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Old 06-20-2018, 12:57 PM   #21
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I have wonderful pet loader stairs for my truck that I think can be used to solve the deck to dinghy issue. (I well remember my folks lifting our very large doberman -- we found him as a stray and he wasn't meant as a liveaboard, but that's how it ended up -- into the dinghy from the deck of our 42' ketch -- but we aren't that young or ambitious anymore!) .
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Old 06-20-2018, 02:13 PM   #22
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I have wonderful pet loader stairs for my truck that I think can be used to solve the deck to dinghy issue. (I well remember my folks lifting our very large doberman -- we found him as a stray and he wasn't meant as a liveaboard, but that's how it ended up -- into the dinghy from the deck of our 42' ketch -- but we aren't that young or ambitious anymore!) .

Having a transom door and a swim platform can make that easy. Rover from dinghy to platform through door into cockpit, piece o' cake.

When Rover is large, you DO have to pay attention to sympathetic movement in an inflatable or RIB when Rover leaps. Rover leaping from the front might just bounce somebody aft off of a tube and into the drink... Sure, ask me how we know...

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Old 06-20-2018, 05:40 PM   #23
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Up until 1.5 years ago, we traveled with our 80lb elderly Golden Retriever and our eldery mini dachshund.

As the retriever aged, he lost mobility and I had to lift him on and off the boat which became more and more laborious. Ultimately, his age got to him and his hind legs topped working due to DM and I carried him to and from the boat.

The dachshund was the easiest to move around though by far. Neither one was on a big boat until later in life.

Our current pup is a just turning 10 months old and is a ball of Golden Retriever energy. She has been on the boat since she was 9 weeks old. Thankfully she wont get bigger than 50 lbs. though.
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:43 PM   #24
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Our houseboat has fold down steps. Merlin swims ashore on his own to go potty and comes back when he's ready.

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Old 06-25-2018, 01:01 PM   #25
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Dogs Poop on Board :-)

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Hi --

What does everyone do for ease of access for their dogs? I understand lots of ways to get them aboard and onto a swim platform to the dinghy, but can't see a way to give access to flybridge for larger dogs. (Some of the tri cabins look like they would work, but then we sacrifice cockpit area for the humans.) We are just starting our boat search and I'm having trouble visualizing what style of boat would accommodate our desires, plus those of our pup (Lucy is a mid-size Labrador). I'm not crazy about the look of sundeck boats. Our budget is below 75k here in the Pacific NW. Would like inside/outside helm, big windows with walk around deck, a nice cockpit seating area -- plus a way for the dog to be with us when we're steering up top. Am I asking for too much?
I think animal lovers spend more time accommodating their pets than themselves - I know I do. There's access on the boat, life jackets, using the 3rd bunk room for kennels (and a bird cage), and finally - POOP... Check out this link if you have the space it really works. The #1 Selling Grass Litter Box for Dogs - Potty Training Made Easy
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Old 06-25-2018, 03:35 PM   #26
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Thanks markajh, That solves our biggest issue with planning our Loop. If we can successfully train our dogs to use this, we can go off the hook for a day or so and it will make the Tombigbee so much easier.
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:19 PM   #27
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100 lb. Labrador on Trawler

When we were choosing boats, we had to take into consideration our 2 100 lb. labs. Because they are “Velcro” dogs and we wanted to make sure they could be with us all the time while underway (among other things), we bought our 1985 Marine Trader LaBelle ‘44. Yes, she is a sun deck style trawler. To be honest, we spend more time on that huge covered deck than anywhere else on the boat. We currently live on a mooring ball but have spent months cruising her around the Bahamas and Florida and plan to cruise her more. One issue we ran into with getting the dogs aboard while anchored or on a mooring ball was the ladder on the transom. Dogs couldn’t handle that. So, I took our 3 step dock steps, drilled a few holes, added a fender behind and hung them off the side of the boat. They hang to just the right height to pull the dinghy underneath and the dogs hop right up (and down) the steps.
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Old 06-25-2018, 07:30 PM   #28
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n3qtrtme,

Do you have a picture? Thanks
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:34 PM   #29
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n3qtrtme,

Do you have a picture? Thanks
I do but can’t figure out how to post it.
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Old 06-26-2018, 09:07 AM   #30
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Dogs Aboard

We went through much the same thought process coming from sailboats. We picked an aft cabin boat with a bit of a cockpit and a deck above the aft cabin. It is a boat made by C&C called a CML trawler. An older boat that is 36 feet and in your price range. Well built and Canadian made so no duties. We have had the boat for a year and a half and are pleased with the purchase. And our husky moves about freely from bow to stern, up and down. The boat has two full cabins with 2 heads and 2 showers. The aft cabin has a ‘walk around ‘ queen bed. Lots of boat for the money. Unfortunately, there were only 16 or 17 made. But definitely worth a look
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Old 06-26-2018, 09:16 AM   #31
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Thanks everyone. I especially love the photos of Merlin! If allowed, our Lucy would spend hours swimming in the cold Puget Sound water, only to get ashore and forget to come back! Such are labs...

