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SUP and Kayak Carrying Systems for Boaters

Six ways to bring a SUP or kayak aboard your boat

You need look no further than the local lake, bay or harbor to confirm the popularity of stand-up paddle boards and kayaks. In fact, on some days, human-powered craft are so numerous, they can pose a navigation challenge to traditional boaters.

But everyone has a right to enjoy the water in whichever way they desire, right? Why not do both? Maybe you want to raft up at the sandbar next weekend and break out the SUP to mingle with the crowd. Or you might cruise to a secluded bay, get out your board and enjoy some solitude. There are also some remote wilderness no-motor zones in the Florida Everglades and elsewhere that restrict entry to paddle­craft only. You can anchor outside and then paddle in. Really ­adventurous boaters take their paddlecraft to the Bahamas to fish the flats where bonefish and permit feed in mere inches of water.

That all sounds great, but carrying boards and ’yaks on a mothership can be a hassle. Where do you stow them? How do you secure them? If you decide to tie them to the bow or stuff them in the cockpit, eventually they’re going to get in the way. You can stack them on the swim platform, but many SUPs and kayaks are longer than the width of some boat transoms. The Bote Flood board, for instance, is 12 feet long. The Hobie ­Revolution 16 kayak is, well, 16 feet long. You also lose access to the swim platform when it’s packed with your toys.

It’s no longer awkward or cumbersome to bring paddlecraft aboard your boat thanks to creative ways to get into the board game. A number of systems let you easily and quickly stow and deploy SUPs and kayaks, as well as surfboards and kiteboards, from virtually any kind of boat.

Here are six easy solutions:


“Most boaters won’t buy a new boat just to have dedicated stowage for boards, though it’s a great feature to consider if you’re in the market.”  _Tim Barker/Manta Racks

Rail Way

Most boaters won’t buy a new boat just to have dedicated stowage for boards (as ­described on page 90), though it’s a great feature to consider if you’re in the market. But if your current boat has a high-profile bow rail that extends aft to about midship, you can get a rack that lets you easily stow and deploy your SUPs and kayaks.

Magma Products, best known for its line of marine barbecues, offers the Removable Kayak/SUP Rack ($229.98,, which includes two arms that clamp to vertical or diagonal bow-rail stanchions ranging from 7/8 to 11/2 inches in diameter. ­Constructed from polished stainless steel with ­UV-resistant padding to protect your paddle­craft while cradled in the ­1-inch-diameter arms, each rack will hold two SUPs or one kayak. Tie-down points on each arm let you secure boards and ’yaks with straps.

Magma’s exclusive quick-release knob system allows each arm to be instantly removed or rotated inward when not in use, or swung in tighter to the bow rail to fit smaller/narrower kayaks or boards.

The SurfStow Suprax ($249.99, is another example of a system that clamps to a bow rail. Constructed from aluminum, the rack arms will hold one SUP and have EVA foam ­linings to protect your board. A built-in bungee cord ­secures the board. The universal clamp system swivels to attach to virtually any vertical or horizontal rail ranging from 7/8 to 11/4 inches in diameter. There’s also an add-on accessory arm that increases the capacity to a pair of SUPs ($99,

SurfStow also offers the Yakrax ($299.99, rack for kayaks. It uses the same clamp system as the Suprax, but the padded aluminum arms accept the hull depth of a kayak.

SUP and Kayak Carrying Systems for Boaters

Top Idea

The proliferation of hardtops aboard today’s boats has a benefit besides shade and shelter. Hardtops create new surfaces for attaching accessories such as racks for SUPs and kayaks, akin to roof racks on automobiles.

At Largo, Florida-based Intrepid Powerboats, for example, models such as the 400 Cuddy are often built with custom-ordered hardtop racks for SUPs and surfboards, says Joe Brenna, vice president of customer service. “Racks are installed as part of the build, as per the buyer’s specifications,” Brenna says.

It’s one thing to customize a boat to carry boards, it’s quite another to offer a model designed for SUPs and kayaks. Yet that’s what the Tiara Q44 is all about. Tiara calls it the Adventure Yacht. The Q44 is available with a hardtop toy-storage system that lets ­owners secure boards and kayaks on a top-mounted rack. The hardtop was designed to prevent marine accessories such as VHF antennas from interfering with board stowage. The walkaround layout of the Q44 facilitates loading and unloading paddlecraft from the rack.

SUP and Kayak Carrying Systems for Boaters

’Toon Tote

Many pontoon boat owners love to take their toys with them, including SUPs and kayaks. What better way to enjoy a summer day on the water than to anchor up in a quiet cove and get in some paddle time? Or maybe you want anchor out and explore or fish a remote creek that’s too narrow or shallow for your pontoon boat.

