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Old 23 August 2012, 01:44   #1
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Shock Mitigating Flooring?

Full disclosure here. I have a business that makes soft non skid marine products. So if you guys don't mind being used purely for my own selfish reasons...I've got some questions for ya.

I've spent the last 7 or so years developing a removable shock mitigating flooring system. It is durable, light, great traction, fully waterproof, we can CNC cut any size/shape. And we can do it for a reasonable (at least compared to some other products) price. Currently we have some military boats testing with it and feedback has been great. We have kicked around the idea of marketing this toward the civilian market as well (we have had one commercial tour/camera boat operator testing with a non removable version for over a year.) And since you guys here seem to be the preeminent site for all things RIB I figured I would humbly and graciously ask for some feed back and advice.

Have you ever considered or used a shock mitigating flooring product in the past? Thoughts where that is concerned?

What if anything are you using for shock/impact absorption now?

Do you guys (especially commercial operators) have a need for shock mitigating full deck covering? Or I guess the questions is, would it be a benefit to you to have a flooring system that absorbed impact and would give protection in the event of a slip and fall of you, your crew or passengers?

How about just smaller sections like for the helm and crew area? Or maybe just helm pads?

If full deck covering is something you might be interested in and assuming this product really does make a big difference in your experience (and that of your crew/guests) on the water, what do you think would be a reasonable cost for such a product and how long would you expect it to last? (I realize cost is a tough one especially when you know nothing about this fictional product.)

Because this is such a diverse market with most all of the retrofit boats being different, we would need customers to create their own templates. Does this seem like a reasonable thing to request? Would it make a difference if we provided the template tools?

We would probably offer this product with a 1 year warranty, but expected life cycle would be 5 years+ depending on how the boat is used and cared for. Does that seem like a reasonable length of time?

And last one for the pro sector guys in Europe. How much of an issue is the whole Vibration Directive situation for you guys?

I really appreciate anyone who has taken the time to read this far, and would like to extend a huge thanks in advance to anyone who is kind enough to help me with a response.
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Old 23 August 2012, 01:59   #2
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I looked at this last year, eventually found a product called Skydex which looked interesting but wasn't interested in doing the entire floor of the rib, they do a individual mat but I found the mat dimensions were not suitable as it needed to be bigger to cover the area infront of the two console seats (side by side seating) and was finding it hard finding a UK distributor.

I use my boat for leisure only but do find 'I' take some pounding when it's reasonably rough and want to cover distance in a reasonable time. The sea state in the UK can often be a pain in the backside. (Pun intended) LOL

If ive been out all day in variable conditions I find I suffer from a few aches and pains in my ankles and knees and a few aches in my back. My Rib can take far more of a pounding than I can.

So as to your product, yes I think there is a market, something which could be cut to measure would be ideal, in my circumstances I would just cover the area where I stand, in front of the two console seats would be ideal. And of course cost would be an issue, for leisure users it should not be costed at military grade specs.

So I wish you well, if you want a few 'testers' of your product I would be happy to volunteer and fit a suitable area where I stand with it and give you some feedback.
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Old 23 August 2012, 02:14   #3
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Boris,

I appreciate your taking the time to reply and the feedback. Do you remember off hand what size it was that you needed? If we do wind up launching a product like that I would love to have you test one...
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Old 23 August 2012, 02:28   #4
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Sounds like an exciting and potentially very usefull product.........
Only concern I have in everything you have written is 5 year life........ No idea what this is gunna cost but if it's only going to last 5 years it needs to be very reasonably priced to convince Joe public it's a good investment. I can obviously see far more use for the commercial guys who have a responsibility for their skipper and passengers.....
Looking forward to hearing more and would love to see / test some !!!
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Old 23 August 2012, 02:52   #5
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I'm intrigued...

What is this flooring like?

I'm struggling to get the image of that type of rubber flooring McDonalds use around their childrens play zone out of my head.....

