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We use a flat fender on our painted transom to protect it from the dinghy, when we board from the sugar scoop. It folds open to be about 8 ft wide, but is about 18" square when stored. Very nice.

However, I would not use one at a slip. The round fenders will roll a bit, when you don't nail the landing or need to fend off when departing. The flat fender would just rub down the topsides.
 

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Inflatable fenders are the best, when weight is an issue. If you put a fleece cover over them, they are likely to be less attractive to a thief, as they are harder to identify. They can be grossly expensive.

The two downsides, beyond cost, I see to them are: 1. they are so light, they can easily blow or be pushed out of place. 2. I don't believe they are as durable and the warranties are not lifetime, as I recall.

A quality, properly inflated and maintained vinyl fender can be a lifetime investment.
 
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