Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Kemah, TX
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I know better than this, but here goes. I sail with two dogs, a 50lb husky and a 70 lb Chesapeake Bay retriever. We got them used to boats by spending weekend trips on freshwater lakes aboard out Catalina 22. There was nothing easy about it, but when they hike out it is something to see!
We are gearing up for longer cruises with the pups, but are making the necessary modifications to the boat, an Allied Mistress 39, and systems to allow them and us the necessary comfort to make it possible. This includes a boarding plank that doubles as a platform from dock to boat and as gangway up and down the companion way. They are astro turf trained and will go wherever we place the turf. When the swell is up this means the cockpit with an overboard toss of the solids and flush of the cockpit with the saltwater wash down pump.
The pups have their own pfd and we will be adding additional nonskid to the deck for the safety of all crew. We also have chest harnesses for them to attach both a tether in heavy weather as well as a hauling purchase that can be used on the mizzen halyard should one go overboard. A 140 gallon water tank + water maker will keep up with the water needs. Food is a challenge we still haven't totally figured out. I am looking at large vacuum packed bags of dry food that can be stored in the chain locker on longer runs or in the bilge (very dry) when at anchor.
Here is the point; every argument made in this forum about sailing with dogs is on the money. However, like anything regarding life on a boat, if you plan, prepare, and take the necessary action it can be done. The difficulty of life with dogs isn't worth it to many. However, there are several of us who wouldn't do it without them. I should also note that in our case the girls are ~ 9 years old are more content to lounge than do anything else. They get winded going up stairs in our house.
As for quarantine, dogs automatically exclude a whole lot of cruising ground. However, using the references already listed in this forum there are many, many places that you can still cruise. Not to mention, new policies have been put into place for the EU. You can do a pre-trip quarantine in the U.S. for dogs going to the UK. This can eliminate the 40 days listed above, but takes some planning up front.
I've been laughing my a** off reading this string. Dogsailors, the folks who post here typically know what they are talking about. I'd try and keep a sense of humor about this topic. God knows you better have one as you heave a steaming pile overboard.
Singlehanding to Panama and beyond
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