IMHO, the way to go would be to create a second 'upper' deck at the build stage. This upper deck would cover the whole usable horizontal surface of the vessel as the original 'lower' deck did but would be suspended on resilient mounts sandwiched between the lower and upper deck. A flexible skirt would need to be installed around the edge of the upper deck to maintain watertight integrity.

Admitedly not cost effective in a retro-fit situation though

Many large commercial craft have been using this system for 20+ years such as the large cross channel cat's as pictured.

What you dont see is that the whole of the accomodation and bridge deck is actually 'floating' on resilient flexible mounts. Makes a massive difference to both noise and vibration levels throughout a wide frequency band.

Simon
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Old 23 August 2012, 03:11   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross Champion View Post
Boris,

I appreciate your taking the time to reply and the feedback. Do you remember off hand what size it was that you needed? If we do wind up launching a product like that I would love to have you test one...
Im going out on my Rib later today so will measure up and take a picture of the floor area im thinking of and post.
Boris
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Old 23 August 2012, 03:22   #7
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Crusher,
I appreciate the positive feedback.
Longevity is a tough topic and one that I don't want to over estimate, so that is why I'm figuring 5 years. And we are working on being able to build it at a price point where this would make sense.

Simon,
Thanks for the interest and information. As to what the flooring is like...I can't go to far into the exact composition of it right now. But I guess the closest thing I could liken it to is having a really supportive, comfortable pair of shoes all over the deck that will progressively provide more resistance as loads are increased.

Boris,
Thanks...looking forward to seeing that.

I really do appreciate all the feedback so far.
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Old 23 August 2012, 03:24   #8
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It's pretty late over here on my side of the world. But I'll check back with you guys in the morning.
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Old 23 August 2012, 04:01   #9
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Now I may be wrong here but I am almost sure this product already exists here in the UK and is called "Shock Mitigation"

I test drove an Avon SR4 that was owned by the chap who goes under "HMS" on here and is the editor of RIB magazine. This SR4 was used for the round Scotland or England race in 2003 maybe?

It had "Shock Mitigation" stickers all over it and had this flexible shock adsorbing flooring. I know this because it was a strange feeling walking on it and it was green as hell under the matting where it was difficult to clean....

I Google'd the company name and came up with a military supplier of shock mitigation boat products.

Whether this company is still in business and if "HMS" originally put this flooring in - I don't know - but it sure as hell exists already.

Simon - it looks like normal black matting but underneath it looks/reminds me of the soles on Nike Air trainers - lots of round cushions so to speak.

HTH?

http://www.shockmitigation.com/
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Old 23 August 2012, 07:23   #10
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That's just a directory and consultancy as far as I can see?
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Old 23 August 2012, 07:40   #11
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I bought some "comfort matting" designed for machine operators to stand on (think lathe or drill operators in a factory) it cost me about 70 quid to do the whole boat & works a treat. It looks the part, easy to remove & clean & comfortable to stand on. We did the Dun Loaghaire trip stood up all the way, no backache or heel pain at all. I've never been comfortable sat down whilst driving the boat, it just doesnt feel right, but before the matting went down I've sufferered from knee, heel & back pain. Not now It might not be as Gucci as a bespoke system but it works, looks ok & I didn't have to sell a kidney to buy it.
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Old 23 August 2012, 07:55   #12
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CornishAvon - the material you describe sounds very like Skydex (see pic) - a flooring from the USA, used at least once by Redbay Boats on this RIB. It has a good reputation but is eyewateringly expensive.

Ross - I (like Pikey Dave) prefer to stand while driving and I wear hiking boots on long trips as they provide some shock protection and waterproofing. A simple aftermarket product such as that which you describe, is very interesting indeed.
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Old 23 August 2012, 09:53   #13
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CornishAvon - the material you describe sounds very like Skydex (see pic) - a flooring from the USA, used at least once by Redbay Boats on this RIB. It has a good reputation but is eyewateringly expensive.

