I will be paddling with my golden retriever in my Jackson Daytripper. I am looking for some type of material to put on the floor for him to get traction/not scratch the boat with his nails.
I have the kayak in my living room for him to get used to it, right now I use my wife’s yoga mat (uh oh) and it works for him to get traction, but I would like something a tad thicker (the mat is very thin, think really thick shelve liner).
I haven’t made it to any home improvement stores just yet to check out what materials are around. It would be nice to be able to cut it for a more custom fit. It would also be nice if it soaked up water.
Adhesive backed closed cell foam
It comes in sheets, would provide decent traction and won’t absorb water. Absorbing water retains weight for racking up the boat and promotes the growth of mold.
Yup, closed cell foam sheets OR
or you can use the mats that SUPs (stand-up paddle boards) use - it is the same kind of stuff as minicell foam but may come in larger sheets. But how much do you need? Most paddling stores carry 1/4" thick sheets of minicell foam and you can glue a few together.
Then start working on self-rescues (wet exits and reentries) with the dog and maybe teach it to tow you around the lake -
You can get inexpensive ones at Target, Walmart, Big 5, etc. They’re up to 1/2" thick. Mine has lasted two seasons.
Outdoor stair treads + Barge Cement
Textured surface, thin, PVC or similar material, meant for outdoor use. BUT you should use Barge Cement to glue it to the kayak floor instead of relying on the peel-and-stick backing. Barge Cement is waterproof.
I used these treads on a ramp to my dogs’ “upper deck”. They came off when applied with just the peel-off adhesive, which is why I recommend using Barge Cement. The kayak floor will always have moisture on/in it.
You could also just place a bathtub traction mat on the floor. Suction cups, no adhesive needed, so easy to remove for a real cleaning.
Bathtub traction mat
This mat would also provide the dog some cushioning.