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Old 01-04-2009, 03:57   #1
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Location: Pittwater, Sydney, Australia
Boat: Swanson 38" 'SWANSONG 1'
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Getting Labs On / Off Sailboat

We have two large Labradors, waterdogs who don't know how to jump from tender to boat and viceversa.

Our boat is a 38' Swanson, quite high from the water and it is a bit of a problem, when not at a marina.

Any ideas, or dog-friendly equipment, that can help?

Also, any new ideas about dog 'toilet' on deck?

Thank you!

Paolo e Patrizia

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Old 01-04-2009, 06:21   #2
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Location: Black Hills, SD
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I saw a newspaper article recently about a couple who started their own company to design and sell pet-related items for boaters. They have a boarding ladder, life vests with a grab handle on the back, etc. Interesting stuff for those who must take Fifi along....

The Doggy Boat Ladder by Paws Aboard: The Best Dog Boat Ramp / Ladder for Pet Safety Available

I have no interest / affiliation with the company.


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Old 01-04-2009, 08:22   #3
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They just need a little motivation. Put a cat in the tender.

Seriously, I would put them in a dog harness that provides support under their chest and lower them up and down with a line attached to the harness. It may scare them a little but it wont hurt them.

Life begins where land ends.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:35   #4
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My 42' sloop has a high freeboard, too. I have an 85lb yellow lab. His name is Max, and here he is on watch:

Some years ago, I built a nice sling for him which worked with the main halyard/electric winch. It worked, but was a pain-in-the-butt, and he never really liked it.

One morning, anchored in a very foggy Maine cove, I was standing in my inflatable, which I'd toweled off. Max was on deck, waiting expectantly for his run ashore (he absolutely won't go on the deck, so we're stuck with several trips ashore each day).

I was contemplating whether to rig the sling or not, when out of the fog came an elegant white haired lady rowing her skiff. Last evening, I'd seen her and her mate enter the anchorage and come to anchor near me -- all under sail. Very nice.

Noticing my indecision she asked, "Why don't you just ask him to jump?"

And so I did. And so he did. Very nicely, thank you, lightly onto the tube of my Caribe RIB, then up to his station at the bow where he likes to ride, and where I'd already laid out the towel for him. Very, very easy.

On the way back to the boat I was wondering about getting him back aboard. In the event, it was no problem. I simply tied the dingy alongside, then hoisted him up until he got his footing on deck.

Sometimes the easy way is best :-)

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Old 24-05-2009, 04:04   #5
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Just read the messages, more than a month later.
Thanks to all who replied with serious and humorous advice.

I put the cat-in-dingy suggestions to the dogs for a vote.
Unanimously agreed.

Will have to try.

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