When the sun’s out, the sky’s clear, and the waves are smooth, there’s no better feeling than lounging around on a floating mat.
With a floating mat and your boat, you can take relaxation and fun anywhere you want! But choosing the right water mat for your needs and ensuring you have the gear to transport it properly takes a bit of research.
Lucky for you, we’ve done all the heavy lifting in that arena! Enjoy this ultimate guide to all things to do with floating mats for boats.
Ready to enjoy your own little slice of paradise?
In this post, we’re going to cover:
Why floating mats are making such a big splash
Suggestions for choosing the best floating mat for boats
How to transport a water mat with your boat
What Makes Floating Mats Amazing
Let’s face it, floating mats are one of the best ways to beat the heat. They’re fun for the kids and a great addition to a day out on the water for adults, even your four legged family members. If you don’t know what one is, it’s basically a HUGE non-porous piece of foam that’s made in many different sizes. The largest ones can float six adults on it without sinking. What a way to hang out at the sandbar, lake, reef, spring, or other body of water!
Here are a few reasons why floating mats are so fantastic:
Great for sunbathing
Perfect for letting dogs play
Children adore them
They can fit multiple people at once
Acts as an extension of your boat
Excellent for boat parties and entertaining
Kids get a lot of exercise on them
Great for family time
How To Choose a Floating Mat
Choosing the perfect floating mat will depend on how you plan to use it. Will adults use this mat to relax in peace or will it be reserved for rambunctious kiddo fun? How many people do you want to fit on the water pad: just you or you and all your pals? These are vital questions to ask yourself before investing in a floating island. In addition, purchasing a cheap or flimsy floating island will likely result in a torn-up and unusable piece of junk before too long. It’s best to invest in a high-quality water pad that you can enjoy for years.
There are several trusted brands of floating mats to choose from, including:
This floating mat features tear-stop tech and treated foam for max durability. This means it can support weight well and stand up to wear and tear. Depending on your needs, it comes in 2 adorably named sizes – the Dockie or the Duckling. This choice is consistently rated highly amongst water pad reviewers.
This brand offers a wide range of floating water mat sizes that you can customize to your needs. The closed-cell foam and special film top layer in these mats are crafted to the highest compliance specifications. They pride themselves in using tough plastic grommets instead of commonly used Metal D-rings.
This classic choice is bright and ultra-visible. It can hold up to 6 people and dries fast. The clever design of this classic floating mat makes it easy to roll up when the fun is done. There’s no need to inflate this bad boy because it’s always ready to go!
Made from a unique, marine grade ‘Cross Linked Foam’ material, the Aqua Lily Pad prevents water absorption to avoid mold. FlexCore technology and a UV-resistant film add to its significant durability. This floating mat comes with a 6 ft tether system.
There are many more, but these are arguably the best.
Whichever floating mat strikes your fancy, choose a bright color. That’ll make it easier to spot your floating mat in the water and keep an eye on the kiddos enjoying it. If you’re new to floating mats for boats, consider trying a smaller and cheaper option before upgrading to a larger mat.
Take Your Floating Water Mats/Foam Mats On-The-Go
With the ever-growing popularity of floating mats, there’s a growing desire to transport them on our boats. The frustration of transporting them is also growing. You may have heard stories of these floating mats flying out of the boat while underway. They’re true. And even if they don’t do that, they’re taking up a ton of space and getting in everybody’s way. This begs the question…
Where do you put them in your boat? How do you tie them down? Do you tie them on the T-Top? They take up more space than an adult passenger and block the walkways or seating of every boat, small or large. Maybe you’ve thought, “If I leave a family member at the dock, I can take the water carpet on my boat…”
If you think you can just tow your floating mat behind your boat, we’re sorry to say this idea is also a no-go. It goes against advised safety rules and can be dangerous unless you stick to snail-like speeds.
With the most popular brands of floating mats reaching up to 18 feet in length, recreational boaters have long struggled to find a way to safely and securely transport their floating mat to and from their favorite boating destination. Until now..
PROBLEM SOLVED!! Floating Mats Rack System for Boats
Manta Racks has designed a revolutionary product made specifically to provide a simple, quick, safe, and effective solution to the problem of securing rolled-up, bulky floating mats when a vessel is underway. Just like our other Rack Systems, the FM Rack System also slides into the flush-mounted rod holders on the gunnel or transom of your boat. There’s nothing to install. It’s that easy. As we say at Manta Racks, another problem solved for the recreational boater.
You haven’t truly experienced all your boat has to offer until you’ve taken a floating mat out on the water for some fun in the sun.
We get it – sometimes you just want to get out on the water without having to expend energy kayaking or paddleboarding! With a firm foam floating platform to rest on, you can lay back and enjoy the day without breaking a sweat. We hope the tips in this article help you pick out the perfect floating mat and a matching rack to take it out on your next boating excursion!