Doggy Come Sail

Denise McDonald

Member II
Hello friends,
So we have two large dogs: Ed, a 95 lb chocolate lab/rottweiler mix and Tula, an 80 lb Treeing Walker Coonhound.(Pic below)
They are learning to love sailing - though our E27 gets a little crowded with them on board. My question is, does anyone have large dogs for whom they have devised a kinder gentler way to enter and exit the cabin? Ed is 10 and occasionally he'll just give up on the ladder and jump and I know that's a severe injury waiting to happen. Tula is younger and more agile and has more or less figured out how to go up and down the ladder.
We were thinking maybe a folding ramp of some kind? I haven't been able to find anything online, I'm hoping one of you creative boaters has an idea?ed and tula sail.jpg


Many thanks!!

Denise McDonald
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
My (medium sized) border collies always hated the boat and wouldn't even try to climb the ladder. The youngest one would just leap over it.
This summer, I've been introducing new - slightly larger - crew to the boat and spent a lot of time getting him used to it without even leaving the dock. At first, he wanted to hop to the galley counter, then to the settee, but now he's pretty agile with the ladder. When things get too spirited on deck, he just takes himself down to the quarterberth and curls up into a furry ball.

But we know eventually they all get too old to climb stairs. At which point, they probably need to be hoisted. Can't imagine any kind of ramp that would be feasible.
IMG_2799 (1).jpeg
 

Denise McDonald

Member II
Could you put a carabiner through the jacket handle and lower them through the companionway with a halyard?
That’s definitely a thought we had too. But I just had a vision of this long legged 90 pound dog flailing around in the air breaking parts of the boat and himself in the process LOL. Once we get back on the water I’ll just work with him more and see if I can stand in front of him on the ladder on the way down and get him to go slowly. My husband’s pretty creative and we’re going to continue to work on some kind of folding ramp that we can put on when we have the dogs there and then takeoff when we need to go up and down the companionway
 

Denise McDonald

Member II
My (medium sized) border collies always hated the boat and wouldn't even try to climb the ladder. The youngest one would just leap over it.
This summer, I've been introducing new - slightly larger - crew to the boat and spent a lot of time getting him used to it without even leaving the dock. At first, he wanted to hop to the galley counter, then to the settee, but now he's pretty agile with the ladder. When things get too spirited on deck, he just takes himself down to the quarterberth and curls up into a furry ball.

But we know eventually they all get too old to climb stairs. At which point, they probably need to be hoisted. Can't imagine any kind of ramp that would be feasible.
View attachment 35371
Oh my he’s gorgeous!
 

Tin Kicker

Sustaining Member
Moderator
toddster's pooch may've had a great idea, in not a ramp, but some kind of carpeted (for their nails) folding counter extension so they only go part way flat surface to flat surface?

I'd suggest seeing what others have said in threads on www.cruisersforum.com
 

1911tex

Sustaining Member
Denise: Have you tried rolling bath towels around each step, secured with long plastic wire ties on each end? Going up and down the steep companionway on hard slippery steps for a pooch is difficult. Even as adults, we go down backwards holding onto the hand hold. Our pup slipped and would not go up or down on his own until we did the towel bit. Now even little kiddos have to be told to slow down on the steps...the padding made it solid underfoot.
 
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Denise McDonald

Member II
Denise: Have you tried rolling bath towels around each step, secured with long plastic wire ties on each end? Going up and down the steep companionway on hard slippery steps for a pooch is difficult. Even as adults, we go down backwards holding onto the hand hold. Our pup slipped and would not go up or down on his own until we did the towel bit. Now even little kiddos have to be told to slow down on the steps...the padding made it solid underfoot.
We will give that a try!
 

1911tex

Sustaining Member
Denise: Once the towels are secured in place...we had to hold the pooch working him up and down the steps a couple of times to give him paw confidence....now all he does in go up and down repeatedly every time someone does the same...it's fun...call it "getting a grip"!

One more thing you will notice...after a couple of months the towels get dirty...that just shows you how much crud is eliminated from your saloon sole!
 
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G Kiba

Member III
Hey, PM member Mark F about how he changed the first step in his E27. Keep in mind the idea. Mark did an amazing job and I have seen other variations on the idea done more simply. The larger landing and shorter steps would be great for dogs. My dog pasted last year and in his later years had trouble getting in and out. You want them to be able to do it themselves so they have the freedom.
 

Mark F

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Hi Denise,
Here is a photo of the modification I made on the companionway ladder. The top step/counter is as wide as the counter to the right (sink area). It might help but it is still steep after the top step.

solepre.jpg
 

Jenkins

Member II
Lots of good ideas for the companionway. Thank you very much.

Now, how about getting the beasts on and off the boat into the dinghy to row them ashore to do their business/go for a "walk"?

Appreciate any wisdom the group may have.

Best,

Peter

PS - 60 lb dogs
 

Denise McDonald

Member II
Lots of good ideas for the companionway. Thank you very much.

Now, how about getting the beasts on and off the boat into the dinghy to row them ashore to do their business/go for a "walk"?

Appreciate any wisdom the group may have.

Best,

Peter

PS - 60 lb dogs
LOL that’s going to be the next project for us too
 

G Kiba

Member III
A block and line on the boom end to a winch was used to raise and lower my Australian Shepard over the side. I would tie a backup line to his harness and use this and the handle of his life jacket to hoist on. A snatch block would have been useful. Once he understood what was happening, he would relax his grip (somewhat) on the deck and be lifted an lowered. We would let him swim and pull him back when he got too far out. He loved it when he was younger but was too stressful as he got older.
 
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