While big pontoon models offer lots of space to carry boards, why not clear the deck and the seats with racks designed to fit the square railings of the panels that surround the interior? Enter the Toon Racker ($369.99,

A pair of J-shaped arms fit the railings of most pontoon boats, and each rack will ­accommodate one kayak or two SUPs. Integral padding offers plenty of protection from scratching or chafing, and built-in bungee cords keep boards and ’yaks secure while underway.

You can also get the SurfStow Suprax ($254.99,, which features a pair of ­padded ­aluminum arms with ­specialized clamps to conform to square railings. ­SurfStow also offers the Yakrax kayak rack ($230.35, for pontoons.


SUP and Kayak Carrying Systems for Boaters


SUP Safety

The popularity of paddleboarding is skyrocketing, says Tim Wilhelm, owner of Manta Racks, which offers stowage systems for SUPs. “My business has doubled in the last year,” he points out as evidence of the trend.

Unfortunately, this rising tide has also led to an increase in incidents involving paddlecraft. While recreational boating accidents and fatalities steadily declined from 2012 to 2015, last year saw a spike in fatalities, says Capt. F. Thomas Boross, chief director of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

“During July and August 2016, the United States had the highest number of fatalities in five years, most of which were attributed to paddlecraft accidents,” Boross said in a speech to auxiliary members in St. Louis, Missouri, in January.

With this in mind, the Coast Guard has expanded its Vessel Safety Check (VSC) program to include canoes, kayaks and SUPs, says Harry Jacobs, 37-year member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and an approved vessel examiner and immediate past national director of public affairs for the auxiliary. Jacobs currently serves with the District II Public Affairs Detachment in Southern California.

“We need to bring paddlecraft enthusiasts into the boater-education community,” Jacobs says. Examiners are now conducting VSCs for paddlecraft and issuing decals for canoes, kayaks and SUPs meeting requirements that include a sound-making device, life jacket, white navigation light, visual distress signals and more.

Stand-Up Paddleboards

O’Brien Eclipse
Slingshot Crossbreed AirTech (inflatable)
O’Brien Vapor (inflatable)
















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Paddleboard Fishing Part 3

Paddleboard Fishing

Those of you who paddleboard or kayak understand the serenity of being out by yourself or with a friend. Although, most paddlers are restrained by distance knowing that they will need to return under their own power. There is so much more to explore with paddle sports, especially further away from shore…places where boats and even skiffs can’t get due to shallow depth or too narrow of a path.  Using your boat to transport your kayak or paddleboard opens up a whole new adventure to where fish are not pressured. Paddleboards are becoming the choice of paddlers, because of the site advantage of standing.

Coastal states have hundreds of miles of coastlines, which can be fished with the right watercraft.  Some of these areas are designated as No Motor Zones, therefore you must use a paddleboard or kayak to fish them.  All of these areas are quiet habitats for redfish, speckled-trout, snook, tarpon, and black-drum.  No pressure from boaters means a great likelihood of multiple hook-ups.  Imagine hooking up on a large snook or a giant red while on a paddleboard.  It is an experience that will keep you wanting more.  These monsters will pull you around until you are able to bring them in.

If you live in and plan to fish Florida on a paddleboard or kayak, read the article “Portage to Paradise” by Matt Arnholt in the Florida Sport Fishing Magazine.  Matt does a great job outlining and describing Florida’s No Motor Zones, such as in the Everglades and along the Space Coast.

Florida has hundreds of miles of coastline which can be reached by boats, but must be fished by paddling due to the remoteness.  Places like Wacassassa, near Suwannee, FL you can fish for hours on end and never see another person.  So, you can imagine the fish haven’t either.

Being able to bring paddleboards or kayaks with you on your boat opens up fishing opportunities.  If you have a bay boat or a deep V, but want to shallow water or flats fish, now you can do so without buying a flats boat or skiff.

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Paddleboard Fishing Part 2

PaddleBoard Fishing

When you go Paddleboard Fishing and take your paddleboard with you on your boat using Manta Racks, you can get to remote places where the fish are not pressured. Using the boat as a base or mothership, you won’t have to bring all your lures, fishing rods, and other accessories with you on the paddleboard, just what you need to hunt for a couple of hours.

The type of paddleboard or stand up paddleboard (SUP) you bring is key. It should be stable, have enough room to bring along some important items and be designed for paddleboard fishing. The fin(s) should be for shallow water, 4” to 6” long at most. Fish, such as redfish, are in very shallow water to feed and you don’t want your board to be stuck because of the length of the fins. Some paddleboards are wide enough to carry a small cooler for refreshments, a snack, and your catch. Bring along a stringer, just in case your catch is too large to fit in your cooler. With a stringer, you will be able to tow your catch back to your boat. If you have a board that can handle a cooler, place in the middle of the board, so that it can be used as a seat.