Ross - I (like Pikey Dave) prefer to stand while driving and I wear hiking boots on long trips as they provide some shock protection and waterproofing. A simple aftermarket product such as that which you describe, is very interesting indeed.
Willk - thats the stuff

Asked around a bit more and found out that the flooring was indeed Skydex. The Shock Mitigation decals was a sponsor or somebody who worked there.....

Cheers
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Old 23 August 2012, 10:53   #14
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Shockmitigation.com (John Haynes) is just a middle man/consultant but certainly a good contact for the OP if he was wanting to market his new product.

As you've already guessed, HMS' Round Scotland SR4 was fitted out with Skydex flooring, that particular product they stopped making a few years ago. All they have now is their Sea Shocks mats that only come in one size.

I was looking at flooring when I was building my rib a few years ago, the skydex stuff was still around then but eye wateringly expensive and they didn't like talking to "civilians" much anyway.

I gave up in the end but in my Zodiac Ive used rubber matting like Pikey's. Cheap, durable, grippy and lets water through easily but there is a weight penalty (although this does stop it from floating around).

I know Steve (250 knots on here) from Poole Sea Safari has been looking at shock mitigation in its various forms for some time, I'm not sure if he's really got anywhere but he'll certainly have some valuable comments I'm sure.
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Old 23 August 2012, 11:02   #15
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First off I am an avid scuba diver. My aluminum deck is pretty jacked up from scuba gear banging around off of it. I have been looking at dri-dek (See photo below) which is what some of my friend use. The down fall to dri-dek is that it is not comfortable to sit or kneel on. The good part of it is sand and other debris passes thru it, along with water.

I would like something that is softer and affords more comfort for skinny aka bony people to sit or kneel on. Something that doesn't get too hot in the sun to sit on. A product that will last the life of the PVC boat! Protection of the aluminum deck from scuba tanks (Cam bands are what actually do the most damage) would be my driving force for putting a floor in. Cost of course would also dictate a lot since much of my boat is recycled, repurposed, or otherwise bought on the cheap, or traded for.

Edit: Light weight too! For me weight is everything, as I beach launch, plus less weight is better for the floor of the boat. Easily cleaned and non staining unlike Gator Grip too.



BTW you probably already know this, but the wakeboarding market is huge for protecting the side of the boats as people step on and off. Plus as a transom protector from wakeboard edges.

OP's product http://www.soft-deck.com/
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Old 23 August 2012, 11:26   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikey Dave View Post
I bought some "comfort matting" designed for machine operators to stand on (think lathe or drill operators in a factory) it cost me about 70 quid to do the whole boat & works a treat. It looks the part, easy to remove & clean & comfortable to stand on. We did the Dun Loaghaire trip stood up all the way, no backache or heel pain at all. I've never been comfortable sat down whilst driving the boat, it just doesnt feel right, but before the matting went down I've sufferered from knee, heel & back pain. Not now It might not be as Gucci as a bespoke system but it works, looks ok & I didn't have to sell a kidney to buy it.
Its all that cake yo ate thats why you have back pain son
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Old 23 August 2012, 12:36   #17
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The closed cell foam mattrass that came with my y boat is made by Airex,

Though its just over 2 inches thick is also encased/sheathed in hypalon for the wear & tear and to stop sand grit getting stuck in the pores it does make it a bit on the heavy side,
It does work a treat though especially in a sib when your sitting on the floor , ,as well as shock damping also seems to make the boat feel more solid .
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Old 23 August 2012, 12:58   #18
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Ross, I'm in San Diego and have been looking at flooring options. My rib is an ex-Navy 7m Willard.

The Navy used heavy duty 3M "Safety-Walk" all over the boat. It's the 710 series which is the grippiest, coarsest stuff that they make (US 3M Commercial Care: 3M). I can walk barefoot on it comfortably but cannot kneel on it in shorts...any slight movement will rip your knees up (I've had this happen more than once looking into the bilge, getting into the anchor locker, etc).

I looked at Seadek (SeaDek Marine Products - Swim Platform Pads) but haven't priced it out (it's lower on my list of retrofit items). I'd be looking for comfort while, walking/kneeling/sitting. I have not really worried too much about shock mitigation. I've been in some rough stuff heading out to the islands but so far the Willard hull design has treated me pretty gently.

