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Does anyone have experience using the Paws Aboard pet ramp? I have two golden retrievers that I hope to take sailing this season, but I know they will not stay in the boat in the long run. They are water dogs and the LOVE the water. However, I am concerned with getting them back in the boat. I've read about hoisting them with the boom and a winch and other ideas, but that doesn't seem practical to me.

The ramp seems like a viable option, but not sure about the freeboard of a sailboat. Anyone used one? Likes/dislikes?
Thanks
Tim
 

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We used our inflatable dingy as a ramp to get our two large breed dogs in and out of our old motorsailer which had a good bit of freeboard.

We'd pull it up so that the bow of the dingy was on top of our bullwarks and wrap a couple of bites around the cleats with the painter. The dogs would step on and move to the stern of the dingy (which was still on the water). We'd undo the painter, lower the bow of the dingy back down to the water, and hop in and go.

Very easy on the us and the dogs and didn't require any additional equipment.
 

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I, too, wonder about the freeboard question.

Toby, our 100-lb lab, uses a PetSTEP with a floatation kit in a backyard pool, where the freeboard is just a couple of inches. I've not yet tried it on the sailboat.


The PetSTEP seems heavier than the Paws Aboard ramp, perhaps a good thing if I correctly read some of the user comments on Paws Aboard on the Cabella site. On the other hand, the PetSTEP plus floats is cumbersome and would be a pain to have on board.
 

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I have one and the labs use it to clime up and down the aft of Mahalo. One thing I did was add strips indoor/outdoor carpet to the treads for better traction.
 

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I have used one, and found it a bit flimsy for large dogs. We did use it successfully for a short cruise, but after that the owners got a stanchion-mounted davit and we went to lowering the dog in the harness. Much easier, especially if there's some chop in the anchorage and the dog is large.
 
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