I must admit that when we first decided to test the Dock Torpedo from LakeTek, I was skeptical. "What's the benefit of using one giant dock bumper over two or three smaller ones?" I wondered. The first answer came when we unpacked the box. The Dock Torpedo deflates, and as such, packs into a much smaller space than you'd expect. While the fully inflated product is several feet in length, packed up and folded it takes up only one or two square feet of space, easily the amount of space three or four traditional bumpers would take up in your boat.
Inflating the Dock Torpedo requires a motorized inflator, just like a tube or other water toys. Depending on what model you are using, this process can take a bit of time, but overall it shouldn't be more than a few minutes. Once the Torpedo was at its full size, we noticed all the straps that were attached to the exterior, that are placed there to help attach the Torpedo to your boat.
Using the straps was an easy process. at least as easy as tying a typical bumper to your railing. There is plenty of length for the straps, allowing for different boat and dock heights.
As we tested the torpedo on a standard dock, we found it wasn't quite long enough for our 25-foot pontoon, plus the dock setup just wasn't right. However, after we moved to a dock with large, round pillars along the sides, the Dock Torpedo performed admirably. It covered both pillars and kept the boat from getting scratched or otherwise damaged.
When it came time to pack up the Torpedo, the process was much easier than I expected. It folded up very nicely, and we were even able to get it back into the original packaging without too much straining.
The Dock Torpedo is available at Lake Tek's website for $395, which is a little more than what you may pay for four individual buoys. But if you have a pillar-style dock, this is exactly what you need because regardless of the waves your boat will protected from it.