A Sure-Footed Dinghy Dog

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2012 • all rights reserved

Boating with a dog? Give them more confidence in the dinghy with this simple DIY project to give them better footing. Takes five minutes . . . or less!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.  Used to be that periodically 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!

Boating with a dog? Give them more confidence in the dinghy with this simple DIY project to give them better footing. Takes five minutes . . . or less!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.  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!

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  1. Great ideas!

  2. Susan Schreyer Leaf, you need one of these….:)

  3. The dingy or the dog???

  4. Michelle says:

    love it!!!

  5. Waterwoman says:

    We always had the” chap”s made out of Sunbrella on our dinghy while cruising, but I imagine the shower tred stuff could go on the cover for even better traction, or maybe wouldn’t even be needed on the tubes since they are covered with the chaps. We had ours made in La Paz when we first went down in 1997. I recommend anyone going cruising in Mexico or tropical climes to take some Sunbrella with them as it is kinda pricey south of the border, for our 10′ dink it was about 5 yards, pieces of vinyl for different areas is a good idea too..

    Another great idea even if we don’t have a dog.

  6. Great idea.

  7. Sparky the Salty Dog says to cowboy up! A dinghy is to be owned and rode. He is a 13 year old wire haired terrier and loving the salty life. http://www.beyondreason.us. Just sayin’

  8. We wish that our dogs had ben raised on a boat. Our guys wouldn;t do well, but our next dog will be boat dog!!!

  9. Love it! We just ordered a new dinghy and I have been a little worried about our dog getting her footing – perfect solution!

  10. And it’s cheap 🙂

  11. Liz Nelson says:

    Great idea for my dinghy dog Indy she loves riding in the dinghy and is forever walking around the edge lol and the waters a lot cooler here in New Zealand , she hasn’t gone over board yet, your idea will certainly help her not too.


  12. Desi loves the dinghy too and also thinks it’s hers. She has to wear her PFD, but she loves it because she knows putting it on means fun is coming her way.

  13. Where’s the life jacket?

    • She — like us — doesn’t always wear one when dinghying in calm waters at slow speeds. Part of that is because she’s small enough we can get her back in the dinghy with ease. If she were larger, she’d have to wear it.

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