If I were to spend the money on something like this, it better be super durable and last! Five year life seems short for recreational use...commercial use, more reasonable.
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Old 23 August 2012, 13:42   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross Champion View Post
Full disclosure here. I have a business that makes soft non skid marine products. So if you guys don't mind being used purely for my own selfish reasons...I've got some questions for ya.

I've spent the last 7 or so years developing a removable shock mitigating flooring system. It is durable, light, great traction, fully waterproof, we can CNC cut any size/shape. And we can do it for a reasonable (at least compared to some other products) price. Currently we have some military boats testing with it and feedback has been great. We have kicked around the idea of marketing this toward the civilian market as well (we have had one commercial tour/camera boat operator testing with a non removable version for over a year.) And since you guys here seem to be the preeminent site for all things RIB I figured I would humbly and graciously ask for some feed back and advice.

Have you ever considered or used a shock mitigating flooring product in the past? Thoughts where that is concerned?

What if anything are you using for shock/impact absorption now?

Do you guys (especially commercial operators) have a need for shock mitigating full deck covering? Or I guess the questions is, would it be a benefit to you to have a flooring system that absorbed impact and would give protection in the event of a slip and fall of you, your crew or passengers?

How about just smaller sections like for the helm and crew area? Or maybe just helm pads?

If full deck covering is something you might be interested in and assuming this product really does make a big difference in your experience (and that of your crew/guests) on the water, what do you think would be a reasonable cost for such a product and how long would you expect it to last? (I realize cost is a tough one especially when you know nothing about this fictional product.)

Because this is such a diverse market with most all of the retrofit boats being different, we would need customers to create their own templates. Does this seem like a reasonable thing to request? Would it make a difference if we provided the template tools?

We would probably offer this product with a 1 year warranty, but expected life cycle would be 5 years+ depending on how the boat is used and cared for. Does that seem like a reasonable length of time?

And last one for the pro sector guys in Europe. How much of an issue is the whole Vibration Directive situation for you guys?

I really appreciate anyone who has taken the time to read this far, and would like to extend a huge thanks in advance to anyone who is kind enough to help me with a response.
Greetings, I along with other operators have been aware of the needs to reduce shock and vibration due to EU legislation for a while. Quite a few of us have attended a seminar/training through FRC International - Training & Qualifications for Fast Response Craft

We have all looked at seats, flooring and cushioning as options and I will always be interested in new products.

You ask questions about "How much of an issue is the whole Vibration Directive situation for you guys? " You will see we have a forum entry on this and opinions vary but it is law now and wait till the first one of us injures a member of staff or passenger and have not reviewed the issue and done something to redcue the issues see- Whole Body Vibration Seminar

Your warranty of one year seems low and it would greatly depend on costs and how it looks fitted and whether it works. Our coded RIBs are anually inspected and have five year codings so I would expect it to last

Templates can be supplied by builders and could work as a retrofit. Fitting in my opinion needs to be across the passenger/crew boat area. We have discussed adding two crew shock redcuing seats with many operators but the moment you do this and injure a passenger/crew a good lawyer will ask why not fitted across the boat as we had identified the need to reducee shock. Once you take a step in the commercial world the whole boat must be done or you leave yourself open to litigation.

Without shock reduction tools the skipper will control the issues with throttle and boat handling, as you add items to reduce shock so I guess speed could increase and then again greater risk of damage and injury.
Hope all this makes sense as we have been looking for a few years and have not fitted any items but have received training from FRC who are a good reference for you
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Old 23 August 2012, 15:00   #20
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I spent quite a lot of time testing the new delta Typhoon that has a shock floor, its basically two decks, on main one and another one sat on top sitting on rubber mounts. It was ok but didnt really make any noticeable difference. Also had a go on a Arctic 24 that had a weird suspended deck, but it made everyone feel sea sick!
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