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.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

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.

Animals Contest

Participated in the
Animals Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Book Character Costume Challenge

      Book Character Costume Challenge
    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Cardboard Speed Challenge

      Cardboard Speed Challenge

    7 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Those dogs look like they are in heaven.

    The Florida sun can be brutal. That leads me to my question: is your "Sharkbite" pipe UV resistant? If not, a fabric tube (matching to your backing) could be made to go over the top to protect it from the sun.


    4 years ago

    You can get a harness for cats and dogs designed to secure the pets to a car seat belt. Use a large dog collar or small belt attached to back. Then they could ride safely.

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago

    I could not see well enough to drive until I was 30. My cat rode in my bicycle basket. I modified a large regular front basket to attach to my rear rack, since I discovered heavy loads in front affected the handling. I added carpet and made set-in frame 1x1 wood, covered the sides aluminum window screening, with a ruffled patchwork top. The cover was attached with bungees. It was my first wood project using store bought wood, other material. I grew up on Alaskan FAA Stations in places too small to have stores. My only tool was a saw I found left over from WW II and a rock for a hammer. Susi Cat loved the ride.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    They tumble off and hang like Christmas ornaments from the harness. I needed something to catch them, and, I wanted something that allows more freedom of movement. I do use the harness in the bike delivery basket to keep them from launching after squirrels.


    4 years ago

    How do you keep your wiener pups from trying to jump overboard to chase birds? Mine believe birds is evil. Bird comes by low and they go after them.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    They learned the hard way that jumping/falling overboard at speed results in a miserable (and dangerous) experience.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea. Your dogs look pretty happy to be out on the boat. Congratulations on your first Instructable!