Floating Platforms: 6 Ways To Up Your Onboard Real Estate

With summer in full-swing and most boat ramps now open across the country, we’re all eager to get back out on the water and leave those crowded cities and confined spaces far behind us. Little in life compares to the feel of wind in our hair with nothing but miles of big blue ahead. Perhaps now more than ever, we may find ourselves wishing we had just a little bit more room onboard. But there’s no sense in agonizing over that big offshore sport fishing boat or dream motor yacht you should have sprung for last year, when there are plenty of great, convenient portable platforms out there to help extend your existing onboard real estate. Here are a few of the latest and greatest ways to maximize deck space and extend your transom no matter how small (or big) your vessel may be.

Inflatable Casting Deck By Aqua Marina

Aqua Marina Island Air Platform Casting Dock

Hankering for a little more room to practice your fishing skills? How about an inflatable casting deck to cast those lines from? That’s how Aqua Marina presents their floating Island Air Platform. This so-called “inflatable island” is perfect for lounging, working, playing, relaxing and, of course – rod fishing. Designed with heavy duty stainless fittings and convenient interlocking straps for modular use. It’s sturdy design also makes a great lounge dock, swim raft, or launch pad for any fun water toys you might have lying around. Available with a “super” electric pump that makes this platform very quick and painless to assemble as well.

Inflatable Swim Platform By Bote

Bote’s Inflatable Dock and Swim Platform is incredibly versatile and even actually looks like an extra teak deck for your boat. This highly stable and durable construction makes it the perfect platform to use at your lake house, float on or off the beach, or for use as extra deck space for sunbathing or yoga while out on the water. This dock is an incredibly versatile way to increase your on deck capacity without breaking the bank. With a couple of different size options, the largest 10’ x 10’ boasts that it is able to hold 2 paddleboards, 5 people, 5 beach chairs, 3 full coolers, and 2 dogs! The docks are 8 inches thick, come with an aero pump option, and fold into a “burrito” style sling for portability for wherever you need to go.

View the BOTE Inflatable Floating Island Dock Raft on Amazon

Solstice Inflatable Floating Dock By Swimline

If you’re longing for a large eye candy and sunning area for your day tripper, take along Swimline’s Solstice Inflatable Floating Dock – it’s 6 feet in length and has the room you’ve always wanted when you’re anchored out at the sandbar for the day and want to lay out and soak up some rays. Super rigid, high-pressure, drop-stitch construction lets this floating dock comfortably support standing adults. Also functional as a work platform, the floating dock makes cleaning, repairs, and detailing smooth and painless. Sold with an H3 high-pressure valve which enables quick inflation and deflation.

View the Solstice Inflatable Floating Dock by Swimline

Rigid Inflatable Dock From Overton

Island Hopper Inflatable Swim Platform and Sundeck

The Island Hopper Water Platform is an 8-foot, super buoyant, ridged, inflatable dock option that can serve as a patio area for sunbathing, swim play, wakeboard and tube launching, and as many other water activities as you can think of. Some people even call it a water trampoline! But it’s practical design features convenient web-loops for securing chairs, coolers, and toys – plus it inflates and deflates in just minutes, so you’ll have more time to play!

View the Island Hopper Island Buddy Inflatable Swimming Water Platform on Amazon

Luxury Floating Dock By Frontgate

Floating Dock with Hammock

For the luxurious lounger types, the Frontgate Floating Dock with Hammock is the superior choice – and really gives a whole new meaning to the term “lazy river.” This extravagant floating platform features an attached underwater hammock, so you can lie cool and comfortable in the water for as long as you please – drink in hand. At 14 feet long, this portable dock has plenty of room for your comrades (or date) to sunbathe as well – truly the perfect sunset happy hour dock. It has non-slip handles for easy access if you fancy a swim, and stainless steel rings for safely tethering to your watercraft. Champagne sold seperately of course.

Inflatable Dock By American Muscle

American Muscle Inflatable Dock

If you’ve got a literal boatload of kids (or maybe just people that act like kids), perhaps American Muscle’s Inflatable Dock is the right fit for your overly active (putting it nicely) group. This strong and stable inflatable dock is “not your average inflatable” and is constructed from 1,000 Denier 3-ply PVC-reinforced fabric material. It’s unique durability lies in the construction which consists of an inflatable structure with sewn in Drop-Stitch construction supports that will not allow the dock to inflate out of form (deform) and also acts as extra support when fully inflated. This functional platform is equipped with 6 reinforced grab handles to help with boarding and 6 stainless steel D-rings to tie anchors, coolers, chairs, etc. All-purpose and easily portable, this dock can be used as a swim platform, work platform, fishing pier, yoga mat, and is ready for all types of water. Plus it is easily stored on a boat when not inflated and is a perfect addition to a small family day tripper.

View American Muscle’s Inflatable Dock

Inflatable Yacht Dock by Inflatable Sport Boats

With a maximum load of 1,500 pounds, the Yacht Dock by Inflatable Sport Boats transforms your swim deck into a luxurious 10 foot by 6 foot extended swim platform. Designed to immediately give your powerboat, dock, sailboat or yacht the additional space off the side that you’ve always wanted this is an ideal lounging, swimming and relaxing inflatable platform that sits 6” out of the water and provide excellent stability.

View Inflatable Sport Boats’ Yacht Dock 10′ x 6′ x 6″ Inflatable Floating Platform on Amazon

In Summary

Whichever of the above products you choose, these floating swim platforms are a must have for any boat or yacht owner with limited space looking for creative ways to get more room off the side or back of their boat.

Written by: Laila Elise

Laila Elise is a former fashion model, writer, actress and entrepreneur, with an affinity for a life on the water. She has a Masters in Finance and a Bachelor's in Business Education, and has traveled extensively around the world working with top agencies and designers. She writes regularly about her passion for the sea on her blog: www.theboatingbabe.com


Cutwater C-28 Liveaboard Pocket Yacht. Photo: Cutwater Boats / Manitowoc Marina.
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