I Was Right All Along! They’re Called “Bumpers”


Post war Hull Card

Over the years, I have always referred to Bumpers as Bumpers and been told that bumpers are for cars and that they are called Fenders. So. after a great story on Bumpers/Fenders yesterday it was pointed out that indeed they are called Bumpers by Chris Craft on the hull card. B.U.M.P.E.R.S. I am never right. Just ask the boatress. I always felt like a fool when corrected.


This is a post war hull card, the same “Bumpers” is on pre war as well.

Pre War Hull Caard

Pre War Hull Card – BUMPERS in yellow

It was like a rope vs line thing, which by the way I always get wrong as well. Or Boat vs ship, or yacht. I get all those mixed up. I can never tell Starboard vs Port. I even made a t shirt to help, and still dont remember. But on this. Wooohoooo! Frank Miklos says its Bumpers. So this is for all of us that call Bumpers Bumpers! Rock on!

39 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Nice catch guys! I must have looked at those hull cards a thousand times and never noticed “Bumpers”.

    The “Cruiser Equipment Record” does not have bumpers listed.

  2. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    I guess pigs are flying today! I guess that also means m-fine is out ready to shoot one down for all that bacon. All is good in Woodyboaterville.

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Now that you have me looking at hull cards I have made some interesting observations (probably only interesting to me)

    1) My brothers Continental left the Cadillac plant only 12 days before American Beauty left Holland.

    2) It has been my understanding that the 21′ finned Capri’s we model year ’58 and ’59 only but my uncles hull card (CP-21-224) is stamped August 15 1957. When did the model years change? Knowing there were only 44 of these built I wonder what hull number started the run. May need to make a call to the Museum.

    • Greg Lewandowski
      Greg Lewandowski says:

      Troy, I will save you the call to Mariners Museum. My 1957 20ft. Continental was shipped from Cadillac in Sept. 1956. I called the museum and they told me CC changed models in the fall similar to the auto industry. However, they did not document an actual date for the changeover. It depended on parts inventory, if there were all new models, and what the guys in the plant felt like doing. The dates could change from year to year.

        • Jim Staib
          Jim Staib says:

          Went more by model than year. CL-20-001 to CL-20-221.
          If you have your hull card it will tell what day it left the factory.

      • Troy in ANE
        Troy in ANE says:

        Thanks for the info guys!

        I find it interesting that out of 44 built through ’59 that the 23rd was being completed in August of ’57. That being said, this boat came with a Cadillac engine and may have shipped before hulls with less desirable engine options.

        • Brian Robinson
          Brian Robinson says:


          Your uncle’s CP-21-244 was the first ’58 model 21′ Capri. #201-243 were sold as 1957 models. #201 and six others shipped as early as April 1957, which was over half-way through the 1957 model year. The non-fin 1955-56 style was actually produced into the 1957 model year before the finned version replaced it mid-year. So technically there are two versions of the 1957 21′ Capri, early and late.

          • Troy in ANE
            Troy in ANE says:

            Thanks Brian!

            You guys always amaze me with the information you have at your fingertips.

            PS: though he did not own it, my uncle was involved in getting Raccoon to the “New” Gar Wood factory so they could get a pattern off of her before she went out west.

  4. John Baas
    John Baas says:

    Just quit celebrating your “rightness” long enough to get the Classifieds and Store up on the mobile sites so’s us “phoneies” can buy something for Christmas!

  5. Sean
    Sean says:

    Didn’t your mother teach you that “two wrongs do not make a right”? – the term truly is… “fender”.

    • Frank Miklos
      Frank Miklos says:

      I believe both Century and Chris Craft production model year change was in July/August. With the first boats hitting the market sometime in mid August. during that time both model years could have and were being produced at the same time. We have a photo in the Century factory in the same photo with a 1961 & a 1962 Resorter 19 at the same stage in finish dept. (just stained)..

  6. charley quimby
    charley quimby says:

    Sooo… Just to get this straight. They are bumpers. That begs the question: What hangs on a fender hook? CQ

  7. Bryguy
    Bryguy says:

    not to confuse things but,,,, In Chapman’s book Boating Etiquette he calls them fenders but he also says they are”too frequently called bumpers”. He also states that”Dangling fenders have always been the “scarlet letter” of a neophyte skipper”.
    Having read that I for one don’t wish to caught out with my fender dangling, too old to be a neophyte at anything…

  8. Verne
    Verne says:

    When I was learning boating from my father regarding port and starboard, he told me to remember that Port has the same number of letters as Left. And when boating at night and looking at bow lights, he said remember Port wine is Red.
    He could always find good ways for me to remember things.

