A couple years ago, when we stayed aboard Beagle Knot, a Lagoon 380 catamaran, I learned something new about making a boat dog-friendly.
You see, Beagle Knot has an all-fiberglass cockpit, contrary to all the teak that we had on Que Tal. At first, I didn’t really think about the non-skid mat that Donna had in corner of the cockpit that led to the transom steps that we used all the time. I figured it was there to keep from tracking so much sand into the cockpit area and bridgedeck.
Then we removed it when rinsing down the cockpit . . . and didn’t put it back in place immediately. All of a sudden I had two dogs asking for help in going up and down. Oops, it seems that the slick fiberglass is just too slippery for them to feel comfortable jumping either up or down!
I quickly put the mat (basically, a “welcome mat” with a rubber back) back in place and both dogs were back to running around on their own.
While both dogs were comfortable walking around on the non-skid that was molded into the fiberglass, neither one was secure when it came to either jumping up or down. They both needed more traction!
LaDonna later confirmed that yes, that mat and another at the threshold between the bridgedeck and cockpit (with maybe a 6″ lip) were both there for Baguette, their dog.
Both Baguette and Paz are fairly small and that may have something to do with their need for the mats (they’re jumping about 3 times their own height).
But if you’ve got a dog on board — or are in the planning stages — it’s a good reminder to think not just about your footing on the boat, but also theirs. In addition to mats, you could also use non slip stickers designed for the shower to improve footing in a small area or perhaps on a step — we used them on our dinghy as Paz loved to ride on the bow: