Reader Tip: Keep Your Dog Safe in the Dink

Are you cruising with a four-legged friend? Adding some non-skid strips to the dinghy may help keep Fido aboard.

Dinghy Dog

Carolyn Shearlock

Does your dog love to ride up on the bow of the dinghy or walk along the tubes? It seems to be the official “dinghy dog” riding position!

But sometimes gravity and the slipperiness of the tubes can pose a challenge, and periodically our dog, Paz, would go for an unplanned swim.

Then we got a couple of packages of non-slip tub/shower treads and stuck them on the places where she tended to walk. Suddenly, she’s a very sure-footed dinghy dog!

Another quick tip—use a harness instead of a collar and always keep a leash on your dog in the dink. If they do go over, a harness won’t break their neck as a collar might, and the leash will keep him/her connected to the dinghy.

We always use the “dead man” cable, too—a quick yank and the motor instantly stops in case Paz slips in, which is much faster than trying to shift into neutral or press the kill button.

Have a great ride with your furry best friend—I’ve never seen a dog that didn’t love dinghy rides once they felt that their footing was secure. As far as Paz is concerned, the dinghy is hers and we are simply her chauffeurs . . . and do we ever hear about it if we take the dinghy without taking her!

Carolyn Shearlock is the creator of the blog and website The Boat Galley, which features in-depth articles with practical galley tips, recipes, insights, and equipment recommendations designed to help cruisers get the most out of their boat kitchen. Her cookbook The Boat Galley Cookbook, which she co-authored with Jan Irons, is being published this September by International Marine.

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