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Old 04-10-2012, 05:30   #1
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How to get a large dog below decks

My wife and I are looking to purchase our first liveaboard sailboat and we own a 3 year old lab. She's about 70 lbs and was fine on our last boat, but our new one she won't be able to get down below on her own like she could on our last boat. Depending on the boat we're thinking of building a removable ramp or making a small removable platform mid way up the compainion way laddder that we can lift her up to. I assume other boaters have this issue and was wondering what your solution is. Thanks.


Dave
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:54   #2
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Re: How to get a large dog below decks

We only shopped on boats that would be dog friendly.

If you're not lucky enough to solve it up front like that... there are some floating stairs designed to allow dogs to climb aboard from water level; perhaps one of those could be modified.

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Old 04-10-2012, 06:55   #3
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Re: How to get a large dog below decks

I think you're going to get really tired, really quickly, of lifting a 70 lbs. dog onto a platform halfway up the companionway. Think ramp.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:17   #4
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I have seen 3 year old Labs clear 4' fences, and jump and climb over 6' ones. Unless you have a special needs K9, he should be clearing the companionway like lightning bolts in a storm.

Our Maltese goes in and out via the sink, which seems unacceptable until you realize that is how a cat would do it. He is smaller than our house cats.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:18   #5
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Re: How to get a large dog below decks

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Old 04-10-2012, 07:25   #6
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Re: How to get a large dog below decks

Our 40kg labradoole can get down the companionway steps on his own but needs a hand up to get out, taught himself to clime down because he wanted to be near us. The Pug isn't a problem and can easily be lifted up and down.

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Old 04-10-2012, 07:27   #7
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Re: How to get a large dog below decks

We have a four foot by one foot piece of plywood we position from the aft bunk to the top of the aft companionway, Cap'n Morgan trots up and down without a problem. We stow it vertically in the walk through, but could also stow it under a cushion either in the bunk, salon, or cockpit. Bought it for a buck in a hardware store in Salinas, PR. I am not strong enough to lift our 40 pound labradoodle from the dink to the deck, which limits my ability to be on the boat alone. If we'd thought about it we wouldn't have a dog, but couldn't give him up now.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:28   #8
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Re: How to get a large dog below decks

Funny, two labradoodles at the same moment. Ours had a toy poodle father so is half the size of Pete's.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:48   #9
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Re: How to get a large dog below decks

within reason, think motivation, the dogs, not yours...

Our dog would stand below and act helpless to get in or out until I pulled a treat out of a bag. She'd be by my side in a snap... Worked both up and down. She now goes up and down without hesitation as long as she REALLY wants to...She'll still act helpless from time to time, knowing she'll get a treat...

One thing that we have in our favor is that I rebuilt our companion way in order to make it safer for us. It has all the sides and back enclosed to prevent feet from slipping between the rungs...

Before our dog got motivated I used her floatation device with it's handle to pick her up both in and out...but, our dog weighs 37.5lb... You might need to use the main sheet to hoist her in/out...

Our dog's father is a lab and her mother is a Sheltie. She has the blond, lab coat, thankfully not the Sheltie's, but the Sheltie size, and loves the water..She's a Shellab..

good luck
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:50   #10
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Re: How to get a large dog below decks

Wifey came home with ours, said you have just bought a yacht so I am having a 9 week old labradoodle, but don't worry they don't molt so won't be a problem. If I could get my hands on the breeder who told her that I could be spending a long time incarcerated at her majesty's pleasure.

However, great sea doggies, he just doesn't like Swans that's all. We used to have chickens free roam in the garden no problem, same with ducks but a white swan oh dear.

Lifting 40kgs from a wobbly 2.5m dinghy up over the stern is nerve racking and one day it will all go pear shaped with owner and dog taking an unexpected bath. Oh and why does he insist on sitting on the solar panel

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Old 04-10-2012, 10:33   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7
Wifey came home with ours, said you have just bought a yacht so I am having a 9 week old labradoodle, but don't worry they don't molt so won't be a problem. If I could get my hands on the breeder who told her that I could be spending a long time incarcerated at her majesty's pleasure.

However, great sea doggies, he just doesn't like Swans that's all. We used to have chickens free roam in the garden no problem, same with ducks but a white swan oh dear.

Lifting 40kgs from a wobbly 2.5m dinghy up over the stern is nerve racking and one day it will all go pear shaped with owner and dog taking an unexpected bath. Oh and why does he insist on sitting on the solar panel

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Old 04-10-2012, 10:38   #12
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Re: How to get a large dog below decks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
We only shopped on boats that would be dog friendly.

If you're not lucky enough to solve it up front like that... there are some floating stairs designed to allow dogs to climb aboard from water level; perhaps one of those could be modified.

-Chris
Yep, it's a problem, a boat I really wanted to buy last fall just had too steep a ladder with 5 steps. A long ramp from the settee, over the galley and out a galley large portlite to the cockpit might have worked... but been a real hassle. Does your boat have a 1/4 berth? Can you put in a large portlite to the cockpit?
Dog's love cats? (catamarans!)
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:27   #13
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Re: How to get a large dog below decks

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Yep, it's a problem, a boat I really wanted to buy last fall just had too steep a ladder with 5 steps. A long ramp from the settee, over the galley and out a galley large portlite to the cockpit might have worked... but been a real hassle. Does your boat have a 1/4 berth? Can you put in a large portlite to the cockpit?
Dog's love cats? (catamarans!)

No, if you check our avatar, you'll be able to guess that I have a big honkin' sliding glass door to the cockpit, only short stairs inside, and even stairs (not a ladder) to the flying bridge. The First Mutt (who does like his house cats) is a 90-lb Golden Receiver named Schooner, and he sleeps where ever he wants

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Old 04-10-2012, 12:38   #14
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Re: How to get a large dog below decks

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A passed away friend purchased a gun and to retaliate his wife bought a $2000 vacuum cleaner. All hardwood floors, she never used it.
Well, at least it wasn't the other way around--wife bought unnecessary $2000 vacuum cleaner, causing husband to by a gun to retaliate with....
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:39   #15
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Re: How to get a large dog below decks

I live on a 30' sailboat and had a 75lb malamute....I figured I either needed 1/3 bigger boat or 1/3 smaller dog. But until then I did figure out a way to get her below deck (never got the tender thing figured out). My companionway steps are 5' straight down, I placed a board on one of the steps at the same level (about 2 steps down)and at an angle onto one of the bunks, she had no problem getting up and down and if I still had her the new modifications to the deck hatch would allow her to come in/out through the forward cabin. She was happy with marina life, buy after we got hit by some nasty weather she didn't like to go out so spent the rest of her life on a 120 acre horse farm (the owner said "she partied hard").


The best option of course is to find a dog friendly boat.
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