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Old 08-30-2010
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sailing with my dog

hello all... i just bought my very first sailboat... a catalina 22... very excited! any thoughts or ideas for a dog ramp? any input is greatly appreciated by myself and my wonderful dog!
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Old 08-30-2010
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I think doggie PFD's have a handle on them you could "hoist" the pup aboard pretty easy with a halyard. congrats on the C22. nice boat.
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I plan on getting a dog, a small one, for when I begin my sailing. Planning to single-hand I feel like the added company can do no harm unless I want to get into port in Austrailia or New Zealand..
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Old 08-30-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trisstan87 View Post
I plan on getting a dog, a small one, for when I begin my sailing. Planning to single-hand I feel like the added company can do no harm unless I want to get into port in Austrailia or New Zealand..
Can do no harm...

Our's decided he wanted to be REALLY close to his owners in the most wonderful situations. So he would tangle himself up in the main sheet as I needed to let it out, or be underfoot when we needed to move. Be sure he follows commands well, and ++ on the doggy life jacket. We make the dog fast to nearby cleats and hand holds as necessary. It can be inconvenient, but they don't have a good time sticking to the deck when we roll or heel, and we'd rather the lines be around, then losing him over the side.
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I was thinking of some sort of Russel or Jack Terrier as they are smart, small, and highly intelligent. I could name him Skipper even, tho there would be no dispute as to the REAL boss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedaisy View Post
hello all... i just bought my very first sailboat... a catalina 22... very excited! any thoughts or ideas for a dog ramp? any input is greatly appreciated by myself and my wonderful dog!

I've seen some boarding ramps made from an old aluminum ladder with plywood secured on the rungs. It was even hinged on the boat to account for the tide.
Denise is right though, if your dog is fairly small and you get a decent jacket you can just grab the handle and carry the dog like a suitcase. But with a larger dog it might be nice to have a ramp. Though my dog which is about 50 lbs has no problem hopping aboard on his own.
I would always want the jacket for the handle though. If the dog goes overboard you can hook the handle with a boat hook.
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Old 08-30-2010
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I lift him in, or he can jump in if the dock is high enough. My X 2nd cousin, ie my kids 2nd cousin, and her cousins son who lives aboard next to me, had a 1/2" plywood ramp for boxer he had. That made it easier for him is his final years or two or three to get into his bayliner.

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We have a terrier (norfolk) and she does quite well. Stays low and doesn't move around too much when heeled over etc. I strongly recommend a PFD for the dog and be sure to put it on at all times, especially when out on deck. Dogs can be unpredictable, go out on slow calm days for the first little bit to get the dog used to it. Some take well, others may not and just sulk in the corner. Be sure to give lots of encouragement and a few treats to keep the pup happy.

As for getting in and out of the boat, just pick 'em up and put 'em in, is my concept. No plank necessary.
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Disclosure.... I love dogs, but have zero interest in dealing with a dog on a boat. That said, there seems to be a dog in every other dinghy I've ever seen. Here are some notes, from personal experience.

If the dog needs a ramp because you either can't lift him/her or it won't make a reasonable jump or step, it probably isn't suited to be on the boat.

The doggie PFD is nearly mandatory. Dogs, like people, can fall in the water. A dog in the water is very likely to actually bite its rescuer, I assume as a fear reaction. They may also claw the daylights out of a dinghy or hull and make no progress until exhausted. The handle on the PFD is the secret to getting them back on board and not being bitten in the process.

Congrats on the new boat.
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The nature of the dog is very important. I agree that a life jacket is mandatory for dogs. It is also a good idea to have a harness on them that can be used for lifting.

One time, when I had my dogs on the boat (two golden retrievers and a small black mutt who thinks she is a golden retriever), we were tied up at our slip and going into town. The Admiral took the dogs as I was closing up the boat. I came up out of the cabin to hear the Admiral saying, "It's OK, you're fine" and hearing splashing. I rushed over to the rail to see the Admiral holding the older golden by the collar as she was swimming next to the boat. I jumped out onto the slip and got my arms around her. I had to lift a wet, 75 pound dog out of the cold water. She was fine, never panicked, and happy to be in the water. The other dogs were watching and very concerned. In this case, a doggie PFD wasn't needed but a good harness would have helped me get her out of the water.

I later found out from the Admiral that when she jumped off the boat onto the dock, she slipped a little and her back feet hit the edge of the dock and she slid backwards into the water. Being a water dog, she was fine in the water and that made getting her out relatively easy.
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