6/24/2010 – more about mats

One of the problems with the mats I’ve been making is that, if you pick them up to move them, the ropes separate a bit and have to be tidied up when the mat is laid back down. Traditionally this is addressed by sewing the strands together on the bottom side of the mat. I did this on the round mat and it was a tedious process.

Another problem is that the mats tend to slip around a bit just like almost any rug does. This is a bad thing when the mat is used on a sea-tossed deck.

I think I’ve overcome both of these issues. This is a refinement of an idea I got from another sailor’s wife who makes tons of these mats. She smears the back of the mats with marine sealants. The entire bottom of one of her mats is essentially a layer of rubber. As the sealant cures, it bonds the adjacent strands to each other and provides a non-slip surface. The downside to doing it this way is that the marine sealants are quite expensive, it takes a LOT of sealant to cover the back of a 2′ x 3′ mat, and the bottoms aren’t that pretty.

I decided to use common household silicone caulking because it’s cheap and easy to find. It still holds tenaciously to anything it touches and provides a nice rubbery surface once cured. I used some “cedar/tan” colored DAP caulking.

I’m hoping that the beads are tall enough to provide the non-skid surface that I want. Won’t know until the goo cures which may take a couple of days. As far as whether or not this is an aesthetic improvement over smearing the entire back of the mat, you can decide for yourself.

This mat took 3-1/2 tubes of caulking at a cost of about $3.95 per tube. Compare this to one of the cheaper brands of the marine grade sealant at $18.50 per tube. I estimate that covering the entire bottom of the mat would have taken at least 10 tubes.


About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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One Response to 6/24/2010 – more about mats

  1. Anonymous says:

    I also wondered about using hot glue gun to attach the finished ends. I can see where a sealant is necessary. I'm thinking about a glue in an aeorsol can. In quilting we have a spray glue to adhere fabric to each other. Don't know how that would hold up in salt water though. Love, Mom

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