Pet Net

Morty is our Boat Dog, he has stubby little legs and no fear of heights. He will insist on walking right along the edge of the deck, moments away from falling in.

He has fallen over board in the past, but always from the dinghy. This is because he will insist on standing on the very edge of the gunwale. 

When he falls off the row boat, it is no problem as he is right there and can be easily retrieved by his life vest. If he falls off of Wisdom, recovery would be much more complicated.

To avoid this situation, I wove a net around the lower lifelines. 

The first net was a simple zig zag made out of clothes line. This seemed to serve its purpose, but he would push his head through it and jump off like if it was nothing there at all.

Then I wove a second set, making diamonds. He still popped through the large holes.

Then I wove a third line through the middle, making it a series of triangles that he was sure to not be able to squeeze through. Success!

He chewed through the clothesline. I once watched him do it, taking his razor sharp teeth only 5 seconds to cut the line like a warm knife through melted butter.

When he would make a hole, I would quickly mend the net by tying in a replacement piece. Soon, his favorite areas were more mends than original pieces.

When we changed the lifelines from steel to dyneema, we had to install a new netting, and we decided that we would use dyneema with a very open weave. The idea for dyneema netting was to avoid the chafing that would occur from nylon/dyneema contact as well as to avoid problems with sun degradation. The reason for the open weave is: He will get through it anyways, we might as well not have him cut the dyneema and leave me with more work to do. We figured if he really wanted to get off the boat, he would jump right through it without hurting the netting. For the most part he has behaved himself, and the netting is holding up just fine!