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Deck Mats Make Boating Easier on the Body

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September 15, 2014
Published in News & Tips > Boating > Boat Rigging
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DeckMatComfort blogStanding long hours on carpet-covered plywood can take its toll on the body, especially in choppy water. When renovating my casting deck a decade ago, I removed the seat base; so using a chair or pedestal aren't options. One solution I have found to increase comfort is placing an anti-fatigue mat on the deck.

Anti-fatigue mats are available at hardware stores. Quality, size and degree of cushion is linked to price. The model I own cost $40. It has 4-by-3-foot dimensions. Used lengthwise it allows for two anglers.

Mat Features to Consider

When shopping for a mat opt for one with some weight to it. Stay away from interlocking, light foam mats. These will blow off the deck in a stiff breeze or when boating. I use the trolling motor pedal and the shaft's support bar to hold the mat in place when running on the water. Granted, I rarely pass 30 mph, so speedier boats may need other options to secure a mat or store it during transit.

Opt for a mat with beveled edges. This shaping deters it from curling, so it doesn't become a trip hazard.

An anti-slip underside helps the mat hold to the deck's carpet. In rain the top can get a little slippery when wearing certain footwear, but no more so than the boat's vinyl-covered floor. After a soaking, remove the mat to allow it and the carpet to dry separately.

Dampens Sound

In addition to cushioning and comfort, the mat dampens sound. Last year a buddy dropped a pair of pliers on the foam while retying a bait. At the time I was stalking a smallmouth in the shallows and the fish didn't spook. If the tool would have hit the carpet, I'm confident it would have sent the bass scurrying. Luckily it didn't and I caught the fish a few casts later.

One shortcoming is that the mat must be lifted to access certain compartments on the deck. Although not the perfect solution, an anti-fatigue mat can deliver some relief without being a major investment. Other ways to reduce body strain while fishing are wearing quality shoes and sitting when you can.

 

Tagged under Read 20681 times Last modified on September 8, 2017
Tim Allard
expert

Tim Allard hails from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He's a full-time outdoor journalist and author and photographer of the multi-award winning book, "Ice Fishing - The Ultimate Guide" (2010), which is also available in French under the title, "Pêche sur glace". Tim regularly contributs to numerous North American print and online publications. For more information visit www.timallard.ca.

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