Do you love dogs? Love boating, too? There’s every reason to take your best friend along on your next boating adventure. All you need is some common sense and simple safety precautions. And a dog that’s willing to go nautical, of course.
Colleen Faulkner, of Red Bank, New Jersey is a dog-loving boater. “Whenever we went camping, we took Morgan,” says Colleen. “And when we went boating, she came, too.”
Colleen’s not alone. Boating and dogs just seem to go together, and you’ll often see an eager Rover galloping down the down the dock, eager for aquatic adventure, with his master in tow. “Many, many boaters are dog lovers,” says Colleen.
Colleen and her husband, Tim, own a Four Winns, their second cabin cruiser. “We find boating really relaxing,” Colleen says. “We boat to a little cove on the Navesink River and just relax, read, and hang out on floats.”
Sea Eagle Shuttle
Getting their dog, Morgan, to and from the cabin cruiser was a challenge. “We were looking for some kind of boat to shuttle Morgan back and forth between the shore and the cabin cruiser,” says Colleen. Visiting their home town, near Port Jefferson, NY, the Faulkners just happened to drive by the headquarters of Sea Eagle Inflatable Boats.
“We stopped in on a whim and bought a Sea Eagle 330 kayak,” says Colleen. “We liked it because it’s inflatable and very compact.” And it’s a perfect way to shuttle essentials from ship to shore and back again: food, supplies, camping gear…and dogs, of course! In the off-season, the Faulkners harbor their cruiser in Red Bank, New Jersey. And their Sea Eagle? They deflate and store it in a corner of their garage.
The Boating Dog
Will your dog take to boating? Much depends on the dog. Some get a case of the jitters or are scared of letting their paws leave dry land. Others take to boats like, well, like a dog to a bone. Morgan was of the latter persuasion. “She was a great dog,” says Colleen. “People were very surprised at how easily it was to get her aboard.”
To introduce your dog to boating, we advise you to take it slow. Some dogs balk at a boat’s wobble. Others get spooked by who-knows-what. Beach your boat and invite Fido to step in while it’s on solid ground. Then try inviting them in while the boat is partially launched but still stable. Then call your pooch when the boat’s in the water and you’re in the boat, with a firm grip on the dock.
From a safety point of view, it’s a good idea to put Shep in a doggie life preserver. And what about dog toenails? “Our Sea Eagle kayak is tough,” says Colleen. “Morgan’s nails weren’t a problem.”
A Happy Dog
The Faulkners still enjoy their cabin cruiser and their Sea Eagle 330 but, sadly, Morgan passed away recently at a remarkable 119 years old – that’s 17 dog years. But as you can see in the photo, she loved boating. You can tell from the big smile on her face!
I hope the Faulkners have found another canine first mate to share their kayak with. Seventeen years represents a long and happy life!
We take our Yellow Lab Astro where ever we go including the water. We have just picked up a Chihuahua (Gremlin),off the roadside, and now he has adapted to our outdoor lifestyle! He’s an older dog (9-11yrs)and was in poor health, but now he’s better and loves to kayak in our 380 and 340x that we recently purchased. On the flat days he’s up on the bow splash sheet, on not so calm days underneath it wrapped in a towel.
Sad to see a K-9 companion go but think of the life that some other animals have. With you, Morgan had a great family to take care of her! When your ship sails the Heaven’s, she’ll be there to climb aboard once again!
Whether you prefer quiet water trips alone, or with a friend, to a boat ride alongside noisy strangers, the inflatable kayaks or canoes are perfect, and can comfortably accommodate one or two passenger / paddlers with their tackle and lunch.
The inflatable kayak is perfect for space and storage, but against a boat with a hard shell, they aren’t winning any races. They paddle better than a soft tail or sport boat, and are more stable than a regular kayak or canoe.
Light and compact, they’re ideal for backpackers.