  9. Sunday Funday
    Sunday Funday says:

    I love it! Now can I get away with using the term “ropes” instead of lines. I spent my late 20’s early 30’s as a Powerboater in a sailing area. We called the bumpers “chunkers” just to watch the uptight sailboaters cringe.
    This whole topic brings back great memories! Thanks!!!

  10. Murphy
    Murphy says:

    Perhaps “bumpers” are used for those that require them for landing. “Fenders” might be the term used for use when mooring. CC, a mass producer, selling to many first time boaters may have chosen to use the term “bumper for a reason.

    • Frank Miklos
      Frank Miklos says:

      Our family has been boaters since at least the 1920s and maybe as far back as the late 1890s. we have always called them bumpers. And since the father of modern boating “Chris Craft” called them bumpers it is a proper term. No matter what the current industry term is.

  11. Gary
    Gary says:

    Bumpers, fenders, what ever. Just why is it on none of the hull cards shown are there any of these items included withthe boat? Is it possible CC didn’t know what they were and only included fenders?
    How about “keep it offs”?

  12. Ollon
    Ollon says:

    This thread brings back many memories to my high school job working at a marina on Long Island. I always knew I had to go out and help when I heard the distressed cry of “GET THE BUMPERS! GET THE BUMPERS!” being yelled down from the flybridge to a helpless looking friend on a windy day. I kept a long fishing net handy to retrieve them after they would wedge them against the dock hard enough to snap them off the cleats. I used to remind them when they were leaving to make sure they pulled them back in, in order to prevent a “Fender Faux Pas” so I guess both terms were interchangeable.

  13. Ollon
    Ollon says:

    Better yet can anyone tell me what the Oil Bayonet Letter was and why it looks like it was never checked either? The only bayonet I ever used was for when you ran out of ammo.

  14. Barb Hansen
    Barb Hansen says:

    Thank you! We have the Red Cedar, the white sided U22 that you pictured 2 years ago at the Cruise for the Cure on Torch Lake in Michigan.
    My parents had a 1960 CC Cavalier cabin cruiser on the Chesapeake when I was growing up. We always called them bumpers!!! The term is ingrained in my language. I always call them bumpers.
    I can’t tell you how many times people including my husband , have laughed and told me they’re fenders. I had started thinking it was East Coast terminology, like soda instead of pop.
    I’ll keep calling them bumpers. ?

  15. Matt
    Matt says:

    Well well, here is an ad from 1948 with Fenders! I still say Bumpers though, and now I say it proudly and looking for a debate

  16. Texx
    Texx says:

    Most people don’t know that I make my living (for the last 30 years) working in the golf course design and construction business. So at one time I played a lot of golf.

    I am a left handed golfer, only one-in-twenty golfers play left handed. Us lefty’s (as we are known) are the brunt of many jokes in the golf world. But we consider ourselves to be “intelligent golfers” and ignore the jokes.

    One day (long before I got involved in the classic boat hobby) I was preparing to tee off in a big golf tournament in Florida, and one of my competitors stepped up on the tee to introduce himself to me (that’s what golfers do), and we shook hands and prepared to do battle on the golf course.

    I was the first to tee off, and as I stepped up to address the ball (this is the time when you have to concentrate) my competitor said in a loud, obnoxious voice “Looks like we have a ‘port-sider’ playing with us today!”

    So when ever someone uses the term “port side” on the boat, I always remember that means the left side.

    By the way – I kicked that guys ass on the golf course that day. Funny what you remember. – Texx

  17. dondanenberg
    dondanenberg says:

    “Bumpers” are for cars or rides,
    FENDERS are used on boats to “fend-off” dock pilings!

    Chris-Craft often got things wrong, like calling “Toe-Rails”, “Monkey-Rails” simply because George said they were “A great deal of Monkey-ing around” to make them!’

    FENDERS are what they are known by!

  18. Jeff Rogers
    Jeff Rogers says:

    You’re correct, Dr. Danenberg. Fenders they are. Knowing how astute Chris Craft was at marketing, I have no doubt they’d be wise enough to simply call them what they knew first-time boat owners would!

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