It may be a while before the weather starts warming up, but it’s never too early to start preparing for the perfect boating weather (especially if your warm weather plans involve boating dogs or cats onboard!)
Are you thinking about inviting your pets onto the boat to come along for the ride? Having your furry friends by your side on your fishing trip or a relaxing day out on the water can be a lot of fun, but boating with dogs or cats on board requires a little extra prep. With some pre-planning and safety precautions, you can keep your cat or dog safe while making the whole family happy!
Here are some safety tips to enjoy boating with your pets:
A lot of pet owners—particularly dog owners—will assume that their pet is a boat dog at heart, with an instinctive ability to swim. However, this is simply not true. It is a good idea to bring your wannabe boat dog or cat to a swimming pool, a lake, a beach, or any body of water where they are comfortable and where you can monitor them closely and safely.
Getting your pet comfortable swimming in these relaxed environments before you take them out on open and fresh water is a way to ensure your cat and dog’s safety when you’re out on adventures together.
This is true even if you have a type of dog that you’d consider a “natural swimmer.” Because you never truly know how your pet will act in a situation until they’re in it, teaching your dog how to be comfortable around water can make a big impact if they fall overboard or unexpectedly end up in the waves.
If you have a small pet, the easiest and possibly the safest way to get your dog or cat onto the boat is to pick them up and place them into the vessel.
However, if your pet is too large for you to easily lift them, it would be wise to invest in a pet-friendly boarding ramp or ladder that can be used from both the dock and from in the water. By training your dog or cat to use this ramp, you don’t have to worry about them acting out in the moments it’s time to board.
In order to teach your pet how to board and ensure your cat’s and dog’s safety, you should practice with your boat on dry land if possible. That way the ground is stable and your pet will feel more secure while they’re practicing. Getting in and out of the boat is perhaps one of the most dangerous parts of boating with your dog or cat, which is why it’s important to spend time training your dog and cat for these moments.
We’ve already established that not all pets know how to swim. But even if your pet is a type of dog known for being a strong swimmer, they still need to be wearing life jackets that are pet friendly. When boating with your dog or cat, there are far too many unpredictable situations where your pet could be put in danger—the water could be too rough, they could accidentally fall overboard, they could get pulled into a current, or they could swallow too much water and begin choking (just to name a few).
Life jackets for pets come in different sizes, colors, and buoyancy. It is recommended that you buy one that is a bright color and features reflective trimming so it is easier to see. Some pet friendly options for life vests even have handles, which make it easier to lift your dogs or cats from the water.
Regardless of the available life vests you choose, you should test it in calm and shallow water. Ideally, the life jacket you choose should keep your pet’s head above the water, allow them to lie down, go to the bathroom, and move around with ease.
Even if you are careful, there is still always a chance that your pet might fall overboard. That’s why it is absolutely imperative that you have a plan (and practice it) so that you can enjoy boating without stress or fear of what could happen:
Step One: Cut the engine.
Step Two: Have a designated spot and call your dog to come.
Step Three: Help them back into the boat (their life jacket will most likely have handles that will make this easier).
In the event that your pet gets injured, it is always a good idea to be prepared with a pet first aid kit.
Most pets are susceptible to sunburns and skin cancer, so it is important that you bring along sunscreen specifically formulated for your type of pet. There are also different types of balms that can be rubbed on their noses (contact your veterinarian to obtain these).
Your pet may also get bitten by mosquitoes or other disease-carrying insects, but you can protect them with bug repellent sprays formulated for their breed.
As a reminder: DO NOT use sunscreen or bug repellent sprays formulated for humans on your pets!
While you’re out enjoying the water and warm weather, make sure your furry friend has enough fresh water and shade to cool down. Making sure your pet has access to drinking water will not only keep them cool and hydrated but also keep them from having a heat stroke.
It is important to note that pouring water on your pet to cool them down may actually make them hotter! So steer clear of this method of cooling them down.
Boat decks can be slippery for your pets, so it may also be a good idea to bring with you a non-slip mat to make them feel more stable. Having a designated spot for your pet will keep them safe during your excursion and ensure that they have a shaded area where they can find relief from the heat.
Enjoying boating and the outdoors with your furry friends can be a fun and rewarding experience, and making sure they are safe and comfortable will ensure that your days out together go as smoothly as possible! That’s why these tips for boating with your furry friends should be an important part of your pre-adventure checklist to keep your cat or dog safe.
If you’re in the market for a new boat, go to our Boat for Sale page to check out our selection and meet our talented crew of experienced brokers!
In addition to helping their clients find the perfect boat, part of Islandside Yacht Sales’ mission has been to give back to the local boating community. In pursuit of this goal, Islandside Yacht Sales owner and founder Joe Sciuto looked to his close friendship with Andy Herlihy, Director of the Community Boating Center of New Bedford.
Proud to be the only partnership of this nature in the local yacht brokerage industry, Islandside donates a portion of all sales to the Community Boating Center. The funds help fuel the Center’s efforts to create and foster a safe environment for kids to learn socially, emotionally, and physically through fun and engaging marine-related activities.
Since 1998, the Community Boating Center of New Bedford has offered local youth programming that engages kids between the ages of 5 to 24 in fun, hands-on activities exploring boating and the marine environment.
