LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

Outfitting Oliver for Life Aboard!

Oliver is well on his way to becoming a bonafide “boat dog!”   Let’s face it, soon he’ll be cruising full-time with us on our 37ft. sailboat, s/v LAHO. To make Oliver’s newfound sailing lifestyle legit, we definitely needed to equip him with the right cruising gear.

^^looking pretty sharp in his new neon orange life jacket!^^

We’ve done a good bit of research and checked out lots of other awesome sailing bloggers with dogs aboard to see what kind of gear he’ll need for our (soon-to-be) cruising lifestyle. We don’t want to go overboard (no pun intended) and purchase way too many items, but we want to make certain we have the “doggie essentials” on board.

So far, we’ve purchased the following items (and I’m sure we may being adding to this little stash in the very near future):

  • Outward Hound Life Jacket – a must-have for any doggie crew members.  Oliver’s a smaller dog, but has long legs, and is pretty lean. I debated back and forth on which size life jacket to order for him…even after measuring him and following the size/weight/measurement guidelines. We originally ordered a small, which ended up being WAY too tiny for Oliver. So, we returned the small and opted for a size medium, which fits perfectly. We haven’t had to officially test the jacket out yet, but Oliver seems to dig his new gear and definitely doesn’t mind wearing it.  And I’m kinda digging the orange color on his grey poodle face. 😉
  • We also picked up a Surf to Summit Bungee Tether to use as needed on the boat, when sailing, or for any other reason. We think we will hook this on to his life jacket when under sail, or possibly just attach it to his good ole harness.
  • I’m not sure how much we will use this Pelican Mini Flasher Light, but for $12, it seemed like a great addition to his stash of gear. We’re thinking it definitely might come in handy for a number of uses, but foresee attaching it to his collar at night when sailing or take advantage of the little light attached to Oliver when we’re headed to shore (perhaps for a potty break).  Who knows, this was kinda an impulse purchase.
  • I also picked up one of these Silicone Pet Collapsible Travel Bowls and we’ve been using it ever since as Oliver’s primary water bowl on the boat.  It stays put when sailing, isn’t too large, and really hardly takes up any space at all when not in use.  I’m debating grabbing another to use for his food too!

Other Gear/Supplies:

  • We also plan to have a back-up set of leashes, harnesses, collars, and tags.  I’m not quite sure how Oliver would manage to lose all of those, but I’d rather have an extra set on hand just in case.
  • We already have all of the necessary grooming supplies stashed away… think doggie clippers/blades/etc., other grooming tools like brushes/combs, nail clippers, and more.  And Jereme’s mom has been kind enough to teach us how to properly groom Oliver.
  • We will of course be provisioning for Oliver (food + treats + toys) when the time comes.
  • Other than that, we are working with our vet and doing our own research to compile Oliver’s doggie first aid kit and medicine cabinet. Oliver is known to be a wee bit issue-prone (although knock on wood, he hasn’t had any of his regular skin/ear problems lately). We’ll be sure to post an update once we finish building his kit!
  • Oh, and I almost forgot the infamous pee mat! That is high on our list to purchase or make, but we haven’t yet gotten to that one. Stay tuned!:)

Here are a few more photos of Oliver modeling his new fancy life jacket!

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing.

JackieDecember 23, 2013 - 3:29 pm

Great list! I added the food/water bowls to my wish list…we have a water bowl for Lex, but it’s a collapsable lined canvas material and leaks if water’s left in there too long – Love the bowls you got though. We too have a life jacket and harness for Lex. We’ve never used either but I’m more inclined to use the tether…she’s such a water dog anyway, I’m afraid that the life jacket would make it harder instead of easier to swim. This summer may be a good time to get her used to both though.

JackieDecember 23, 2013 - 3:40 pm

I added the bowls to my wish list…we have a crummy travel bowl for Lex that leaks after a while. We also have a tether and life jacket for her that we’ve yet to use. I’m just not sure if the life jacket would help her or not, she’s so used to swimming without one. Next summer we may have to make it a point to bust these out and give them a try, so far we’ve only seen her walk weirdly around the house with them on :)

JackieDecember 23, 2013 - 3:42 pm

Oh, crap…sorry about the duplicate! I didn’t think the first one went through 😉

LAHOWINDDecember 23, 2013 - 4:23 pm

Thanks for the extra comment love Jackie. 😉 Oliver doesn’t seem to mind wearing the life jacket, so far. Although he’s a pretty good swimmer, we are using the jacket more as a precaution if he were to accidentally fall off the boat. I guess we’ll see what he’s like after we test him with it in the water. -Kim

Mark and Cindy - s/v Cream PuffDecember 26, 2013 - 1:14 am

Love the pics of Oliver sporting his new duds. Does it have reflective material or a reflective patch?

When we used to sail with dogs, we had to fish them out of the water more than once. The handle on top will be most useful. Heck, we would pick them up by the handle almost all the time. All dogs should come with handles.

The most fun was when we would pull into a new marina and onlookers would point at the doggies in the life vests. I use to secretly think the dogs were a little embarrassed.

Merry Christmas!

Mark and Cindy
s/v Cream Puff

LAHOWINDDecember 27, 2013 - 12:51 am

Thanks guys! Yes, there is some reflective material on the life jacket. We’ve yet to put that to the test. But I will say I LOVE the handle. So handy! 😉 Hope you had a Merry Christmas! -Kim

Karen - s/v SiestaJanuary 6, 2014 - 5:51 am

Just came across your site looking for more info on Endeavour 37’s in cruising mode. We have a 1980 B plan and a big dog, so will enjoy following your adventures. Our Louie has owned 4 different PFD’s, but his favorite to date is the auto-inflatable like our human ones. Check out Cooler for them in the warm climates! And has the required handle!

[…] are in the home stretch of getting Oliver (and ourselves) outfitted for life aboard, and most recently met with our vet for Oliver’s annual exam and checkup. (Side note – […]

[…] without any issue whatsoever. It was a super smart move on Jer’s part to make Oliver wear his doggie lifejacket since it is much much easier to retrieve an overboard dog who’s wearing the jacket with the […]