I know everyone is waiting to hear that we’ve bought a boat. But it’s complicated.
And one of the biggest complications weighs 50 pounds and is covered in fur.
Humans vs The Dog
Wouldn’t you know that the boat model we like the most has the worst access for our dog Honey?
For us, we like boats that are:
- in good repair
For Honey, we like boats that are roomy (especially in the cockpit). And we’d like it to be easy for her to move from the cabin below to the cockpit and from the boat to a dinghy.
Do I even have to tell you that my favorite boat is excellent for us but a disaster for Honey?
Step Up Honey
One of the most awkward things about having a large dog aboard a sailboat is access to the cockpit.
Let me show you two different boats on our list.
This is a Pacific Seacraft. It’s heavy and safe and it sails beautifully. It’s one of the better built production sailboats.
Not only does it have a ladder to go above, but the offset galley (that’s a kitchen in a boat) makes it hard for us to use a ramp to help Honey access the cockpit.
Now check out the Caliber 33.
The model we looked at had some issues. And there aren’t many available for sale.
But take a look at those companionway stairs.
Yep, it didn’t feel like the best boat for us. But for Honey? Ooh la la!
People Who Sail With Dogs
I know of other sailors who have cruised with golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, Weimeraners, and Rhodesian ridgebacks.
But most sailors choose small dogs. Dogs that can be lifted into the cockpit and dinghy.
We’ve always known this would be an issue. But faced with a limited number of boats in our price range, it makes shopping really difficult.
What Would You Do For A Dog
Mike and I are talking about modifications we can make to boats to help Honey get around.
But we also recognize that, unlike in a house, Honey won’t need to follow us everywhere to keep us in sight.
One of the joys of living aboard a boat is always being outside. Who wants to be in a stuffy cabin if they don’t have to?
So perhaps Honey lives in the cockpit all day and only comes below to sleep or in bad weather. And maybe the Pacific Seacraft, with its wide decks isn’t such a bad choice for Honey after all.
Or maybe we’ll just have to buy a boat for the dog.
Your Turn: How much do you consider your pets when buying a car, a house, or even a boat? Any advice?