By taking kids out of their comfort zones and exposing them to opportunities they never thought would be possible (like youth sailing and boating classes), this community boating program works to create future leaders. Through the Center’s youth programming, young boaters learn the skills necessary to grow and begin to look at colleges or start their own careers in the marine industry and beyond.
When Islandside sells a boat to a client, it’s about more than just providing them with a vessel to take onto the water. It’s also about helping them create new memories with their family and friends while connecting them to the water and the local boating community.
This is similar to the role the staff at the Community Boating Center adopt with their students when conducting their boating or youth sailing classes. By acting as role models, providing mentorship, teaching responsibility, and demonstrating commitment and compassion to the job at hand, the Center’s on-the-water youth programming can be many students’ first exposure to the marine environment right in their own backyard.
Giving back to the community is a principle that Joe holds close to the core of what Islandside Yacht Sales does, and Community Boating Center Director Andy Herlihy says it always has been.
“Joe is a really good person that doesn’t look at what he does as the business of selling boats, but rather looking to connect the community with the water and help provide opportunities across the board. That’s where what Islandside does and what we do at the CBC start to connect. Though we do it in different ways, we have a natural synergy as we have the same goal of connecting people to the water and using the boating and marine environment as the tool to do that. Our focus at the CBC is low to moderate-income youth and their families that may not have access to the extra income necessary to send their kids to a program, so Joe came up with this idea to help support those families and get kids these learning opportunities.”
When asked about the different ways the Community Boating Center model benefits from this partnership, Herlihy continued to focus on the kids.
“Unlike a yacht club environment where learning how to sail is the goal, at the CBC we use sailing and boating as the vessel to engage and inspire students. It encourages them to open up, learn about themselves and become a part of a team. Learning how to sail is the byproduct, but it’s also a really awesome medium to encourage kids to learn while still having fun.”
When asked why this partnership–which is one the first of its kind in the boating and yachting industry–was so important, Joe echoed Andy’s sentiment: “The Community Boating Center provides a tremendous opportunity for local youth to gain exposure to the wide variety of opportunities available to them in the marine industry, while also fostering leadership and teamwork skills” he said. “We at Islandside Yacht Sales firmly believe in the CBCs mission and support it wholeheartedly.” With so many businesses struggling in the aftermath of COVID, Islandside is using the strength of the boating market to give back to the Community Boating Center and the wider community that’s meant so much.
Has the time come for you to prepare your boat to sell? Maybe you’ve outgrown your current model and have your eye on a newer power or sailboat yacht for sale. Or maybe you’re just looking for something different. No matter the reason, there are key points you should keep in mind when selling your boat.
One of the biggest mistakes we see a private seller make is overpricing their boat and then wondering why it isn’t getting traction.
Even if your boat is in top condition, prospective buyers won’t consider giving it a look if the price is unreasonable.
When it comes to how to sell boats, working with a broker is key.
Part of an experienced yacht broker’s job is to take the guesswork out of the sale and fill the seller in on the current market conditions. A good broker will explain what to expect throughout the selling process, all while helping to determine a reasonable asking price through a market analysis.
With our wide network of contacts, a yacht brokerage like Islandside Yacht Sales can often put you in contact with people that have already been shopping for a boat like yours!
Are boats easy to sell? Not all the time, not if they’re overpriced, and not if you haven’t done the initial prep needed to make your boat appealing to a potential buyer.
One of the first things a potential boat buyer looks at is the cleanliness of the boat, so if you haven’t already—have your boat professionally detailed.
Make selling your boat easier by having the exterior completely washed, compounded, and waxed. Give the decks the care they may not see during the season and remove any rust or corrosion the engine room may have. Make sure the head is clean and doesn’t smell, and that any stainless is polished to perfection.
Additionally, this is a great time to check and fix any mechanical issues you may know about and ensure that there aren’t any potential issues that the boat buyer will have to deal with.
A clean boat with all of its systems working and in optimal shape will always sell faster and for top dollar. Overlooking these small details can easily derail an otherwise perfect showing.
When a potential buyer steps onto a preowned vessel for a showing, you want them to be able to picture the space as their own. That can be difficult if your boat is cluttered with personal items.
If the boat you’re selling seems messy or disorganized, the buyer may assume the boat’s been neglected and assume it has other problems. Removing excess personal items, or items that are not being sold with the boat, will help show the potential buyer that the boat has been well maintained. Keep in mind that a well organized boat always feels bigger—making it more appealing to potential buyers.
Remember: The more organized a boat is, the more spacious it feels–and the better it will show.
Similarly to staging a house, staging a boat is very important when trying to maximize your boat’s sale value.
Each boat has so much potential, and you want a prospective buyer to be able to picture all of your boat’s possibilities. This can be done with the help of a yacht broker from our our team at Islandside Yacht Sales. Small details help make the best first impression to make sure each showing starts off on the right foot (which is the key to making your boat sale go smoothly).
Don’t try to hide any potential negatives about your boat from your yacht broker or potential buyers. The truth always comes out so it is always best to fix them, or disclose them up front.
Having a boat’s maintenance records, original manuals, and registration readily available is an easy way to be transparent with potential buyers and help your boat to sell fast.
As you go through this process, having the right yacht brokerage team may be one of the most important tips we can give you. If you don’t trust the advice of your yacht broker, or don’t feel completely comfortable with them, don’t be afraid to find someone else to help prepare your preowned boat to sell. You’re hiring them for a reason! There you have it! At the end of the day, our team is here to help. Reach out to us today to get started!