Your feet, knees, and back all take a beating from long hours of standing and repeated wave impacts. Helm pads can help by providing cushion under your feet, as well as traction in wet conditions. » Read More
Boats can be uncomfortable in poor conditions. Rough seas can dish out a pounding, and slippery decks can cause slips and falls. Helm pads can greatly reduce both pounding and traction issues, while also being aesthetically pleasing. Even in beautiful conditions, helm pads can provide comfort and safety on your boat.
Helm Pad Material
Most helm pads are constructed of EVA foam or Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate, which was made popular in the 1970s by Nike. SeaDek was among the first companies to adapt the foam to the boating world, and its popularity exploded. The same foam used in sneakers can help you be comfortable whether cruising or fishing.
There are many lines of foam boat flooring products to choose from, all offering similar benefits. Besides the obvious traction and shock absorption benefits listed previously, foam decking doesn’t get hot enough to burn your feet like dark-colored metals or even dark fiberglass decks. The lack of temperature transfer makes it an attractive material for aluminum skiffs, but all boats can benefit. EVA and PE foam decking come in a variety of colors, allowing boaters to maintain consistent color schemes for a clean look around your helm.
Shock Absorption Properties
Helm pads also muffle sounds on the boat, helping in shallow-water fishing applications where stealth is key. Foam flooring also helps cut down on gelcoat glare, increasing visibility for both navigation and sight-fishing.
Shock-absorbing helm pads are available in several pre-cut sizes to fit most center console, side console, and dual console helm stations. They also work well for the helm stations of convertible and express sportfishers, cruisers, and more. Installation is simple — just clean your deck thoroughly with rubbing alcohol, peel the backing off your new helm pad, and stick it in place with the pre-applied adhesive.
For helm stations that don’t fit a standard-size helm pad, custom-cut foam helm pads can be ordered to your specifications.
To assist visibility even more, custom-made helm risers come topped with anti-fatigue foam matting. These helm risers, built from King Starboard, solve some of the issues created by high bows and large consoles. By adding three to six inches of height at the helm, visibility increases greatly. In tight quarters this extra height helps maintain a perfect understanding of how close you are to an obstruction, and offshore it helps you see hazards before you’re too close.
These custom helm risers are constructed to your specifications of length, width, and height and can be mounted by savvy DIYers using the included mounting template and Starboard mounting chocks.
In all, helm pads can make any day on the water more enjoyable by making your boat safer and more comfortable.
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