Bringing at least 2 to 3 fishing poles allows you flexibility of having different presentations without having to tie on different lures. Whether you break a line (which you will) or to have different lures on each rod for different scenarios, you will have a backup and options.

For safety, wear some type of water shoes just in case you have to step off your board. Wear a life jacket, use a leash, and carry a communication device such as a cell phone or hand-held VHF. You will be in some remote areas and may need to contact someone.

PaddleBoard Fishing

Paddleboard Fishing

To recap, the items you must bring for paddleboard fishing are a stringer, something to measure with, net, rope or stick pole for an anchor, polarized glasses, a drink holder, extra bait/lures, and 2 or 3 fishing rods with different presentations or baited ready to cast. Safety items include some sort of life jacket, water shoes, board leash, and a communication device. Consider a belly bag or fanny pack to carry some of these things.

Remember, plan minimal but take the essentials; your boat won’t be too far away so you can go back to it should you forget something.

Peter Hinck, AKA: Palm Beach Pete has a good paddleboard fishing safety video on YouTube.

Check out his other tips

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Paddleboard Fishing

Paddleboard Fishing

Fishing from a paddleboard is relatively new here in Florida and in many other states. If you haven’t heard of it you may think it sounds a bit crazy, but paddle fishing has been around for a long time from canoes and kayaks. Fishing from a paddleboard is just the next step in this evolution. The added benefit to paddleboards over kayaks, is that you are sight fishing from a higher stance than in kayaks. Another benefit to paddle fishing is the serene feeling you enjoy as you stalk your unsuspecting prey with no one else around.

The State of Florida has designated areas around the coastline as “No Motor Zone,” meaning that anglers can only fish in an area with a vessel that is paddled or pushed with a pole. Many more of these types of areas are going to be designated because of the improvement of the fisheries with the absence of busy boating and over fishing. The good news is that those anglers who can get their kayaks or paddleboards to these areas will experience a day of fishing like no other. The obstacle is that these areas are typically a very long distance to paddle. Manta Racks offers the perfect conveyance system to get your boards to these locations.

Paddleboard FishingOnce you are in these areas, you are away from boat traffic. The fish are living in their natural habitat, hunting and feeding without being bothered. With a Stand-Up Paddleboard and the right accessories, any angler can hunt these predators in these amazing and peaceful areas.

In this 4-part series of paddleboard fishing blogs, we will provide a look at these new areas where fish aren’t pressured by boats or human traffic, the accessories to consider bringing with you, the adventure, and a recipe for your catch.

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Manta Racks – Convenient & Versatile Paddleboard Storage.

Manta Racks – Convenient & Versatile Paddleboard Storage.

A customer of ours spent 2 weeks in the Florida Keys with his family this summer.  He has a 24’ center console and fished off shore just about every day; but there were days that the seas were too big to have fun, especially for his kids.  So, they packed up the paddleboards on their Manta Racks and headed for the flats.  He told us that having the ability to take his paddleboards provided him the opportunity to fish, even when the seas were rough.  Even though he did not have a flats boat, he could take his center console as far as he could go, anchor, and take the paddleboards to fish in areas he could not before.

It makes us happy to hear from our customers telling of their boating expeditions using their Manta Racks.  Our rack systems open up a whole other dimension in boating.  Thank you, Joe, for sharing your adventure in the Keys.


Mothershipping is catching on and becoming more popular every year.  There are several thousand acres of “No Motor” zones, which are bursting with fish that aren’t pressured by humans.  Many of these zones are too far to paddle to, whether on paddleboards or kayaks.  Using your boat as a mothership to transport your boards or kayaks will open up these amazing opportunities to you.  Follow these two links to a couple of professional fisherman who describe and show how easy it is to mothership.

Saltwater Experience with Rich Tudor and Tom Rowland head to fish the “No Motor” Zone of the Everglades.!/view/episode/67/1258/13/everglades-paddleboard-tarpon

Palm Beach Pete is a fisherman who fishes using paddleboards and kayaks around the state of Florida including the “No Motor” zone in Mosquito Lagoon.

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Upcoming Episode of Saltwater Experience Featuring Manta Racks

saltwater experience fishing tv show

The team here at Manta Racks is excited to share with you that we will be a part of a month long campaign with a top name fishing series called Saltwater Experience!!

As a month long campaign to showcase our products to the fishing industry, we have partnered with the team at SE Multimedia, LLC.  As a part of the Waypoint TV series, “Saltwater Experience” will transport their Paddleboards to the Everglades to fish in spots that does not allow motorized boats.  Our 30 second commercial spot will run all month long!  We hope you enjoy the commercial and episode showcasing Manta Racks L2K which is designed to transport the LIVE Watersports L2 Paddleboard & Kayaks.  Check out our products page to see the wide array of rack systems for your boat.

Rich Tudor and Tom Rowland are amazing fishermen and a blast to watch. Check out their series here or