Everyone has stories and opinions and all to be taken with a grain or two of sea salt
We have two westies. They like the boat because they get to be outside... and new smells and things to get "into" when they go ashore... beats the same old neighborhood smells they know and love.
We try to walk them as needed but sailing this is not possible and so they can poop and pee on the deck which we then clean off rather easily. They are not allowed out of the cockpit
underway unless it is dead calm and boat is flat. They DO like to come to the bow when the anchor
is coming up or down... they are disturbed or fascinated by the sound or something about anchoring
love the dink and stand on the bow and have not fallen into the water
except when leaping from the dink to the dock
before I've landed the dink. Perhaps they can't wait to get ashore??? Anyway I pull them out and they hate being wet... but that does seem to discourage them from these huge leaps when the dink approaches the dock
. They even recognize our dink when we come back... which is pretty good... They've only a few times jumped onto a similar dink waiting for me. hahaha.
If you love your dogs and they love you you should have no problem taking them aboard. Just keep them out of the way and be prudent about where and when they can wander about on the deck.
and fit out a boat for cruising is a long term affair. Hands on experience cannot come from reading a thousand books
. So you need to begin sooner rather than later acquiring your salty sense and skills. Regardless of how much experience you have... it's never enough but it's never an excuse not to get out there and go for it. The learning
never stops. Sailors as a lot are damned clever and they can fix just about anything... and they HAVE to. And that set of fixin skill comes with time...
there days is rather easy with electronics
(GPS) and so forth. But these devices DO fail so you need back ups and some basic navigation
skills... just in case. Understanding requires drilling into everything from cooking
to tensioning the rig to navigation, to reading the weather
It's all fun.... but your life DOES depend on it... understanding.