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Old 13-05-2018, 08:12   #1
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Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

I am looking for suggestions on how people get their dogs over 40 pounds into and out of the cabin of a center cockpit. The access to the cabin is quite steep and high, over 6', which is great for headroom but not so much when you need to carry a medium sized pupper into and out of the cabin. He has made the jump down a couple of times but that is really not ideal and is not even a bit safe in a sea way. Carrying him up and down isn't too bad while in the dock or at anchor but underway it is just too dangerous.

Anyone else have a similar configuration and a dog bigger than a pocket pup? I have contemplated some sort of elevator but that seems like overkill and changing the pitch of the steps down is not really an option. Anyone have a clever solution for this?
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Old 13-05-2018, 08:34   #2
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

Not sure on the layout of your boat, but our Newfoundland pup (112 as of today!) goes in and out through a cockpit locker that leads to the pilot berth. She refuses to use the ladder, so instead she uses the 'Sadie hole'
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Old 13-05-2018, 15:15   #3
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

How about a ramp down to the aft cabin berth? perhaps, hinged, and non-skidded? could do double duty as a pasarelle, with a little modification. Google on "Pasarelle", and you'll find pictures of many styles.

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Old 24-06-2018, 18:26   #4
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

I was going to suggest a ramp too as a similar thing is used for sport dog training. These a 6í high and quite steep with cross bars and carpet. I was just at the home store today and saw rubber welcome mats. They were very tough hate to have to cut them.

Maybe you could make a foot wide ramp long enough to go from the cabin deck to the cockpit deck. Then just set it aside for people. My Aussie would bound up or down boat stairs like a mountain goat just for fun. She is trained to wait until commanded however but when released to do this ď trickĒ itís an explosive event. I think she is just showing off her athletic ability.

Iím thinking about what to do about claws scratching when on the fore deck. No solution yet.

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Old 27-06-2018, 09:59   #5
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

We had 2 Golden Retrievers on our 43 Gulfstar MS with twin cabins. There were two sets of angled steps, they quickly learned how to use them after being left in the cockpit while we were below having cookies and fun.
We also had steps down to our swim platform which they learned to use as the potty spot. If you have steps train them they will use them if trained. They also would go up and down the ladder when we were in the boatyard.
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Old 27-06-2018, 10:10   #6
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

Is there a 1/4 berth? Can you add a big portlite /hatch to the cockpit footwell wall they can climb through into the berth?
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Old 27-06-2018, 16:37   #7
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

Iím glad you chose to train your dogs. They are a lot more fun when they have at least basic training.

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Old 30-06-2018, 10:45   #8
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

The configuration of our boat allowed us to make a ramp that pressure fits from cockpit to galley countertop. There's a seat just below that our dog uses as a step to the floor. We placed strips across the gang plank to assist with 'grip' not dissimilar to a dock ramp. The ramp stores behind our head doors.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:21   #9
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

I used a modified ladder to get my rottweiler off of the boat like a pasarelle. It also doubled as fender boards when needed.

I don't know how convenient it'd be for getting them in and out on a daily basis but it's something to think about.

I narrowed the rungs and then zip tied a thin piece of plywood in the center. I used car weather strip to make nonslip rubber feet on the aluminum ends,painted it all a nice white and used a piece of commercial kitchen rubber mat for the tread. The open design gave her paws a lot of grip yet it was very durable and again zip tied to the wood.

Another option I've seen was where the dogs had a path out of sorts. During the day,they had a piece of indoor/outdoor carpet for the countertop and the dogs used a stool or something off the side to get onto the countertop and then they could easily climb out. I think it had a piece that slid out making the intermediate spot larger but I'm not sure. I emailed a link so let's hope they have internet at the moment and can post a picture or 3.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:28   #10
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

Thanks for the responses. We are still struggling a bit with this one. The only berth that has a hatch above it is in the forward cabin and the distance is too much for him to comfortably navigate. I think we are going to end up rigging some sort of block and tackle that we can use to get him in and out of the cabin and to help lower him down into the dink. I do like the idea of using a ladder almost like a ramp, that may be a viable one as well.
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Old 03-07-2018, 14:33   #11
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

Could you install two fat rods along your companion way steps, either on top or inside? Attached at very top and bottom only. Using linear bearings that ride along the rods you may be able to build a dumb waiter/dog-shelf that rolled up and down within the steps. When not used it would rest on cabin sole. A simple hand winch would do to raise and lower it.
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Old 03-07-2018, 18:22   #12
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

Back when I had my German Shepherd who weighed in at 96 pounds no fat, dog athlete I had him playing with the kids in the back yard while I went up on the house roof.

It was two stories up an extension ladder. I was cleaning gutters with a safety line attached to me.

I felt a wet nose on my sweaty neck and turned around to see the German Shepherd smile of look what I did! Yeah right nice job climbing the ladder, how are you going to get down?

Well fortunately part of K-9 training was to pick the dog up and boost him over a fence. So he didnít mind me picking him up but navigating down the ladder with 96 pounds of dog was a real trick made more so since I had recently severely injured me knee.

He was so excited running around the yard showing off how brave he was.

Dont you just love K-9 fails?

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Old 03-07-2018, 18:45   #13
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

I had a dog I trained to climb and descend a ladder. However, I also think it is very difficult to ensure a medium to large size dog's safety on a small, wet sailboat that is leaping about in the sea. It is the sideways lurching that would expose them to most leg-breaking danger. Their paws are not designed with non-skid, they are tough, and slippery on a wet cabin sole. Their claws are hard on timber cabin soles. While I have seen big dogs on boats, one really has to wonder about their quality of life, stuck below decks most of the time, for their safety. Most dogs can adjust to a new owner, and therefore, I wonder if that might not be the better way of handling the situation.



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Old 03-07-2018, 18:49   #14
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

Bentwings,I had a similar experience with my rottweiler although I was on the lower roof. I was cleaning the gutters at my father's house and she just had to join me. Luckily for me I was able to shove her through a second story window. Although the only open window was to the bathroom occupied by my dad. Needless to say he wasn't too happy about me shoving a 85lb dog in his lap while he was sitting on the toilet reading lol.
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Old 03-07-2018, 20:42   #15
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Re: Solutions for getting a medium sized dog in and out of the cabin

Iím wondering about what to do above decks. I agree on the dogís feet. I may consider some white rubber matting and a life line just for her. She will have a life jacket. She is accustomed to a back pack so it wonít be an issue.
At this point she will not be into jumping overboard, but that may change with water readily available.
The boat I want has a hydraulic swim platform.

I donít see us out in any big seas, maybe a heavy storm at worst.

Byron
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