Introduction: Bimini Style Dog Boat Seat ($25 Max, 1 Hour)
Many (most) offshore boats in Florida are equipped with "leanin' posts" instead of seats behind the wheel so people can stand to absorb shock from waves and to get a better field of view while driving.
Dogs love riding in the boat but there was no way to keep them from falling off the back of the post/bench when we take off, and, when a rogue wave or wake sends us airborne.
SOLUTION: a Bimini style back stop for the dogs to keep them snuggly and safely in the copilot's seat, where they belong.
It only took about an hour to make and cost less than $25.
Step 1: What You'll Need:
*Some scrap cloth, heavier the better since it'll be getting blasted by sun and salt. A scrap of heavy fish net (real fishing net) would also work if you don't have access to a sewing machine.
*access to a sewing machine and grommet punch (canvas and sail shops will do this for you too for a small fee)
*"Sharkbite" flexible pipe (Home Depot plumbing aisle, $3.69)
*two zip ties
*paracord or similar
Step 2: Zip Tie the Piping
Drill a hole at each end of an appropriate length of flex pipe, through both sides of the walls.
Zip tie said flex pipe to each side or corner of your leaning' post or seating console, etc. so it forms a frame you could hang a basket-like back stop or seat back to. Each leaning' post or seating console will be different so just find a way to get the shape you want.
A zip tie at each end should be enough, you're only supporting a portion of your dog's weight occasionally as they bounce around.
Step 3: Make a Pattern, Cut, Sew
You can eyeball the shape you'll need to fill in to make the support/mesh/backing or you can also make a pattern if it's a weird shape. I used a big piece of newspaper and just folded it to the right shape to fill the seat back.
*(you can skip the sewing if you use a piece of fish net here, just skip to the lashing it part)
Take the pattern (or shape in your mind if you eyeballed it) and lay it out over some fabric you've chosen. Cut two identical pieces (front and back).
With THE GRAPHICS FACING EACH OTHER, ON THE INSIDE sew the two pieces together leaving a small opening (like a pillow case). Now turn it inside out, the graphics are facing out and your seam is on the inside.
Sew up the small hole you just left to turn it inside out.
Step 4: Grommets
Punch grommets around the edge of your backing piece (use brass or stainless steel).
I paid a marine canvas shop $14 to punch 14 grommets with marine grade brass.
*If you use cheap zinc grommets that come in a kit they'll rust in days.
Step 5: Drill Holes, Tie It Together
Drill a hole for each grommet in your flex pipe.
Lash/tie your backing into place with paracord or similar (melt ends to keep them from fraying).
Use square knots (right over left and under, left over right and under) so you can easily break them and reuse when you want to take it down for washing or to keep it from getting destroyed in the sun, or, in event of hurricane.
Drop the hammer headed offshore knowing your canine copilot(s) is secure.