We are definitely narrowing our ideas down, based on many of your thoughts. Ideally something with easy access to the flybridge, and as MBCML suggests, we are looking at lots of aft cabin trawlers with a nice on-the-level transom door. By the time we are done, we are going to laughingly call her the HMS Lucy. Yes, the things us pet owners go through. There is a good looking Mainship 35 somewhat nearby that we would like to take a look at -- seems to check off a lot of our boxes. Keep the ideas coming, I really appreciate it!
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:45 PM   #32
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Others might have seen this blog entry already, but here it is again for you.
First Boat Dog

As I mentioned, Merlin prefers to go potty ashore and will do so on his own - but sometimes we're anchored 1/2 mile or more from the beach, or in alligator couontry and don't really want him taking off on his own. We needed to teach him to go on a mat aboard. On several occasions, Merlin held out longer than we could and we ended up taking him ashore in the dink...this was after 24 hours or so. We decided to see how long he could hold out - it was a little over 36 hours before he went potty on the mat. We were all so relieved.

A little more about my dog

And here's a little more about Merlin's houseboat
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Old 06-26-2018, 02:00 PM   #33
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Keep in mind aft cabin boats have great sleeping quarters, but you are removed a bit from the dock/swim platform, so you eventual will need to traverse that height someway. For some reason, you don't see "many" aft cabins doing a lot of cruising, more of a live a board. Just a basic observation, not ment to cast any opinion of said model!
honestly we sold our aft cabin in part because it was so difficult with the dog. We stern in a lot where we cruise and getting him on and off the boat was miserable. We got a cool doggie stairs for when we were tied alongside a dock but it was not usable to get him up on the aft deck if we were sterned in so we had to lift him. the bad part with the stairs though is the material is perforated and he would occasionally catch a claw in a hole. We are looking for a sedan with a transom door so he can board that way. Trade off will probably be a ladder to the bridge so he may not be on the flybridge with us while we are underway.
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Old 06-26-2018, 02:03 PM   #34
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Ha ha on the cockpit verbage -- I come from a sailboat background. It's called a "back deck"? That seems land-based!
on an aft cabin there is no cockpit but rather a large "deck" area on top of the aft cabin... unless you get an aft cabin with a cockpit as well as others have mentioned. sorry if someone else already cleared this up, I have not read the whole thread yet!
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Old 06-26-2018, 02:33 PM   #35
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There is a good looking Mainship 35 somewhat nearby that we would like to take a look at -- seems to check off a lot of our boxes.
The Mainship 350 (later, 390) checked all our boxes when we had the Pyrenees/Lab twins. The local dealer even invited the dogs (and us) aboard at one of the early Trawlerfests to confirm the dogs could navigate the stairs to the bridge. They could, it was easy, and the only reasons we didn't follow through was that new boats were pushing our budget at the time and we we're going through a job location simultaneously...

That was, at the time, about the best dog-friendly flying bridge we could find...

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Old 06-26-2018, 02:37 PM   #36
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Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for your thoughts. Some aft cabin boats have enough cockpit space for the two of us and the dog to be happy, as well as easier access for the flybridge for her. It really depends on the particular boat, we are finding...still searching for the "one" that works best for all of us. Good luck on your search, as well! (BTW, take a look at Pet Loader -- I have a set of stairs to get my dogs into the back of my full size truck and they are pretty wonderful. I think one of the configurations they sell will work well for our eventual boat. And no, I don't own stock in the company )
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Old 06-26-2018, 02:40 PM   #37
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That is really wonderful to read, Chris! Hoping to go see one right before the 4th of July as I head up to Whidbey Island to visit with my folks. I was on a mini girl's weekend with my daughter this past weekend and saw a Mainship (don't know if it was a 34 or 35, and don't really know the difference yet) at the dock. It really did look like it could fit our needs, so am really looking forward to stepping aboard to see what we think.
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Old 06-26-2018, 02:51 PM   #38
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If you decide you like the 350, do a bunch of research on both the 350 and the 390, which is essentially the same boat with some mods (dunno what). I think these are not without some issues, but you can check all that out... and any flaws in any given boat will likely have been fixed long ago anyway.

There are some "generations" of Mainship. The original 34' was in the late '70s-late '80s, ladder to the bridge. Then Mainship began building non-trawlers in the '90s, not bad features, including some stairs I think.

They came back to trawlers in the late '90s or early '00s, and I'm less familiar with those. The 430 was on our short list at one time, just before we chose our current boat. They made a 400, nice boat, stairs, ditto short list, our current boat won. Then sometime later another 34 (34T) came along, stairs, otherwise I dunno so much about it, but the ones I've seen from the outside look viable. Naturally those newer/larger models were more expensive. Drat!

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Old 06-26-2018, 03:39 PM   #39
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This one is a '97 350 model.
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Old 06-26-2018, 03:47 PM   #40
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Be sure your prospective boat has a gate in the bulwark (best, three gates).

After much experimentation with lifting, ramping, slinging, throwing, Lager the 85-pound Labrador (yes, Lager is yellow), I was forced to conclude I had the wrong boat or the wrong dog.

Lager is in Ashland with the neighbors while I am in Prince William Sound.
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