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Old 25-05-2016, 12:15   #1
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Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

Does anyone have any suggestions for a dog ladder for a sailboat that has a high / long vertical rise? I've already emailed WAG (WaterDog Adventure Gear Sales) and they confirmed:
"Unfortunately, none of our products will work with that much freeboard. You will want 16" of steps (min.) in the water for your size dog. That means freeboard would have to be less than 32 inches."

To confirm, our sailboat's vertical rise is at least 40, perhaps up to 48. And, we have a large dog that weighs 65-70 lbs.

Has anyone else run into this issue? If so, what have you done to accommodate your dog and still be able to get in the water with your dog to swim around where you too can get back on the boat without the dog ladder being in the way?
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Old 25-05-2016, 12:51   #2
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Re: Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

Good question, haven't see one that high. My friend with an Australian Heeler has to use one of these:https://www.inthecompanyofdogs.com/i...9%20-%20NXCDYA
and goes from water to dinghy and then lifts him on deck from there.
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Old 25-05-2016, 16:41   #3
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Re: Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

That's definitely a back-breaking option. 😉😬


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Old 25-05-2016, 18:26   #4
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Re: Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

We are looking for a solution too. We have considered many thing but I think it will come down to trial and error. We have similar free board and dog size.
One thing is that we have decided to use the crane (fir our outboard) to lift our dog in and out with his harness for now. "Decided" is really too strong of a word....we endeavor to try. Boat and dog are not in the same place at the moment.

Any way, we have also thought of adding a custom swim deck that will partially bridge the gap , then perhaps a plank to cockpit. He manages a plank well but I dont think one would work from the water up.

Post back if you have other ideas.
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Old 25-05-2016, 21:05   #5
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Re: Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

I'm surprised something doesn't exist for our boat's and dog's needs. My husband apparently has an idea but hasn't shared it with me yet. If he executes and it successful, I will definitely share back to this forum. 🙏🏼🐾


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Old 26-05-2016, 09:20   #6
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Re: Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

We go cruising with two Labradors and getting them in and out of the boat at anchorages is no easy matter!

I think it might be overly ambitious to look for stairs or a ramp going all the way to the water. Better to look for one to get the dog from the dog to the dinghy. Moving the pooch from the dinghy to the water and viceversa it is not hard with a cooperating dog.

We use a very long passarelle down to the dinghy. From there we ease the dogs to the water (which they do eagerly as they love the water). For the way up we help them up by pulling on their nape as they slide up the the tube of the dinghy.
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Old 26-05-2016, 09:23   #7
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Re: Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

Thanks for that advice. That's such a cute picture! 🐾🐾


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Old 26-05-2016, 09:35   #8
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Re: Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

I think you could rig something but it would not be real pretty. For your 4' free-board you probably need to mount a 1x12 board rigged on a 1 to 1 slope. A bracket on your topside about halfway to the waterline would let you secure your ramp at the midpoint as well as the the top. You might also need to mount some carpet or other rough surface on the ramp to give your dog traction. I doubt that you can make it pretty but it should work even if your dog needs a 2 to 3 slope to manage. Best of luck in solving your problem.
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Old 26-05-2016, 10:56   #9
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Re: Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

Stowage will be the biggest problem with my solution. On our trawler we used a 10' X 8" X 2" plank, covered with carpet, a large cylindrical fender was lashed about 3' from the end, which supported the plank but allowed the water end to sink down @ 2'. Two eye screws off each side in the middle were attached to tackle off the boom. We stored it inside the bulwarks. Dog weighed about 90#
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Old 26-05-2016, 15:41   #10
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Re: Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

Thanks for the ideas, @Dave and @Tingum! I've passed them along to my husband for inspiration.


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Old 28-05-2016, 18:02   #11
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Re: Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

Thanks to those who replied to this post! We found a Paws Aboard ladder on craigslist for $30 and figured it was worth a try. Go figure! It's awesome! We "modified" it by tucking in the clamps & just using the Velcro wrapped around the base of the railing. (I also trained her the night before with lots of treats, starting with it laying on the ground to eventually propped up on fence.) So happy!!! 🐾😄Click image for larger version

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Old 12-07-2016, 06:20   #12
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Re: Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

Very interesting thread! We just bought a Morgan 462 with a 5 year plan to get to know the boat (and ourselves) and then live-aboard and cruise extensively. We have two Rottweilers that we absolutely adore, and cannot imagine leaving behind, so are trying to figure out how we can set things up on the boat to accommodate them boarding from the dock, boarding from the dinghy, and boarding from the water. Not only that, but also finding a way for them to get into and out of the main cabin. I think some clever engineering will be needed ;-).

Besides the obvious physical challenges we need to address, any suggestions on how to introduce two landlubber dogs to the boat? The male is 4 years old, 85lbs, and not a huge fan of water, but will swim if we take him to the dog lake. The female is 9 months, around 62lbs, and, as my daughter calls her, a mer-pup! She loves the water, and will jump in our swimming pool even if no one else is around. Both are very agile, but dogs age too, something we need to consider long term.

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Old 12-07-2016, 09:13   #13
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Re: Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

The Paws Aboard ladder to/from boat/dinghy works great for us. Although, we taught our dog to go from dock to dinghy without a ladder. Start slow with a lot of treats! Will post a video next.


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Old 12-07-2016, 09:18   #14
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Re: Suggestions for dog ladder for high vertical rise?

Here's the video:
https://goo.gl/photos/PGk3rDxp6413yXWr8


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