tough inflatable bladders with fabric covers designed to be gentle on your topsides . When you're finished with them just pull the plug, deflate, and stow them somewhere small. A set of four of the largest size (36-inches long x 12-inch diameter) with a storage bag and a foot pump sells for $220.