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Old 07-24-2019, 09:00 AM   #1
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Water access for your dog.

This issue is playing a significant role in my boat search. I prefer a transom door that my dog can jump down to the swim platform and back up to the boat without much issue. Many of the aft cabin trawlers require quite a ladder to get down to the platform. Some of the boats I have looked at do not have a swim platform. These boats have side opening doors with some kind of ladder/platform that attaches in the opening. I believe that once I can easily get my dog to a swim platform, I can engineer a hinged and floating dog ramp that he can climb back onto the platform with. The real issue is getting him to the platform unassisted. I have considered building a stair box to set on the platform to get him between the elevated deck and platform. This solution effectively consumes all the available room on the platform, not to mention weight, sea worthiness, and cost. Has anyone here faced a similar challenge? If you did, how did you address it? Bill
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:37 AM   #2
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We've had Pyrenees and Goldens on board...

So we solved some of it during the shopping phase: we mostly ignored all boats with no cockpit, no transom door, and no swim platform. That later was with a grain of salt; the last boat we actually bought (see avatar) originally had no swim platform, but we installed one afterwards.

There are cockpit motor yachts (CPMYs) and at least a few trawlers that have an aft cabin, a cockpit, a transom door, and a swim platform (the Mainship 430 comes to mind).

There's at least one company that makes a one-end-floating dog ramp, looks easily attached to a transom (at the door, for example) or to a swim platform. A dock neighbor had one, always left it down for their labs -- who were always going overboard to chase something...

-Chris
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:38 AM   #3
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We have an aft deck motor yacht with a cockpit behind the aft deck, then a transom and then a swim platform. The aft deck to cockpit access is by ladder which our 100 pound Lab couldn't handle. We're having a custom platform built that extends out about two feet from the aft deck, makes a 90 degree turn, and then has three stairs to the cockpit. The stairs are hinged so they can pivot up out of the way so that part of the cockpit is still accessible. It was the only way she was going to be able to get to water level.

John
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:59 AM   #4
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Later model Carver and Silvertons aft cabins have staircases, not ladders. What model boats are you looking at?
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Old 07-24-2019, 11:11 AM   #5
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Dog access is a very valid criteria for selecting a boat. Just as valid as any other criteria.

For me fishing, dog access, and human dock access precluded any boat that did not have a dock level cockpit and swim platform.

Yes that meant that I eliminated all the great aft cabin boat designs, but boats are as we all know a tradeoff.
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Old 07-24-2019, 11:23 AM   #6
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Glad to see I am not alone.

I like to work around ideas. if I don't find some I will have to seriously restrict my options. I am looking at everything 36 to 54 feet long in trawler style within 50,000 to 150,000 likely sale price. Some boats have too many "issues", some are priced higher than I feel they should be, and some do not meet critical needs I have established- 1. Wide side decks, or easy secure movement around the boat resulting in easier cleaning, care, and docking. 2. Spacious in as many areas as possible, particularly the engine room. 3. Good access for me and my dog to swim as much as possible. 4. A comfortable bed. The common thread here is linked to my arthritis and numerous joint replacements. I am large and sore and need every advantage I can try to create for myself. Bill
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Old 07-24-2019, 12:19 PM   #7
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Take a picture of the boat you want to purchase but doesn't have transom access to it and take the pic to a refit guy, he will probably tell you one can be added. I almost put one in my boat but instead opted for a long, parallel to the transom storage bench added which would have blocked access so I didn't.
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Old 07-24-2019, 12:43 PM   #8
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A friend of mine has an aft cabin boat, no swim platform, and three very large dogs. He built a folding boarding stair that deploys from the side of the boat. We had exactly the same arrangement on a 50 foot tourist vessel that I used to work on. Underway it is raised to a horizontal position and folds up against the side of the vessel. At anchor it is unfolded and lowered down with the platform near the water level.
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Old 07-24-2019, 01:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moparharn View Post
I am looking at everything 36 to 54 feet long in trawler style within 50,000 to 150,000 likely sale price.
CPMYs, LRCs (think Hatteras), and some other configurations with stairs (sport bridge, sedan bridge, convertible, etc.)... can be almost as fuel-friendly as "trawlers" -- especially anything with the word "swift" in it's name... just by driving slow.

Doesn't always work, depending on sea state... but then you often have an option to go faster for a bit too, in case that's useful in some circumstances.

-Chris
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