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  #1  
Old 10-16-2009
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Better boats for dogs

What are some boat suggestions that might make cruising with dogs a little easier? Can folks give me some suggestions of which used boats have walk through transoms?

Here are the details of what I'm looking for:

* Budget 50-80k for the boat -- ideally somewhat already outfitted for cruising
* Want to take 1-2 years off and cruise east coast, Bahamas, Turks/Caicos, maybe further south depending on how things go -- no serious blue water is planned
* Primarily would be me and my wife -- both of us have extensive experience sailing -- both on charters on Lake Superior and the Caribbean and sailing my in-laws boat on Superior.
* For at least _some_ of that time, I would like to have our two dogs along. They are ~50 lbs Labradors.


So that brings me to my real question. For ease of getting the dogs in and out of a dingy, I would like a boat with a walk through transom/sugar scoop transom. Any suggestions?

I have spent a lot of time on a Catalina 36. The one I've been on is older and doesn't have the walk through transom, but it looks like on Yachtworld that at somepoint, that became fairly standard.
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Old 10-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicAdventure View Post
... For ease of getting the dogs in and out of a dingy, I would like a boat with a walk through transom/sugar scoop transom.
We added a puppy to our family this spring. While I've never been a huge fan of walk-throughs in the past, I now eye them somewhat enviously. I think you're on the right track.

But watch out for anacondas. [kidding]
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Old 10-16-2009
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Look for a pilot house boat. Even with a ramp, getting in and out of the cabin is an issue for my dogs. Of course the smaller the dog the easier getting them into the dinghy. Some folks have one of those small transom davits for raising and lowering thier outboard and you could hook it on a dog life jacket, the type with a handle on the back.
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Old 10-16-2009
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I guess, you need to take your dogs out on a boat without walk-through transom and see if you really need one.

My dog, 50 lbs mix of unknown origin, have no problem whatsoever navigating within my boat and boats of my friends and he jumps from a sidedeck into my inflatable kayak and from kayak onto boats with ease. Hell, he starts launching the kayak into water from cabin top as soon as he wakes up...
He also has more than 3000 miles under his collar, so, I guess, he is qualified for Yachtmaster.

Last edited by CrazyRu; 10-16-2009 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 10-16-2009
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I do wish I had more experience sailing with them. It is tough to talk friends and charter companies into letting me bring the dogs along!

They've been out on my 16' scow a few times though. That's pretty crowded!!
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Old 10-16-2009
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EpicAdventure, you also can mount transom platform on many boats. It wont be a walk-through, but, for healthy dog, it should be enough to jump in and out
Sailboat Transom Platforms - Custom Marine Products

About boat choice? I would take Freedom 38. I own smaller Freedom, and I don't see why people sail other brands
You, as a scow sailor, will enjoy every second of sailing Freedom - dingy-like simplicity with nice interior.

Last edited by CrazyRu; 10-16-2009 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 10-16-2009
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I cruised for 8 years with Larsen , a timberwolf/rottweiller hybrid aboard. He was trained to swim to the transom of my dinghy and climb aboard as part of his dogoverboard drill. He was able to do this eventually on his own. From the dinghy he was able to jump aboard. As we had almost 5 feet of freeboard, I attached a rug to the caprail of the bulwark .This enabled Larsen to catch the rug with his hind legs where he would have otherwise found a slippery hull. Once this was mastered, he would go ashore to do his thing, swim back to the boat , climb in the dinghy, and jump back aboard. Unfortunately, he would sometimes do this where the locals did not welcome this from a 120 lb. beast and I would have to remind him where he belonged. I would do this by attaching lines to both sides of the cockpit. They would prevent him from getting to either rail. One day of this and he was ready to stay onboard. He once spent 3 days with a park ranger at the fort in St. Augustine after swimming ashore to play with school children on a field trip there. Fortunately, he was a big sweetheart, or the ranger would have sent him to jail.In more remote areas, it was good that he could come and go to shore , as I could never get him to go on the foredeck. A saltwater washdown pump is a must to deal with fur and saliva on deck.[not to mention what you have to deal with if they are deck trained for excreting waste]Dogs aboard need lots of exercise on shore.Good excuse for morning and evening walks onshore. You will find that you are not known by name, but as ------'s human.I found that coastal cruising was enhanced by Larsen's presence. Not sure how I would deal with him offshore.
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